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A redwood forested ridge trail with Pacific Ocean views.

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Point to Point

1,557' 475 m


190' 58 m


1,655' 504 m


421' 128 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (11°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek · Views

Forest of Nisene Marks State Park has a day use fee ($8.00 in 2017). Multi-day passes can also be purchased.


West Ridge Trail starts along Aptos Creek Road in Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. The trailhead is well marked.

From its trailhead in the redwood forest, West Ridge Trail follows a small creek upstream. Here the trail is in the bottom of the densely forested, steep sided creek valley. About 0.5 miles from the trailhead, the trail does a U-turn and begins to climb the forested hillside, to get to a ridge top. At the 0.7-mile mark, the trail has reached the ridge top, does another U-turn, and follows this ridgetop north-northwest, through the mixed redwood forest. Here on the ridge top, in addition to redwoods, there are oaks, firs, and other vegetation.

The ridge and trail climb gradually as the ridge joins other ridges in the mixed redwood forest. At the 2.8-mile mark, there is an unmarked trail junction. Stay to the right here to continue on West Ridge Trail. Going left takes one to the 6-Mile Trail Loop.

At the 3.7-mile mark, West Ridge Trail veers right (east) and soon passes a trail junction with Ridge Connection Trail on the right. Go straight here to continue on West Ridge Trail. Then, at the 4.2-mile mark, West Ridge Trail veers left (north) and passes Big Stump Gap Trail on the right. Continuing through the mixed redwood forest, West Ridge Trail soon veers right (east-northeast) again.

Then at about the 4.5-mile mark, the trees get smaller and begin to thin. From here for about another mile to the end of West Ridge Trail, the hillside to the right of the trail drops off steeply. There are GREAT! views out to the Pacific Ocean, over the lower redwood forested ridges to the right of the trail.

West Ridge Trail ends at Hinckley Road, after traveling 5.7 miles.

Flora & Fauna

Redwoods, firs, oaks, some manzanita, ferns, and other vegetation.


Shared By:

Joan Pendleton

Trail Ratings

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  4.5 from 2 votes
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in California


25 Views Last Month
2,279 Since Dec 10, 2017



Looking out over the redwood forested ridges, to the Pacific Ocean, from high on West Ridge Trail.
Dec 10, 2017 near Day Valley, CA
The Bridge Creek Trail "Obstacle Course" to get to see Maple Falls
Dec 16, 2017 near Day Valley, CA
Beyond the redwood forested coastal side of the Santa Cruz Mountains is the Pacific Ocean.
Dec 10, 2017 near Day Valley, CA
The Pacific Ocean in the distance, can be seen through breaks in the trees, looking past a redwood forested ridge.
Dec 10, 2017 near Day Valley, CA
West Ridge Trail crosses a small creek on a sturdy bridge, in the redwood forest of the deep, steep sided creek valley.
Dec 10, 2017 near Aptos, CA
Tall, stately redwood trees on the forested ridge of West Ridge Trail
Dec 10, 2017 near Day Valley, CA


Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Oct 6, 2021
Mike Nugent
Went up to power lines at 2 miles.
Nov 9, 2020
David Cox-Espenlaub
May 6, 2018
Jessica Mutschler
Feb 24, 2018
Private User
Dec 9, 2017
Joan Pendleton