Wilder Ranch

Santa Cruz
Sunday, June 4, 2000

Contact: Neal Barlow, 650-594-9272

Come spend some time by the ocean on the mainly open hillsides at Wilder Ranch. The openness leads to fast and simple navigation. For those who have not been to Wilder Ranch before, it is an interesting place to visit even if you don't run. The ranch buildings contain various historical artifacts, there are animals and a working blacksmith's forge.

There will be 3 courses at Wilder Ranch: Long White and 2 Score-Os, with 1- and 2-hour limits.

Registration    9:30-12:00
Starts         10:00-12:30
Courses close   2:30 pm
Due to the sparse nature of the network system at Wilder, the White is at least twice as long as recommended distance, with climb. There a several opportunities to cut corners, for anyone wishing to try going off trail. The optimal route is about 6 km, but if you stick to the paths it will be nearer 8 km. Whatever you do, there is 560 feet of climb. There will be a water control. The upside to all of this is that you will get great views of the ocean.

The two Score-Os will use the same map, so you can change between the two while you are out there. The scoring is a simple 1 point for each control and -1 for each minute over.

The map is 1:15,000, and I have updated it around some of the control sites. Be warned the white on the map does not indicate runnable forest, but the fact that it has not been mapped. In most cases, these areas are fight and to be avoided. Due to the open nature and high visibility of the area, some of the controls will be hung low.

The will be 3 water points out there, 2 at controls and one near a control. Due to Wilder's location and openness, if the weather is good it will be hot. If you suffer badly from dehydration, I suggest you take your own water supply to supplement that out on the course.

The winter has been good for the grasses and thistles, so I recommend leg cover for any one doing Score-O or planning to cut the corners on White. This is a favorite mountain biking spot, so watch out when you are on the trails.

Hopefully I haven't put anyone off with my description, this area has great views and the start/finish area is ideal for a picnic.

Note there is a $6 parking fee. There are some spaces just outside the park on Highway 1, but they fill up quickly.


Take Highway 1 north from Santa Cruz. Turn left (toward the ocean) about 1.8 miles past Western Drive at the brown state park sign. Pay the $6 parking fee at the entrance kiosk and park, then follow the signs down to registration.

If you're driving south on Highway 1 from Half Moon Bay, the park entrance is on your right about 7 miles past Davenport.