Welcome to The Road Less Traveled
R.L.T Adventures provides a world where you no longer need to be an exhausted Weekend Warrior to get the nature fix you crave. It's time to reawaken your playful spirit and take deep breaths of open air. Santa Cruz is a backyard full of caves, redwoods, ocean expanses, and uninterrupted beauty, all just a short distance from your front door. Come play with R.L.T, where we will will safety take you kayaking, cave exploring, hiking, or mountain biking the beautiful uncharted areas of Santa Cruz. These guided, safe adventures range from 2 hour night hikes to full day excursions, when you can choose to work hard/play hard without going back home on a Sunday night completely worn out from the play. You can book a listed adventure, buy a gift certificate for friends, or schedule a private outing. It's time to reconnect with the nature you desire, and learn to play once again.
R.L.T Adventures strives to create semi-private, intimate, and nature-inspired tours which allow you to reconnect with the environment and yourself in a whole new way. Our all-inclusive tours provide all of the equipment, expertise, and even a snack so that all you need to worry about the day of the adventure is showing up. While all levels are welcome to join in the adventures, R.L.T was created with those curious adventurer in mind who have always wanted to try mountain biking, or cave exploring, or kayaking...but felt a bit intimidated or did not know how to go about trying the activity. Our guided tours allow you the space to learn something new, share in the glorious nature of Santa Cruz, and perhaps fall in love with a brand new hobby. Mountain biking isn't only about the gnarly trails and high jumps...it is also about taking in the beauty of the redwood forest and seeing just how much freedom you have when you are on a bike. Kayaking also doesn't have to be something you need to learn how to barrel-roll out of to have fun...it is also about coasting beside dolphins and observing sea otters in their nature habitat. Being an outdoor enthusiast is for anyone, at all levels, and R.L.T is here to introduce you to some awe-inspiring local beauty all your new outdoor playground. Not only will our tours of local beauty delight and surprise you, you may find surprise and delight in yourself as you take on this new adventure and come out empowered and inspired!
Be bold as you discover the playground that awaits you! We provide all of the equipment, expertise, and guiding during RLT's kayaking, mountain biking, hiking tours. No experience is necessary, and all equipment is provided for these journeys, you only need to bring a sense of curiosity and fun. Our guide is trained in First Aid, CPR, and basic survival skills to be able to competently handle any situation. Whether you want to visit for a day or a weekend, come be refreshed and rejuvenated on our guided adventures along The Road Less Traveled.
Your Adventure, Your Choice
R.L.T offers private guided tours for groups of 2 or more. These explorations are designed just for you and your crew. If you would like to kayak in the morning, hike in the afternoon, and ride in the evening - we can do that! These bookings are personalized so that you and your group can reconnect with nature and each other while having an adventure of a lifetime.
Also offered only to private bookings, special bonus places such as: extended Waddel 9 mile hike into Big Basin Headquarters; uncharted ride through Wilder Ranch and Pogonip forest; hike and cave exploring in the redwoods; paddle boarding; rejuvenation spa and hot tub time, hiking in Point Lobos, and more! Never a dull moment in Santa Cruz, so Come Play!
$100 for a 2 hour session for 1 person
$150 for a 2 hour session for 2 people
-includes bike, helmet, instructions, and ride
Evening activity: $65 per person
Morning or afternoon: $95 per adult
Full Day (includes 1 morning and 1 afternoon activity): $155 per adult
Full Weekend of activities (includes 2 morning, 2 afternoon, and 1 evening activity): $250 per person
Private lessons and private tour reservations are scheduled by phone or email in order to best meet your party's needs. Come Play!
Take time out to kayak the Santa Cruz wharf and discover sea otters, star fish, dolphins, and if we're really lucky whales! This adventure is offered either as a stand-alone option, or as part of a kayak & mountain bike ride full day adventure.
