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About Fern Grotto Beach at Wilder Ranch State Park in Santa Cruz, California

Fern Grotto Beach is definitely worth the hike from the Wilder Ranch State Park visitor center. The grotto is a shallow cave at the back of the beach with ferns draping down over the entrance. There is a nice sandy beach in a deep rocky cove to enjoy here as well. The mouth of the cove isn’t large but there is quite a bit of sand here surrounded by sandstone walls on all sides. Getting here is half the fun though. Along the way are many great vistas over other beaches, bird and seal covered rocks, and a bucolic setting. To get here hike the Old Cove Landing Trail from the Wilder Ranch visitor center parking lot. The trail passes by Wilder Beach and farmlands before a small footpath descends into the back of Fern Grotto Beach. The main trail wraps around the back of the beach and continues to Sand Plant Beach nearby. From there it loops back to the parking area making it a great day hike.

1401 Old Coast Rd
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Park Name
Wilder Ranch State Park
Other Names
Old Cove Landing
State Park
Pet Details
No dogs allowed on the beach
Fee for parking
Hiking, Mountain Biking, Birdwatching, Beach Exploration
Trails, Grotto, Cave
Map of Fern Grotto Beach at Wilder Ranch State Park
Santa Cruz, US
2:04 pm, July 18, 2024
temperature icon 83°F
L: 60° H: 83°
Feels like 85.21 °F few clouds
Wind gusts: 2 m/s
UV Index: 9.91
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 6:03 am
Sunset: 8:25 pm
Humidity 57 %
Pressure1015 mb
Wind 2 m/s

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