West Cliff Drive Bicycle Path

California

West Cliff Drive Bicycle Path Facts

States: California
Counties: Santa Cruz
Length: 3.4 miles
Trail end points: Swanton Blvd. and W. Cliff Dr. and Santa Cruz Riverwalk at Beach St.
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 7230965
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

With Unlimited:

  • Export to My Trail Guide
  • Create Guidebook
  • Download GPX
  • Download Offline Maps
  • Print Friendly Map
Upgrade Now

Register for Free with TrailLink Today!

View over 30,000 miles of trail maps
Share your trail photos
Save Your Favorite Trails
Find New Trails Near You
Leave reviews for trails
Submit new trails to our site
Register Now

West Cliff Drive Bicycle Path Description

The West Cliff Drive Bicycle Path is just over 3 miles long, but, with its gorgeous backdrop of ocean waves and dramatic cliffs, you'll wish it was longer. The fairly flat, paved trail winds its way along the southern coastline of Santa Cruz. It begins at the Santa Cruz Riverwalk and travels west along the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, a popular seaside amusement park, and the Santa Cruz Wharf, a tourist hub offering fishing, boating, dining and shopping opportunities, as well as beach access. (Cyclists must dismount their bikes along this busy stretch.)

Continuing west along the south side of West Cliff Drive, you'll reach Lighthouse Field State Beach about a mile after the Wharf. The beach is home to a surfing museum in addition to the historic lighthouse. Here, you'll also find Steamer Lane, a popular surfing spot, and a prime place to view sea lions on the offshore rocks.

The trail ends at Natural Bridges State Park with its picturesque namesake rock formation. Along the park's beach, be sure to look for sea birds, whales, seals and otters. And, at low tide, explore the tide pools for sea stars, crabs and sea anemones. If you're in the area between mid-October and late January, you'll also be treated to the spectacular sight of thousands of monarch butterflies that migrate here during the winter and rest in the park's eucalyptus grove.

Parking and Trail Access

At the eastern end of the trail, paid parking is available at the Santa Cruz Wharf. Farther west, free parking is available at Lighthouse Field State Beach (off West Cliff Drive) and on Swanton Boulevard adjacent to Natural Bridges State Park.

West Cliff Drive Bicycle Path Reviews

I am using these trails for power walks and this was very nice. Just the right length. It was not as well marked as I had expected though very easy to figure out. Mostly runners and walkers, seemed a bit too crowded with foot traffic to be really enjoyable for bikes. I am not from the area so was surprised at the cool breeze but that just made me walk faster:)

Trail Events

This trail does not have any events yet.
Be the first to add one!

Add an Event

Nearby Trails

Santa Cruz Riverwalk

California - 3.7 miles

The Santa Cruz Riverwalk Trail follows both sides of the river through downtown Santa Cruz, a California beach town on the shores of Monterey Bay....

Loma Prieta Grade Trail

California - 5.5 miles

This extremely scenic rail-trail is located in the majestic Forest of Nisene Marks State Park near Aptos, California. The park was the site of major...

Ohlone Loop Trail

California - 3 miles

The Ohlone Loop Trail offers a birder's paradise in a wetland area of Watsonville on California's central coast. Its location, bordering a residential...

Accordion

Upper Struve Slough Trail

California - 2.5 miles

The Upper Struve Slough Trail is part of a network of trails running through Watsonville's wetlands, offering a natural, outdoor experience and...

Watsonville Slough Trail

California - 2.8 miles

The Watsonville Slough Trail follows its namesake waterway through a residential area of the city. It's part of a system of trails in a wetland area...

Los Gatos Creek Trail

California - 11.2 miles

It is difficult to travel through suburban Santa Clara County for more than a few minutes without noticing an abundance of cyclists and runners in the...

Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail

California - 18 miles

Winding along the Pacific coast, the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and a great way to tour...

Los Alamitos Creek Trail

California - 5.2 miles

The Los Alamitos Creek Trail runs along its namesake creek between McKean Road and Almaden Lake Park, where the trail is also known as the Lake...

Calero Creek Trail

California - 1.9 miles

The Calero Creek Trail runs between Singer Park and Santa Teresa County Park. The trail is paved between Los Alamitos Creek and Harry Road (0.7 mile)...

Guadalupe River Trail

California - 12.5 miles

The Guadalupe River Trail is the spine of San Jose's growing trail network, running north-south through much of the city. Portions of the trail run...

Joe's Trail at Saratoga De Anza

California - 1.4 miles

Joe's Trail at Saratoga de Anza parallels the south side of the active Union Pacific Railroad tracks that travel through a residential area of...

Southern Pacific Railroad Right-of-Way

California - 1.9 miles

The Southern Pacific Railroad Right-of-Way passes through residential neighborhoods on the west side of Pacific Grove, providing a nice walking and...

Download the TrailLink mobile app and take TrailLink with you!
Support trails with a tax-deductible gift by December 31!
Order Your 2018 RTC Trail Calendar for Beautiful Trails All Year Long!

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews
OR

Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more!
OR