Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
140.00 ft (42.67 m)
Trail type
2.80 mi (4.51 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Wildlife viewing opportunities. Close to Santa Cruz.



Trailhead Elevation

40.00 ft (12.19 m)


Nearby Adventures

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California
Natural Bridges State Park


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