Rating:
Area: San Francisco Peninsula
Distance: 3½ miles
Type: Out-and-back
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation gain: 600ft (from 650 - 1,250ft)

Twelve hundred feet above the Pacific Ocean, the Sweeney Ridge trail traverses the most northerly part of the Santa Cruz coastal range. Up here you can explore the abandoned buildings of the 1950's Nike missile base, or step further back in time and visit the spot where Gaspar de Portola first discovered the San Francisco bay for the European explorers in 1769.

There are several different approaches to Sweeney Ridge, and our detailed map and guide details all of them for you to choose between. The gently ascending paved trail from Sneath Lane is a pleasant option, with great views over the eastern side of the peninsula as you climb.
The distance from trailhead to the ridgeline is 3½ miles out-and-back, and you may choose to extend your hike along the ridgeline trail itself.

We recommend this trail during all seasons. You might like to check out the weather before setting off because cloud and coastal fog can obscure the views on occasions, though even hiking through fog up here can still be quite appealing.

Tangents:
- Trailspotting Images: Sweeney Ridge (Sneath Lane)
- Golden Gate National Parks
- Jef's Nike Missile Base website

101 Great Hikes of the San Francisco Bay Area by Ann Marie Brown