Details and what to expect:
3 hour kayak tour around the Santa Cruz Wharf
Local sights to be seen: Sea Lion Rock, Boardwalk beach, & Seabright Lighthouse
No experience necessary: Beginner level activity
All equipment provided
Paddling can get tiring, so it is recommended to bring a snack and water bottle with you.
Cost: $65 per adult
This tour is available with a start time beginning at 9:30 am
The Road Less Traveled is the ideal name for this particular ride, as we journey on a 14 mile round trip bike ride along the coast. This coastal ride will take you on an iconic ride starting at the Santa Cruz wharf and ending along the ocean cliffs of Wilder State Park. Your body will relax as you hear the crashing waves, see the natural bridges, watch pelicans fly over the ocean, and view the sea lions sun bathing along the cliffs edge.
This outing is offered in two forms:
As an afternoon ride by itself or as a second half of the day after kayaking. Either journey will leave you inspired as we travel past sea cliffs, stop at Natural Bridges State Park, see whale bones, and met new sea life.
2 and 1/2 hour guided tour along the cliffs of Santa Cruz
Bikes, backpacks, and water provided
Activity level: beginner to moderate
$65 per adult for activity only
This tour by itself is available with a start time of 9:30 am
This tour is offered from 1:30 pm - 3:30pm as part of a full day adventure
Have a desire to visit the lake but don't want to drive to far or make a weekend trip? R.L.T offers the perfect solution: a guided hike and paddle boat around Loch Lomond. This hidden loch provides the peace of Tahoe, without the drive. Hawks will often fly overhead as you paddle to the island in the middle of the loch.
3 hour guided hike and paddle boat around Loch Lomond
Activity level: Beginner level
$50 per adult
*Please note that this is a seasonal offering, as the Loch is closed in the winter*
Do you have a desire to go solo on one of the trips R.L.T offers but aren't sure how to do that? R.L.T will plan a perfect trip for you, which will allow you to reconnect with nature, see unique areas, and fill your soul's need for nature. These personalized adventures include additional suggestions such as: things to do downtown at the end of an adventurous day, contact information for any/all services recommended, local restaurant suggestions based upon your likes, local museums to tour, and any other local activities which may be going on during your stay here. Reconnect with nature and rewaken you spirit as R.L.T provides you with a complete and safe itinerary based on your needs which you can do at your own pace. Come Play!
Based upon your likes and interests, R.L.T will provide you with a customized list of options for a full day, 9 am - 9 pm.
Adventure activities based upon experience: beginner to intermediate recommendations provided.
$40 per itinerary
R.L.T's guided bike tour through the redwoods of Nisene Marks with a 3 mile hike will leave you speechless. Rivers, redwoods, flowers the size of your head...this adventure takes you on a discovery of micro climates. Your new playground is waiting for you-Come Play!
3 hour guided tour
Start with a mountain bike ride through the trees, followed by a 3 mile hike into the redwoods of Nisene Marks
Bikes, backpacks, and water provided
Activity Level: beginner to moderate
$65 per adult
This tour is available with a start time of 9:30 am
R.L.T takes you on adventures to caves, over fallen trees, across rivers, and more throughout the journey. You may be tired, you may get a little hungry, you may even want to turn back at times...but the adventure is always worth it. Be Daring!
Guided 2 hour hike beginning in a wooded forest, journeying into the earth at Empire Cave, and returning back through the woods.
Backpacks, headlamps, and 1-12oz water bottle per person will be provided
Activity level: beginner
$40 per person
This tour is available to begin at 10 am
R.L.T's afternoon hikes will take you through a part of history. We explore several locations of hiking: Pogonip, Henry Cowell, Wilder, Nisene Marks, and more. These hikes tend to range from 8 to 12 miles and a few of the discoveries along the way include: hidden koi ponds, unstructured rock gardens, rivers, lime kilns, forest art and more. Check the calendar to see which hikes are being offered each month and - Come Discover!
