Skyline to the Sea Trail

Skyline-to-the-Sea 7-21-16
Skyline-to-the-Sea 7-21-16
Skyline to the Sea sign at Saratoga gap - the start of the trail
Skyline to the Sea sign at Saratoga gap - the start of the trail

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After crossing Hwy 9 about 0.5 mi from Saratoga Gap' trail heads down hill.
After crossing Hwy 9 about 0.5 mi from Saratoga Gap' trail heads down hill.
Hwy 9 crossing at Semperverins Pt., 1.95 miles from the Gap.
Hwy 9 crossing at Semperverins Pt., 1.95 miles from the Gap.
View from Sempervirens Pt of San Lorenzo watershed
View from Sempervirens Pt of San Lorenzo watershed
San Lorenzo watershed
San Lorenzo watershed
  Bench at Sempervirens Point
Bench at Sempervirens Point
Trail from Sempervirens Pt.
Trail from Sempervirens Pt.
Itntersection Beekuis Rd - 3.5 mi
Itntersection Beekuis Rd - 3.5 mi
El Camino Hospital Grove -3.9 mi (2)
El Camino Hospital Grove -3.9 mi (2)
San Lorenzo Watershed view - 4.76 mi (2)
San Lorenzo Watershed view - 4.76 mi (2)
Mushrooms on Tree
Mushrooms on Tree
25 ft Bridge -5.1 mi
25 ft Bridge -5.1 mi
Over Arching Oak - 6.4 mi.
Over Arching Oak - 6.4 mi.
Waterman Gap Trail Camp -6.2 miles from the Gap
Waterman Gap Trail Camp -6.2 miles from the Gap
Waterman Gap Trail Camp
Waterman Gap Trail Camp
Trail from Waterman Gap - 6.5 mi
Trail from Waterman Gap - 6.5 mi
Natural Sculpture at Waterman Gap
Natural Sculpture at Waterman Gap
Intersection with Interconnect Trail - 7.1 mi
Intersection with Interconnect Trail - 7.1 mi
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Rancho Del Oso 7-23-2011
Rancho Del Oso 7-23-2011

The Skyline to the Sea Trail is the epic Santa Cruz Mountain hike stretching from Castle Rock State Park on Skyline Boulevard to the Pacific Ocean at Waddell Beach.

For Trail Overview, click here.

The trail is a favorite for backpackers and hikers of all abilities – you can hike a part or all of the trail. Trail runners regularly complete the trail in one day while backpackers usually spend two or three nights at several Trail Camps strategically located along the trail. Most hikers prefer the gradual downhill hike from Skyline Boulevard , but the trail can easily be hiked in reverse

The shortest trail route starts at Saratoga Gap (Skyline Boulevard -CA 35- and Big Basin Way -CA 9-) and ends 25.2 miles later at Waddell Beach. The most popular alternate route starts at the Castle Rock State Park entrance, probably because overnight parking is allowed. A more ambitious starting point is at the headquarters of Sanborn County Park which increases the distance to 33.6 miles.

Start Saratoga Gap

3 days, 2 Tr Camps, 25.2mi, +1520ft

Trails:
  • Skyline to the Sea
Day Mileage Elevation Change Camping Sights
1 6.2mi +100ft Waterman Trail Camp Forest, views of Santa Cruz mountains
2 8.8mi +920ft Jay Trail Camp Forest, views of mountains and the ocean
3 10.2mi +500ft Waddel Beach Forest, views of the ocean

Start Castle Rock State Park parking lot:

3 days, 2 Tr Camps, 28.3mi, +2050ft:

Trails
  • Saratoga Gap
  • Travertine Spring
  • Toll Road
  • Beekhuis
  • Skyline to the Sea
Day Mileage Elevation Change Camping Sights
1 9.3mi +630ft Waterman Trail Camp Forest, long views of Santa Cruz mountains
2 8.8mi +920ft Jay Trail Camp Forest, views of mountains and the ocean
3 10.2mi +500ft Waddel Beach Forest, views of the ocean

4 days, 3 Tr Camps, 28.2mi, +2050ft

Trails:
  • Saratoga Gap
  • Travertine Spring
  • Toll Road
  • Beekhuis
  • Skyline to the Sea
Day Mileage Elevation Change Camping Sights
1 2.6mi +150ft Castle Rock Trail Camp Forest, long views of Santa Cruz mountains
2 6.6mi +480ft Waterman Trail Camp Forest, long views of Santa Cruz mountains
3 8.8mi +920ft Jay Trail Camp Forest, views of mountains and the ocean
4 10.2mi +500ft Waddel Beach Forest, views of the ocean

3 days, 2 Tr Camps, 28.4mi, +2260ft

Trails:
  • Link
  • Skline
  • Skyline to the Sea
Day Mileage Elevation Change Camping Sights
1 9.4mi +370ft Waterman Trail Camp Forest, long views of Santa Cruz mountains
2 8.8mi +920ft Jay Trail Camp Forest, long views of Santa Cruz mountains
3 10.2mi +500ft Waddel Beach Forest, views of the ocean

Start Sanborn County Park HQ parking Lot:

3 days, 2 Trl Camps, 33.5 mi, +3510 ft

Trails:
  • Sanborn
  • Skyline
  • Skyline to the Sea
Day Mileage Elevation Change Camping Sights
1 14.5mi +2090ft Waterman Trail Camp Mixed forest, occasional long views
2 8.8mi +920ft Jay Trail Camp Forest, long views of Santa Cruz mountains
3 10.2mi +500ft Waddel Beach Forest, views of the ocean

4 days, 3 Tr Camps, 33.6mi, +3570ft

Trails:
  • Sanborn
  • Skyline
  • Link
  • Saratoga Gap
  • Travertine Spring
  • Toll Road
  • Beekhuis Road
  • Skyline to the Sea
Day Mileage Elevation Change Camping Sights
1 8.6mi +1670ft Castle Rock Trail Camp Forest, long views of Santa Cruz mountains
2 6.6mi +480ft Waterman Trail Camp Forest, long views of Santa Cruz mountains
3 8.8mi +920ft Jay Trail Camp Forest, views of mountains and the ocean
4 10.2mi +500ft Waddel Beach Forest, views of the ocean

Skyline to the Sea Patch. In early 2014 the Portola and Castle Rock Foundation, working together with Sempervirens Fund and the Waddell Creek Association, plans to introduce a patch for those who have completed this popular trail. Stay tuned – we will be announcing a design competition shortly.

For additional resources on the Skyline to the Sea Trail, view the Redwood Hikes page.

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