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Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails

Santa Cruz

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California

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Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails

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  • Trailhead seen from Shaffer Road.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • Information about the trails in Moore Creek Preserve.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • Beginning the Moore Creek Preserve hike on Prairie View Trail.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • Prairie View Trail.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • Prairie View Trail.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • View of the Pacific Ocean from Prairie View Trail.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • View from Coast View Trail.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • Along the Coast View Trail.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • Flock of birds along the Prairie View Trail.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • Gate crossing on the Prairie View Trail.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • Mule deer on the Prairie View Trail.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • Terrace Loop Trail connection.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • Well marked trail signs.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • Flock of turkeys.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • Vernal Trail.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • Vernal Trail.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • Ocean view on the Prairie View Trail.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • Turkey vulture on the Prairie View Trail.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • View from the Prairie View Trail.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • Ocean view from Prairie View Trail.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • Looking over Santa Cruz from the Prairie View Trail.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • Jogger on the Prairie View Trail.- Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
  • - Moore Creek Preserve Hiking Trails
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Wildlife viewing opportunities. Close to Santa Cruz.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
140.00 ft (42.67 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
2.80 mi (4.51 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
40.00 ft (12.19 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Moore Creek is a 246-acre preserve located on the fringes of Santa Cruz. Six different trails totaling 2.85 miles take you through this preserve and feature some great views of wildlife and Monterey Bay. There are two entrances to Moore Creek Preserve. The most accessible route is via Highway 1 across from Shaffer Road Park; cross the highway to get to the trailhead. The second is located on Meder Street, though there is no parking here, so you will have to find a spot on Western Drive and walk a quarter-mile.

Prairie View Trail (1.1 miles long) runs the length of the preserve with a few side loops that connect back to Prairie View. Coast Vista Trail (0.3 miles) is a quick loop that gives you your first ocean view if you are hiking up from Highway 1. East Meadow (0.25 miles) is a short introductory trail leading into the preserve from Meder Street. From here Moore Creek Trail (0.5 miles) starts and takes you into the preserve and connects with Prairie View about mid-way just before connecting with Terrace Loop (0.4 miles). The last loop at the top of the preserve is Vernal Ridge (0.3 miles), and here the trail briefly takes you around a small field and through live oak trees. 

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(19 within a 30 mile radius)

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(116 within a 30 mile radius)

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