Wilder Ridge Loop


Wilder Ridge Loop Trail
7 miles; 3 hours; moderate to strenuous

This honker of a loop starts with a hard left up the hill just past the horse corral and soon levels out, passing grasslands with graceful spreading coast live oaks and a big pond where red-winged blackbirds trill away the afternoon. The trail forks just past the pond, opening to the two branches of Wilder Ridge Loop. The entirety of the loop leads through redwood ravines and fragrant bay laurel groves and ascends some 500 feet up steep sections of trail to oak grasslands on top of the bluffs. (There is a funky section that parallels the city's recycling facility, but it's over relatively soon.) The reward is a stunning panoramic view of Monterey Bay, with Loma Prieta Mountain visible off to the left and, on days following a rain or strong wind, a sightline all the way to Point Sur.

If your dogs start barking halfway through this trip, the steep Zane Grey Cutoff takes about 2.5 miles off the journey, connecting the upper and lower portions of the loop.

If you do the whole thing, though, a worthwhile side trip once you get to the top is the recently restored Twin Oaks single-track trail, which is seldom enough used that bobcat sightings are within the realm of possibility.

Back to Wilder Ranch State Park