Trail Run Project Logo

West Ridge Trail



5.7 mile 9.1 kilometer point to point
85% Runnable


Ascent: 1,655' 504 m
Descent: -421' -128 m
High: 1,557' 475 m
Low: 190' 58 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 20% (11°)


No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Joan Pendleton

A redwood forested ridge trail with Pacific Ocean views.

Joan Pendleton

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.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, Runner Notes

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow runners know what's here.


Rate This Trail

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In


Jul 8, 2018
Kasia Gondek

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote


  4.0 from 1 vote
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Trail Rankings


in California


23 Views Last Month
874 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
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
The Bridge Creek Trail "Obstacle Course" to get to see Maple Falls
Dec 16, 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


Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running