Along this trail you can hear the waves crashing on the beach. Home. Montara Mountain Hike at McNee Ranch State Park, between Pacifica & Montara, CA. The trail is located within the McNee Ranch, which located within the Montara State Beach. From Peak to Beach Hike the North Peak of Montara Mountain, then Hit the Beach! Montara Mountain Trail offers the versatility of using the Brooks Creek Trail intersection to descend back to the park or the more challenging option of continuing on up the mountain where the trail ends at the San Pedro Valley Park Boundary at approximately 1,600 feet of elevation gain. This self-guided audio tour stretches between San Francisco and Los Angeles, one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world! Montara Mountain, really just a massive ridge paralleling the San Andreas Fault, is one of the San Francisco Bay Area's more popular destinations for uphill-oriented hikers. Today, the lighthouse has expanded to a hostel and beach access point for hikers. Starting Point: Montara State Beach parking lots, CA Rte. Parking and pedestrian access are relatively easy. About a quarter mile in, you’ll get to an unsigned junction. On the west side of Highway 1, look for an odd building "balanced" on some eroded sandstone. The Graywhale Cove State Beach is a popular seaside trail that’s just 20 minutes south of San Francisco. 3 of 4 The parking lot at Montara State Beach, along with all other California state parks, has been closed to limit visitors during coronavirus outbreak in Montara, Calif., on Sunday, March 29, 2020. It also includes a popular scenic detour along Monterey’s 17 Mile Drive at Pebble Beach. Restaurants and grocery stores are nearby. Park here and start up the trail. The trail starts at the beach (with occasional dolphins, and the hope of whales), and then climbs slowly but steadily forever. Continue up the main Montara Mountain Access Road for a steep 0.9 mile/600-foot climb. The Hike is called the Montara Mountain North Peak hike, along the North Peak Access Road. Calafia Beach. In mid-winter, on a clear day in January, there are few hikes as pretty as Montara Mountain. "A tautology is a thing that is tautological. Montara Mountain Trail is a 6.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Pacifica, California that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. Road access to the Montara State Beach (MSB) trailheads is via California's famous Highway 1. The trail is primarily used for hiking and running and is accessible year-round. Water, Dog Friendly, Hikes. Dawn Page / CoastsideSlacking. 22 trails with 216 photos Here, challenging switchbacks await you over granite rock mixed with rich red clay higher and higher up the mountain with each sequential elevation change offering a broader view of both the park below and the western coast. You’ll also see an impressive array of wildflowers and chaparral plants along the trail. Montara Mountain is an easy summit to add to your Bay Area peakbagging list, a fun hike for families and dogs, or a challenging trail run that will leave your calves screaming. If you're just into a nice day at the beach, this is the beach for you. The trail is flat once you climb the gentle slope from the parking lot. Watch Queue Queue. The hike starts at the same limited parking lot on the east side off Highway 1. Compared to the SPVCP approach, the MSB approach is more exposed to the wind and has less water. Montara Mountain Wildflower Hike. The hikes are short, but you should be self-sufficient. Perched on a bluff, this historic lighthouse offers access to coastal beach hikes. Image of waves, hike, summer - 94431703 The cut-over trail provides the best views of the Montara Beach area. 2) Chill and enjoy the beach. Peninsula & South Bay. ", Images Start at the Gray Whale Cove trailhead on the southeast side of its namesake parking lot (arrive early, parking fills quickly here). Share. From here, simply follow the Montara Mountain Access Road another 1.6 miles/+600 feet to the north (true) summit of Montara Mountain. Calafia Beach is city-operated park and beach on state park property in San Clemente, CA. 03.21.2019. Join us for an easy 2-mile hike along the scenic Gray Whale Cove Trail. At this point, vegetation has turned to thick coastal scrub. Bring water and good walking shoes and dress for the weather. May 25, 2017 - Hi Point Lighthouse is a coastal lighthouse in Montara, CA. Morning on the mountain, afternoon at the beach, and in between both: banner ocean views. Navigate from your starting point to MSB with Yahoo! The ascent continues at a more moderate degree winding around the hilltop with a panoramic view of the western portion of Montara Mountain Ridge before meeting the steep flank of the mountain. The rest of the hike is pretty much uphill. See McNee Ranch map. Welcome to the GPS-enabled driving tour of California’s famous Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway! HiddenSF also has some walking trails for Half Moon Bay that include Montara and a few others. At the Gray Whale Cove parking area, find the Gray Whale Cove Trail at the southeast end of the lot. Because of the mellow vibe, even if you don’t want to get into the water, you can just lie in the sand with a cold drink or even bring your own inflatable sofa for a perfect beach weekend. Navigate from your starting point to MSB with Yahoo! This video is unavailable. Montara mountain (also known as McNee Ranch) is part of Montara State Beach. 