RV Rental Wilder Ranch State Park, CA

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Covering 7000 acres, there is plenty of room for everyone at Wilder Ranch State Park, located near the towns of Felton and Swanton, CA, with the cities of Santa Cruz and San Jose just a short drive away. Inside the grounds, several buildings that once belonged to the Wilder family have been restored, so visitors have the opportunity to learn more about the life of early ranchers and farmers who once lived along the Central Coast.

The site of Wilder Ranch State Park was formerly the main Rancho supplying Santa Cruz Mission, before becoming a popular dairy farm. Be sure to pop in and say hello to some of the farm animals that still call the park home when you rent an RV in Santa Cruz County. Over the years, several major wetland restoration projects have taken place, bringing back the wildlife and plant life that once inhabited the area.

Discover Wilder Ranch State Park

Getting Outdoors

The most popular activity for those that go camping at Wilder Ranch State Park has to be hiking, and with over 35 miles of trails to explore, it soon becomes clear why. These multi-use trails spread all across the landscape, offering a great way to see the landscape. For those that are on a bike, there is a 15mph speed limit for safety.

Blufftop walks offer some incredible views out to sea, and there is a good chance you'll pass some of the refurbished buildings along the route. The hikes range from 2 miles up to 10 miles, but you can reward yourself with a spot of lunch in one of the picnic areas before heading back to your RV rental.

For those looking for a little relaxation, the beaches of Wilder Ranch State Park have got you covered. There are six beaches in total along the shoreline, some of which can only be reached with a short hike, such as Sand Plant Beach, and others that have a parking lot, such as Four Mile Beach. This is the largest and the easiest to access, and is also one of the nicest, with a few trails starting here heading off to the wetlands. It is also a popular surfing spot as it can get some good waves.

Many people believe that Wilder Ranch State Park has some of the best mountain biking routes in the state. The paths lead to the mountain foothills and rise across a series of terraces, with plenty of flatter spots, so you're able to catch your breath. These incredible trails are one of the main reasons that so many people chose you to rent a camper near Wilder Ranch State Park.

Camping at Wilder Ranch State Park

There are only six campsites at Wilder Ranch State Park, and these can only be used by those with horses. There are, however, plenty of places to go camping with an RV in the surrounding area, so you can be very close to the park from the minute you wake up in the morning. One option is Cotillion Gardens RV Resort, a hidden garden surrounded by towering redwood trees. There are 80 beautiful sites to choose from, 55 of which have full hook-ups and 25 with electricity and water. There is also a heated pool, playground, and horseshoes for entertainment.

Another option is Santa Vida RV Park, just minutes from downtown Santa Cruz. There are 45 sites here in a beautiful woodland setting, 40 of which are full hook-up, and five are electric and water only. All sites come with a picnic table and fire ring, ideal for al fresco dining, and pets are also welcome. There are clean restrooms with hot showers, a playfield, and plenty of hiking trails in the surrounding area.

Exploring the Area

The bustling city of Santa Cruz lies just to the east of Wilder Ranch State Park and offers a plethora of things to do and see for those that get a Santa Cruz camper rental. For a little change of pace, take an old fashion steam train ride through some of the most scenic areas of the city and beyond. There are two different routes to choose from, the Redwood Forest Steam Train and the Santa Cruz Beach Train, both of which are a great way to become better acquainted with the area.

While on the coast, why not embark on a dolphin and whale watching cruise and create some incredible memories. An abundance of sea life thrives in the protected waters around the bay. Therefore, you have a good chance of spotting humpback and grey whales from the safety of a comfortable boat. Getting a glimpse of one of these majestic creatures will turn your vacation into one that you will not be forgetting in a hurry.

The Seymore Marine Discovery Center features a fascinating aquarium which gives visitors the chance to get up close to a huge range of sea life, including sharks! While walking around the exhibits, you can learn more about each of the creatures and the type of habitat they need. For those that are interested in learning even more about marine life, there is the opportunity to take a tour of the Joseph M. Long Laboratory.

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Popular nearby hiking trails and campgrounds

  • Hiking TrailLocation
  • Wilder Ridge to Baldwin to Ohlone Bluff and Old Cove Landing Trail, CAWilder Ranch State Park, CA
  • Wilder Ridge Trail, CAWilder Ranch State Park, CA
  • Wilder Ridge and Zane Gray Cutoff Loop, CAWilder Ranch State Park, CA
  • Pacific to Redwoods Loop, CAWilder Ranch State Park, CA
  • Old Landing Cove Trail, CAWilder Ranch State Park, CA
  • Wilder Ranch State Park Loop Trail, CAWilder Ranch State Park, CA
  • Natural Bridges State Beach Exploration, CANatural Bridges State Beach, CA
  • Four Mile Beach, CAWilder Ranch State Park, CA
  • Lookout Loop Trail, CASanta Cruz, CA
  • West Cliff Drive Santa Cru, CALighthouse Field State Beach, CA

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