Guide to the best
bike trails in Wilder Ranch State Park
Area Summary Location: Santa Cruz Best For: Intermediates Suitable For: All levels except extreme Ground Cover: Mostly open grasslands and wooded canyons Seasons: Good year round. Exceptional in spring. Some trails closed intermittently in winter.
Ocean vistas, rolling grasslands, redwood forests, wildlife and yes, even single-track. Is this mountain biking heaven? Bay Area riders, used to getting short-changed when it comes to trail access, might just think so. Wilder Ranch offers beginner to strong intermediate riders some of the best riding in the Bay Area.
Once a working ranch dating back to the 1850s, Wilder Ranch is now a state park with land on both the ocean and inland sides of Highway 1. The ocean side features a pancake-flat trail overlooking the Pacific. The inland side features over 30 miles of moderately hilly, moderately technical mountain biking in a drop-dead gorgeous setting.
The Wilder Ridge Loop forms the backbone of the trail system, with numerous loops and spurs shooting off in all directions. The featured rides in this guide are just two of an infinite number of great routes that can be created. Use your imagination...you won't be disappointed.
The trail map below is a jpeg of the actual maps from our books and map-sets.
Old Cove Landing Trail - Flat fire road along ocean bluffs. Gorgeous views. Also called Ohlone Bluff Trail.
Chinquapin Trail - Open fire road.
Intermediate Level Trails
Wilder Ridge Loop - Main loop through mostly open terrain. Includes easy fire road and fun moderate single-track.
Eucalyptus Loop - Includes moderately steep fire road and winding single-track through woods.
Old Cabin Trail - Fun single-track winds into and out of a forested canyon.
Twin Oaks Trail - Single-track through grassy oak woodlands.
Engelsman Loop - Steep, sometimes rutted fire road.
Baldwin Loop - Open fire road.
Long Meadow Trail - Fire road through open grasslands and woods.
Advanced Level Trails
Enchanted Loop - Includes technical single-track through woods and more open fire road.
Zane Grey Cut-off - Moderately steep single-track through open hillside.
Directions to trailhead(s):
The main parking is located on the ocean side of Highway 1 just two miles west of Santa Cruz. Parking also allowed in wide spots along Highway 1. Parking for ride 1 is located 2 miles northwest of the main parking lot on the inland side of Hwy. 1.
Discover the Best Mountain Biking in the SF Bay Area
Our 16 double-sided maps have rides suitable for all levels. New and intermediate riders will love Wilder Ranch, China Camp, Tilden, Marin Headlands and Russian Ridge. For more advanced riders there's Skeggs, Mount Diablo, Soquel Demo Forest, Tamarancho and Henry Coe.