Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail

Thirty-One Miles of Magic

One of Sempervirens Fund’s proudest achievements is the creation of the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, begun in 1969 and completed in 1976.

Traveling the diverse 31-mile trail, you:

  • Begin at the “skyline” crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains above Saratoga (where Highway 9 intersects Skyline Boulevard);
  • Descend from the ridgetop vistas through meadows, crags and forests of Castle Rock State Park;
  • Weave through old-growth redwood forest, creeks and waterfalls in Big Basin Redwoods;
  • Camp at one or more of the trail-side camp areas;
  • Finish at the Pacific Ocean at Waddell State Beach.

The Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail is beloved for its incredible diversity – and its gradual downhill slope.

Sempervirens Fund began creating the trail in 1969 and worked over the years in partnership with California State Parks, local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club and volunteers from many trail organizations. The route was officially named the “Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail” – and lived up to its name – when in 1976 Sempervirens Fund purchased part of the Hoover Ranch that extended the trail to the sea at Waddell Beach.

Whether you hike just part of the trail or venture from the skyline to the sea, your time on the trail will help you understand and experience the magnificence of the coast redwood forests and the importance of continuing to protect the Great Park.