Santa Cruz County, California

Looking for the best running in Santa Cruz County? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Santa Cruz County. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Running Spots in and near Santa Cruz County

  • Santa Cruz, California

    Hike the Rincon Fire Trail

    5.0
    1 mi / 300 ft gain
    The Rincon Fire Trail Starts at a small dirt parking lot next to CA-9 and traverses down the mountain to the San Lorenzo River Connecting with the Pipeline Trail. The trail can be a simple one of a mile out and back or up to 5 miles depending on your preference. The elevation will change by about...
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  • Felton, California

    Redwood Grove Loop

    4.0
    0.93 mi / 144 ft gain
    Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is located just a few miles north of the city of Santa Cruz, along Highway 9. The park is home to an array of hiking and biking trails, but the crown jewel of the park is the Redwood Grove Loop Trail, which is only a 1/4 mile in from the park's entrance. Many peo...
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  • Aptos, California

    Bridge Creek Trail to Maple Falls

    7.99 mi / 1089 ft gain
    Bridge Creek Trail to Maple Falls is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a waterfall located near Aptos, California.
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  • San Jose, California

    Hike the Quicksilver Trail

    4.3
    5.1 mi / 915 ft gain
    The trails are well maintained and offer good visibility. The trail can be muddy after it rains, and does not have much shade (so bring extra water in the summer).  Dogs are allowed on this trail but must be kept on leash. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife - this trail is frequently used for bir...
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  • Boulder Creek, California

    Hike to Sempervirens Falls

    4.0
    2.1 mi / 100 ft gain
    The hike to Sempervirens Falls is an easy 2.1 mile out-and-back hike on the Sequoia Trail. You'll travel through the redwood forest and some of the campgrounds located in Big Basin State Park. The hike is pleasant but on occasion, you'll be too close to the road to feel like you're deep in the wi...
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  • Los Gatos, California

    Lost Mine Trail Run

    Communes, dairy, and gold. These words are not often associated with trail running, but out on Monte Bello Ridge and Black Mountain which rise high above Silicon Valley, you might just hear them uttered.From the parking area in Skyline Open Space we start our run by crossing Skyline Boulevard and...
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  • San Jose, California

    Explore Santa Teresa County Park

    4.5
    8.3 mi / 2053 ft gain
    The Santa Teresa County Park loop is perfect for wildlife viewing! Be ready to see deer, coyote, hawks, turkeys, pigs and cows. The trail is rated as moderate - be cautious with mud if you are visiting the park after a rain shower. Dogs are allowed in the park, but must be kept on leash.  There i...
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  • Pescadero, California

    Hike the Canyon Rim Route in Butano State Park

    5.0
    11.7 mi
    Located deep within the Santa Cruz Mountains, Butano State Park boasts a large redwood canyon with many miles of hiking trails as well as campsites. This state park is one of the quietest and least visited parks on the peninsula making a perfect place to escape the hustle of the Bay Area Butano S...
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  • Redwood City, California

    Hike Russian Ridge

    4.5
    4 mi
    Russian Ridge offers a great place to jump on the trail and in the right season, see some of the best wildflowers blooming. On top of that, you get access to amazing views from the ridge. Once you hit your parking space, add a little extra warm up before jumping on the trail to make this 3.7-mil...
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  • Los Altos, California

    Hike the Monte Bello Open Space Preserve Loop

    4.5
    2.9 mi / 600 ft gain
    This hike is best done in the late fall, winter, and spring so that the creek is running and the hills are green. Starting at the preserve parking lot, the first half of the hike is predominantly downhill. At the main trailhead, start in the direction of the Stevens Creek Nature Trail, as told by...
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  • Loma Mar, California

    Bike Pescadero Creek County Park

    5.0
    12.5 mi / 1350 ft gain
    Pescadero Creek County Park and the connected Sam McDonald and Memorial Park are located deep in the Santa Cruz Mountains holding a vast network of secluded trails. From biking to backpacking, this area is a perfect place for a day or weekend adventure. This area also has the added bonus having r...
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  • Loma Mar, California

    Camp Under the Redwoods at Memorial Park

    With old growth redwoods and a creek swimming area, Memorial Park is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the Bay Area. Memorial Park is only a few miles east of the town of Pescadero. To get here, you can either approach from Highway 1 and drive up Pescadero Creek Road or take Highway ...
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  • Marina, California

    Surf, Run, or Catch a Sunset at Marina State Beach

    From the moment you turn into the parking lot, you know Marina State Beach is special. Grab a parking spot in the large lot and then run down the dunes and onto the shoreline! The beach feels spacious on this section of the shore and gives plenty of room to run around or to put down a blanket to ...
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  • Palo Alto, California

    Hike the Arastradero Preserve Loop

    3.0
    4.5 mi / 600 ft gain
    Getting There: From Hwy 280, take the Page Mill Road exit and head West on Page Mill Road, away from Downtown Palo Alto (if you're taking 101, exit on Oregon Expressway). Then turn right on Arastradero Road. There will be a small sign indicating the dirt parking lot on the eastern side of the str...
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  • Marina, California

    Explore Fort Ord Dunes State Park

    5.0
    One of the best parts of Monterey is the beaches – but their popularity is also their weakness, so if you want seclusion head to the lesser-known Fort Ord Dunes for solitude and beautiful views of Monterey Bay and the Pacific Coast. Historically, this location was chosen as the location for Fort ...
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  • Pacific Grove, California

    Spanish Bay Trail

    5.0
    2.8 mi / 78 ft gain
    Spanish Bay Trail is an out and back trail that takes you past scenic views located near Monterey, California.
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