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

Wilder Beach at Wilder Ranch State Park is a natural reserve that is unfortunately off-limits to public visitation. Snowy Plover birds have made Wilder Beach a preferred nesting spot so the state park keeps us humans out. If you want to see this stunning beach knowing that you can’t climb down to touch the sand, there is an overlook viewing area along the Old Cove Landing Trail which starts from the park visitor center. Luckily the park has several other beaches to visit  including Four Mile, Three Mile, Strawberry, Sand Plant, and the Fern Grotto. The latter is nearby and worth the walk. To see these beaches, continue on the trail which turns west and becomes the Ohlone Bluff Trail. Four Mile Beach has it’s own parking area on Highway 1 at the west end of the Ohlone Trail. More hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails await exploration across the highway from the coastal portion of the park. The restored ranch buildings including a barn, workshops, and a Victorian house are near the visitor center and are worth seeing if you have time on your visit to Wilder Ranch State Park.

1401 Old Coast Rd
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Park Name
Wilder Ranch State Park, Wilder Beach Natural Preserve
State Park
Pet Details
No dogs allowed in the park
Fee for parking
Hiking, Mountain Biking, Birdwatching, Equestrian Use, Walking, Surfing
Trails, Restrooms, Beach Viewing Platform, Historic Ranch, Gift Shop, Accessible Features
Map of Wilder Beach at Wilder Ranch State Park
Santa Cruz, US
12:41 pm, June 24, 2024
temperature icon 80°F
L: 55° H: 80°
Feels like 79.92 °F clear sky
Wind gusts: 2 m/s
UV Index: 10.33
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 5:50 am
Sunset: 8:31 pm
Humidity 54 %
Pressure1013 mb
Wind 2 m/s

Nearby Beaches

Younger Lagoon Beach

0.6 miles away

The beach at Younger Lagoon Reserve in Santa Cruz is off-limits to the general public, but can be visited...

View beach

Nearby Attractions

Nearby Lodging


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