Details and what to expect:
Guided 3 hour tour through different State Parks around the Santa Cruz mountains
Local wildlife to see: hawks, deer, turkeys, coyotes, and possible bobcats
Level: Beginner to moderate. Bring comfortable shoes you are able to walk distances in.
Backpacks and water provided
Cost: $40 per adult These hikes are available with start times at 9:30 am
The Road Less Traveled certainly goes off-roading in this adventure! Moss Landing is a renowned playground for humpback whales, orcas, dolphins, and even some sharks. An ideal playground for some, and a safe haven for sea otters, seals, and sea lions as they are able to hide away in a protected cove from predators.
Guided 4 hour tour in open water starting at Moss Landing
Paddling will consist of 1- 2.5 miles off shore in open water
Recommendations to bring: snack, bottle of water, sunscreen, and a change of clothes from sea spray
No experience necessary: begining to moderate activity level
$75 per adult
This tour is offered from 9:30 am - 1:30 pm
R.L.T will guide you along misty meadows, river trails, and through the redwood forest on bikes until we end up at a river crossing. At which time, we leave our bikes in order to travel a 1 mile hike together to find not just one, but FIVE local waterfalls! This adventure begins at the picturesque beaches of Waddel, we enjoy a picnic lunch next to a waterfall, and glide back down to the beach when we are done. Chase waterfalls with us!
4-5 hour guided journey depending upon how much we linger in the forest as we take in the scenery
Slight incline to get to the waterfalls, some switch back areas, and one spot where the bike must be carried over a log
Activity level: Beginner to Moderate
No experience is necessary, and the biking is long, but not technically difficult
Bikes, small backpack, and 2 water bottles provided for the journey
$65 per person
This tour is available with a start time of 9:30 am
Santa Cruz is a wonderful area, and a place known to draw travelers. While it is always lovely having guests, it can be tricky finding new activities to entertain them when they come to town. What will they like? What won't them to get bored while they're here? What are some of the 'highlight' areas to see? The Boardwalk is lovely, but it gets old after the first few times...try something new!
When your guests are in town, you will have plenty to do with accommodations and meal planning, let R.L.T plan the activities for you and your guests during their stay. All ages and levels of experience are welcome to join in.
Take a glance at our options, select the best items for you and your guests, and prepare for a unique experience like no other. . Let's Play!
*If you don't see a date listed when your guests are in town, give us a call and we'll see what we can plan together*
R.L.T offers gift certificates so that you can share the nature you love with others. Whether you have a family member or friend who loves to explore, the Road Less Traveled enjoys sharing undiscovered nature with everyone. All gift certificates are good for two years, and are good towards any of the adventures offered with R.L.T. If you have any questions, we're here to help. Otherwise, you can purchase your gift certificate now, and in a little bit, your friend can Come Play!
Looking for a little more adventure in your day? Join R.L.T on a guided night hike to one of the best views overlooking Santa Cruz in the area. This night adventure begins with a hike, and ends downtown with a tub and sauna combo to end your evening well. Come Hike!
2 Hour Guided hike totaling 7-9 miles depending upon the route we take
Hike meanders through the redwood forest and eucalyptus trees, culminating at the top of a cliff overlooking the entire city of Santa Cruz, Moss Landing, and in to Monterey.
Headlamps, small backpack, and water bottle provided
Activity Level: Beginner
$40 per person
This tour is available with a start time beginning at sunset, varies dependent upon the season
Discover a whole new way to see Santa Cruz as you kayak along the wharf, boardwalk, and Seabright during sunset. Whether you are hoping to catch a glimpse of a whale, or the last rays of the sun, this breathtaking adventure will not disappoint. Enjoy Sunset!
2 Hour guided kayak tour around the Santa Cruz wharf at sunset
Local wildlife we may encounter: sea lions, dolphins, porpoises, whales, otter, star fish, and more.
Recommended to bring a bottle of water and snack
Ability level: Beginner
$55 per person
This tour is offered at sunset, specific times vary depending upon the season