Pogonip Trails

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California

Start Exploring
Pogonip Trails


  • Hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking are allowed at Pogonip, and all are trail specific.- Pogonip Trails
  • Welcome to Pogonip.- Pogonip Trails
  • Parking and trailhead area.- Pogonip Trails
  • The trail begins on a paved road.- Pogonip Trails
  • From here, Pogonip Creek Nature Trailhead starts to the left of the sign.- Pogonip Trails
  • The paved trail leading to the Club House, where scenes from "The Lost Boys" were filmed.- Pogonip Trails
  • The trail through Pogonip Creek Nature Loop.- Pogonip Trails
  • Open prairie at Pogonip.- Pogonip Trails
  • An old trailer hidden in the grass.- Pogonip Trails
  • Common buckeye butterfly (Junonia coenia).- Pogonip Trails
  • The trails are well marked.- Pogonip Trails
  • A walk through Bayshaw Trail.- Pogonip Trails
  • Lime Kiln Trail.- Pogonip Trails
  • Hundreds of stacked rocks above the lime kilns.- Pogonip Trails
  • People leave messages in the stacked rocks.- Pogonip Trails
  • Pogonip lime kilns.- Pogonip Trails
  • A bonus koi pond on the Pogonip trails.- Pogonip Trails
  • Ohlone Trailhead.- Pogonip Trails
  • View of the Monterey Bay seen from the Ohlone Trail.- Pogonip Trails
  • The Pogonip Club House, where several scenes from "The Lost Boys" were filmed.- Pogonip Trails
  • A memorium to the founder of Pogonip, Dorothy Deming Wilson.- Pogonip Trails
  • Field near the Club House overlooking Santa Cruz.- Pogonip Trails
  • Wild rose.- Pogonip Trails
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Pogonip Trails
  • Lupine.- Pogonip Trails
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Pogonip Trails
  • Narrow leaved flax (Linum bienne).- Pogonip Trails
  • Poison oak is common off of the trail.- Pogonip Trails
  • Sword fern.- Pogonip Trails
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Pogonip Trails
  • Sweet pea.- Pogonip Trails
Overview + Weather
Fantastic views. Moderate difficulty. Historic sights.
No restroom or water filling stations.
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, CA
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
531.00 ft (161.85 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
4.00 mi (6.44 km)
Trail type: 
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


Pogonip Open Space, or simply Pogonip, is a 640-acre park just minutes from the beaches and downtown of Santa Cruz. This park offers over 8 miles of hiking trails, historic lime kilns, a koi Pond hidden away in the mixed evergreen forest, and an old Polo Club House that was used in the making of the movie "The Lost Boys." In the 1930s, Pogonip was the home field for one of the nation's top women's polo teams. Today it is a popular destination for hikers, joggers, mountain bikers, and equestrian enthusiasts. 

Three different trails start from the parking lot at the end of Golf Club Drive, including the paved roadway continuing into the park. The roadway leads to the Pogonip Creek Nature Loop and then further to the club house.

Take the Pogonip Creek Nature Loop until you crest the top of the incline, and the Prairie Trail isn't far. Head northwest on the Prairie Trail until it ends at Bayshaw Trail. Heading west on Bayshaw quickly leads to Spring Trail, where you can take an extended hike to the Lime Kiln Trail and loop back, or just head up Box Spring Trail directly to the kilns. Near the Box Spring Trail and Lime Kiln Trail intersection you will find flowing water that leads to the koi pond.

The lime kilns are also close by. Overgrown with vegetation and in ruins, the kilns are quite interesting, and a little history is provided at the site. Above the lime kilns in a shady alcove you will find hundreds of stacked rock formations left by past visitors. It's another unique feature of this interesting hike.

Head down the Spring Box Trail to the Bayshaw Trailhead, where you will also find the Ohlone Trailhead. This is a great trail for expansive views of the Monterey Bay. Head south when the trail meets up with the Fern Trail, then east on the Bayshaw Trail, and you will reach the ranger station and club house. From here you can go out on the field near the house and see some unique views of Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay. Return to the parking lot via the road near the club house.

Additional information about visiting Pogonip can be found here.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(20 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(119 within a 30 mile radius)

Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
7 Members
Who's Done It
15 Members
Submission by
165 Adventures Explored
142 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info