The Montara Mountain Trail at the San Pedro Valley County Park.
This is a long hike ( 5.0 miles ...ONE WAY ) that goes all the way up the mountain then down to Montara State Beach. Give yourself at least 4-5 hours to finish the hike !
We have found that it is much easier is to take 2 cars. First we drive both cars approximatly (3.8 miles South from the Linda Mar light on Highway 1 ) to the SECOND parking lot turnoff (Grey Whale Trail/McNee Ranch) ,ON THE LEFT side of the highway. Make sure that you go PAST the first big parking lot...(remember to go all the way to the much smaller 2nd parking lot on the left (that is around .8miles ) AFTER the bigger parking lot ( It is a bit confusing since both parking lots are called Montara State Beach/McNee Ranch. We park 1 car there, then we drive back (3.8 miles) to Pacifica and turn right on Linda Mar Blvd, and go all the way back(1.2 miles) , to San Pedro Valley County Park and park there.
We usually begin our hike around 10AM at San Pedro Park at the Montara Mountain Trailhead, at the parking lot. You follow the trail up a long uphill hike up to the Montara Mountain overpass (2.1 miles to the summit),.. from there you meet up with the North Peak Access Road, you can either go Left and UP even higher (1.4 miles) to the mountain summit at 1878 feet OR you can go Right and DOWN the North Peak Access Road (2.5 miles) to the parking lot at McNee Ranch. By this time it is around 3PM. Believe me, you will really appreciate having your car there, to get in to drive back to San Pedro Valley Park afterwards!!!
On this long hike you will see Red Tail hawks, turkey vultures, coyotes, squirrels, rabbits, ....and maybe a... mountain lion. There are many varieties of mountain chaparral native plants as well........AND there are great vistas of ocean views to see from the mountain top. It is really beautiful and well worth the workout.
Make sure that you bring good hiking boots, water, food, jacket(as it may get windy), and a hiking stick. I never really used a hiking stick before until I realized how steep the North Peak Access Road coming down the mountain was!! The hiking stick actually allows you to cushion the steepness of the downgrade. Always let someone know that you are hiking that trail. The Montara side closes at sunset. The gates close at San Perdo Park at 8PM !
For more information you can call 650-726-8819
Have a great trip!!!!