Second address to meet after Natural Bridges (just a few minutes away):
Wilder Ranch State Park
1401 Coast Rd, Santa Cruz, CA (edit map)
OPTIONAL LATE LUNCH/EARLY DINNER PLACE (after the hike)
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing - Ever had organic beer? This is your chance! This is a place the guys will really appreciate. Not big on the food menu but big in beer.
402 Ingalls St. Santa Cruz
(Swift Street Courtyard, at corner of Swift and Ingalls)
Join Kimberly and I in this incredible journey that Monarch butterflies experience every year to complete their own circle of life. Natural Bridges is the resting stop for hundreds of thousands of them and we could not ask for a more beautiful place to go and visit them. After our "goodbyes" and "farewells" we will drive to Wilder Ranch, just a few miles away and hike along the coast while enjoying the amazing views. Weather is the only thing that will cancel this event, so keep your fingers and toes crossed. You will want to bring your camera :)
Bring a heavy jacket for it may be windy on the coast
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHWaeEsixT0 VERY GOOD VIDEO to become familiar with these little fellows
Take Swift Avenue west from Highway 1 til the end. Turn right on West Cliff Drive north along the in-town bluffs until it ends at Natural Bridges. Drive into the park near the visitor center and park in the main parking lot.
Click >> Monarch Butterfly Meeting Point Google Map
GPS Coordinates: [masked], [masked]
After our trip to see the Monarch Butterflies, we will meet again at the Wilder Ranch State Park. We will meet at the main parking lot.
Click >> Wilder Ranch SP Hike Meeting Point Google Map
GPS Coordinates: [masked],[masked]
Dress warm as there may be strong winds. Rain will cancel, so please check this page before going on the hike. Bring flashlight just in case it gets dark before we can get back.
We will visit the Wilder Ranch, take the Wilder Ridge, Enchanted and Baldwin Loops back to the beach and walk along the cliffs back to the parking lot.
Click >> Wilder Ranch SP Map
7.7 mile partial loop on grassy hills above the ocean. Popular with mountain bikers.
Distance, category, and difficulty:
This 7.7 mile hike is moderately easy, with about 900 feet in elevation change. Park elevation ranges from sea level to 1200 feet at the northern boundary. Elevation changes are gradual. Distance, category, and difficulty:
From CA 1 in Santa Cruz County (about 6.5 miles south of Davenport/6 miles south of Bonny Doon Road), turn right into the park. Proceed past the entrance kiosk to the parking lot
0.0: Start at the edge of the parking lot near the restrooms, on a paved trail, following the signs to the historic buildings and backcountry trails.
0.1: Paved trail joins a service road. Turn right.
0.1: Junction. Turn left and head through the historic area.
0.4: Tunnel under CA 1. Welcome to the backcountry.
0.5: Two part junction. Bear left each time, onto Wilder Ridge Loop Trail.
1.3: Junction. Continue straight/right.
2.0: Junction with Twin Oaks Trail. Turn right.
2.6: Undersigned fork. Stay to the right.
2.8: Junction with Eucalyptus Loop Trail. Turn left.
3.0: First in a series of confusing junctions. Turn left, and after a few steps, left again.
3.2: More junction madness. Turn left onto Wilder Ridge Loop Trail.
3.3: At a horseshoe bend, junction with other leg of Twin Oaks Trail. Continue to the right on Wilder Ridge Loop Trail.
3.8: Junction with Zane Gray Cutoff. Turn right.
4.6: Zane Gray Cutoff ends at Wilder Ridge Loop Trail. Continue straight/left.
6.4: Familiar junction. Turn right and retrace your steps back to the trailhead.
7.6: Back at the trailhead.