Park: 8am - Sunset
Visitor Center & Store: Thursday through Sunday 10am-4pm
Wilder Ranch State Park
Visiting Wilder Ranch
The Santa Cruz coastline awaits discovery on Wilder Ranch State Park’s 7,000 acres. From the crest of Ben Lomond Mountain, the landscape rolls down ancient wave-cut terraces through the marsh lands of a nature preserve to the seashore. Step back in time to the late 1800's and visit an early dairy ranch. You can explore California's early ranching history by visiting an 1897 Victorian home, or experience a 1896 water-powered machine shop. Bring a picnic to enjoy on the front lawn, and visit the farm animals. With more than 35 miles of trail, you can adventure into the Santa Cruz Mountains or walk along the coastal bluffs.
Free Public Ranch Tours are offered every Saturday and Sunday at 1pm. No reservation required. Meet inside Visitor Center.
Things to Do
EXPERIENCE HISTORY – Explore California's early ranching history and visit the historic buildings, restored workshops run by waterpower, and a rodeo arena. The visitors center displays early farm implements and tools.
HIKING – for recommend hikes, please click here.
PARK EVENTS – We offer a variety of free interpretive programs throughout the year. To see a list of upcoming events and activities, please click here.
HORSEBACK RIDING & CAMPING – Equestrians are allowed on all park trails and unpaved roads except those on the ocean side of Highway 1. Six equestrian-only campsites are available first-come, first-served year round. Call 831-423-9703 for access to this staging and horse-camping area near Dimeo Lane. There’s no other camping in the park.
Basic Park Information
FEES - There is a $10 vehicle day-use fee. Regular sized autos $10 (seniors $9, age 62 or older), $50 bus parking (10-24 passengers), and $100 for bus parking (25+ passengers) $100.
DOGS are not allowed at Wilder Ranch (except for service animals). For a list of locations you can take your dog in Santa Cruz County, please click here.
HORSES are allowed on all park trails and unpaved roads except those on the ocean side of Highway 1.
BICYCLES are allowed on all trails and roads at Wilder Ranch. Please obey the 15 mph speed limit; stop when approaching a horseback rider; walk bicycles through ranch complex and be respectful of hikers.
DRONES are not allowed in the park. To protect wildlife and cultural resources, and for the safety and welfare of visitors and staff, the park is closed to the use of Model Aircraft, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and Gliders in flight.
Wilder Ranch offers Ranch Tours or Farm Animal Tours for groups of 10 or more. Reservations must be made at least 2 weeks in advance. Please click here for more information.
Photograph courtesy of Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks.
Do you enjoy nature and being outdoors? Do you want to share knowledge with others and promote conservation and stewardship? There are many ways in which you can become more involved with your parks. Please click here to find out more.
Available Activities and Facilities at Wilder Ranch State Park
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Drinking Water Available