Skyline to the Sea Trail
ElevationAscent: 1,910' 582 m
Descent: -4,515' -1,376 m
High: 2,623' 799 m
Low: 16' 5 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)
Current trail conditions
Popular hikes nearby
Fremont Older Open Space Loop
5.6 mi 9.0 km • Loop • 928 ft Ascent 282.99 m Ascent
Singletrack Saratoga, CA( 7 )
Black Mountain via Black Mountain Trail
10.0 mi 16.0 km • Out and Back • 2,383 ft Ascent 726.23 m Ascent
Singletrack Los Altos Hills, CA( 5 )
Hostel/Grapevine/Creek Trail Loop
2.4 mi 3.8 km • Loop • 600 ft Ascent 182.97 m Ascent
Singletrack Los Altos Hills, CA( 1 )
Bigger Basin Loop
28.1 mi 45.3 km • Loop • 4,132 ft Ascent 1259.39 m Ascent
Singletrack Boulder Creek, CA( 1 )
Hamms Gulch-Spring Ridge Trail Loop
7.7 mi 12.3 km • Out and Back • 1,440 ft Ascent 438.85 m Ascent
Singletrack Portola Valley, CA( 18 )
Hiked this trail?
Add details to help others plan their adventure.
“An amazing hike from the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.”— Miguel Vieira
The trail parallels State Route 9 through the forest for six miles, but there is little traffic noise. After six miles is Waterman Gap Trail, where most hikers spend their first night.
After Waterman Gap, the trail crosses SR 9 and starts to parallel State Route 236, which is even less trafficked than SR 9. On this stretch of trail, you'll start to see your first old-growth redwood forests.
After you cross China Grade around eleven miles in, the forest gives way to open chaparral and you'll get some nice views of the surrounding mountains.
The trail turns south and descends toward cool and shady Opal Creek. The forest here has huge redwoods and an understory of sword fern.
On the second night, it's convenient to camp near the Big Basin Redwoods State Park headquarters, which has snacks, showers, and bathrooms. Jay Camp is preferred.
From the park headquarters, the trail turns west and follows Waddell Creek. Be sure to make the side trip to Berry Creek Falls around the nineteen-mile mark.
After the falls, head south and follow a dirt road down forested Waddell Creek canyon.
Pass Twin Redwoods Camp and, where the trail splits around mile 23.5, continue on the singletrack trail to the right. The dirt road to the left heads to the same place, but it's not as scenic.
The trail ends at Waddell Beach.
Land Manager: California State Parks - Castle Rock State Park