3) Clean as you go. The most popular route up the mountain is the North Peak Access Road, a bright white sandy road that cuts through brilliant green coastal scrub under bright blue skies, with pretty coastal views and cool air. (3), Climber's Log Entries View Montara State Beach Image Gallery - 3 Images. A hike on Gray Whale Cove Trail will take your breath away. Discover ocean views, coastal plants, wildlife, and historic sites. North Peak Access Rd (0.95 miles) → San Pedro Mountain Rd (0.79 miles) → North Peak Access Rd (2.21 miles) to North Peak / Mount Montara. Montara Mountain hike at McNee Ranch is a fabulous 7-10 roundtrip mile walk up to the 1898 foot North Peak summit. The red trail is a mile longer, with some up-and-down, though its gentler grade makes it the preferred bicycle ascent route. Point Montara has a lighthouse that offers overnight accommodations. This route to the summit of Montara Mountain is a longer, more scenic alternative to the direct route on North Peak Access Road Trail. Maps. Several portions are via historic trails once used by Indians, Spanish explorers, and early San Francisco settlers. turnoff for the San Pedro Valley County Park approach. From the parking lot you can hike toward the Rangers Residence or take the cut-over trail toward the Gray Whale Cove trail. If you're into California geology, this is a must-see beach. It is operated by Hostelling International, a non-profit group. "The reward for completing this 6.7-mile loop is a stunning panoramic view that includes Montara State Beach to the west, the Golden Gate Bridge to the north and the Port of Oakland to the east. The beach is bounded by low hills both to the north and south. Don’t scatter trash or leave anything behind that might go into the water. (view on Google Maps) Gray Whale Cove Trail - Photo by Jennifer Jean. If you are without a car, or planning to do a through-hike which begins or ends at another trailhead, public transportation options are quite convenient. Furthermore, there is very little usable water on any of the Montara Mountain trails at any time of the year, especially in summer. Hi Point Lighthouse Overview: Located a short 15-20 minute drive north of Half Moon Bay, Hi Point Montara Lighthouse is a historic and still operating coastal emblem.The historic lighthouse opened in 1875 to serve as a maritime compass and guide ships through coastal fog. Maps. The yellow trail climbs straight up the hill, while a nearby paved road (red) provides a more steady climb up the slopes. This trailhead is about 4 miles south on Highway 1 from the Linda Mar Blvd. Respect the beach! Lingering wildflowers and sweeping Pacifica views … this 1,900-foot peak hike up Pacifica’s Montara Mountain has it all, including a beach ending! 1, across from McNee Ranch/Montara Mountain trail area (also landmark of Ocean View Farms), or further south near 2ndSt., Montara. Once out from the Eucalyptus, the trail offers lush coastal scrub and beautiful Manzanita groves leading past the Brooks Creek Trail intersection. The change in elevation brings its specialties: impressive granite rock formations, the rare Montara Manzanita which only grows on this mountain and all the other resilient coastal plant colonies that have thrived at this altitude for centuries. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports. There is also much more parking at the Gray Whale Cove trailhead. The San Mateo County Transit Authority offers bus service to the town of Montara, about one mile from the trailhead. Open the geological map app and find the contact point between the Pleistocene marine terrace and the Miocene granite of the Montara Block. From there, the trail continues onto McNee Ranch State Park property where it intersects at the ridge of the Mountain with Montara Mountain Road and continues west down to Montara State Beach. The Montara Mountain Trail is a two-for-one: You can easily combine it with a visit to beautiful Montara Beach, less than half a mile away. Getting there: The trailhead is five miles south of Pacifica and 8.7 miles north of Half Moon Bay, right off of Hwy 1. turnoff for the San Pedro Valley County Park approach. This access road is lined with beautiful granite outcroppings and offers the stunning vistas of the San Francisco Bay on the one side and Montara State beach and Half Moon Bay on the other. Montara Mountain is one of my go-to trails for hot summer days when every other trail in the Bay Area is too hot to hike. Park at Gray Whale Cove State Beach on the inland side of Highway One, 1.4 miles north of La Costanera Restaurant in Montara. It’s all within 3 miles’ reach on the Peninsula when you get an early start at Montara State Beach. After 0.75 miles and 250 feet of climbing, you come to an obvious junction. The initial climb begins with gorgeous ocean views, and to these are added views of the rugged hillsides. For directions to the beach check out the CA Parks and Recreation page for Grey Whale Cove State Beach, they also include longitude and latitude coordinates. Refer to the trail map given above. On this schedule map, you would get off the bus at stop "B" in Montara, and head north along highway 1 until you reach the trailhead. All Rights Reserved. There's tons of sand. If not for the crowds wh… Step 2,261: We look over our shoulders and enjoy the view of Montara, Montara State Beach and Pillar Point. You cannot miss this! This trailhead is about 4 miles south on Highway 1 from the Linda Mar Blvd. Here you reach the junction (small sign) with the trails coming up from SPVCP. Photo about Trail to Montara State Beach, California on a sunny summer day with people on the beach. Although the Montara Mountain Trail is a wide fire road, you start off with the feeling of walking along a bluff, looking down at the ocean and Montara Beach. (1). A bus map from transitinfo.org. Montara Beach, Montara, California, 94019 (scroll to bottom for photo gallery) Location: CA Rte 1 in Montara, CA, across from McNee Ranch/Montara Mountain state park area. Distance: 7.0 miles Elevation change: 1,870 feet Difficulty: Moderate Hiking time: 3-4 hours Season: This hike is accessible and enjoyable all year, but spring is the best time to see the wildflower blooms. About 1/4 mile south of this, you will see a large dirt parking area on the east side of the road. Montara Mountain Trail starts as a meandering jaunt through the Blue Gum Eucalyptus forest with striking glimpses of coastal Pacifica and the ocean beyond. Although the summit views from many other Bay Area high points are more expansive than Montara's, the western routes up the mountain climb through myriad coastal "microclimates" and provide stellar views of the Pacific Ocean. Hike to the summit of North Peak Montara Mountain via North Peak Access Road from Montara State Beach through McNee Ranch State Park and you’ll win a superb panorama of the San Francisco Bay Area and the Pacific Ocean, including the Farallon Islands.
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