Wilder Ranch

Santa Cruz
Sunday, August 25, 2002

Contact: Van A. Boughner at vboughneryahoo.com, (408) 354-3213,

Wilder Ranch State Park is set in the coastal hills about the ocean just north of Santa Cruz. The terrain lends itself to a long, slowly climbing course that allows you to get up into the higher reaches of the park and enjoy the stunning views of the ocean and coast as you circle back down to the starting point. This year there will be a "Climber" course with a forking control in the middle where you may decide whether to climb further, to the high meadows of the park and collect more controls (total course length about 13km with 450m of climb), or cut across and start down (total course length about 9 km with 300m of climb). We'll call these the "Long Climber" and the "Short Climber". The difficulty level of the legs on these courses will be approximately Orange level.

In addition we will offer a 3km combined White/Yellow course for beginners or those who would prefer a less strenuous experience that is mostly flat, and takes you around the farm lands, along the bluffs above the water, and down to a couple of small beaches where you can stop, take off your shoes and get the sand between your toes. You'll also get a chance to visit the Fern Grotto, where ferns grow on the roof of a cave mouth as well as see several stunning cliff faces where the waves crash.

The Climber courses do not share controls with the White/Yellow course, so for a really long course (longer than last year's Golden Goat), you may opt to do the Long Climber with the White/Yellow (we'll call that the "Super Climber"). More exact course statistics will come out closer to the event. E-punch controls will be offered on all courses. If you don't have an finger stick for e-punch, you may rent one at the event for $2.

Start info

The start and finish will both be at the park's historic farm, (with real barns, chickens, and sometimes horses) which is a couple minutes walk from the parking lot, and a great place for a picnic. Starts will be open between 10am and 12:30. The course closes at 2pm. It's likely to be hot later in the day, so if you plan to run the long climber I recommend you start before noon. Water will be provided on the course. If you are walking the White/Yellow course, bring a wind breaker, as it can sometimes be windy and chilly down near the water.


To get to the park, take Highway 880 south from San Jose (or Highway 85 south from Mountain View) until you reach Highway 17. Take Highway 17 South through the mountains toward Santa Cruz. As you approach Santa Cruz, follow the signs to Highway 1 North. Drive north on Highway 1 all the way through the "city" part. Once through the city, drive past Western Drive about 1 mile and look for a Wilder Ranch sign pointing into a driveway on the left. The entrance fee for the park is $6, payable at the kiosk.

There is more information about the park on the web: http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=549
And here is where to find a topo map of the park: http://www.virtualparks.org/parks/wilder-qtvr-map.html

Event officials

Van Boughner - Course Designer
Marsha Jacobs - Event Director - 650-726-6636 - marshabatnet.com

We hope to see you there!