Area: San Francisco Peninsula
Distance: 2½ miles
Elevation gain: 650ft (from 200 - 850ft)
Although little rain can sometimes put a damper on a hiker's day, a good rainfall at San Pablo Valley Park can bring the Brooks Falls loop trail to life in a very real sense. Coupled with the fact that this part of Pacifica, towards the back of Linda Mar, gets more sun than most makes this a great hike for locals tackle in the early months of the year.
Pick up the Brooks Creek trailhead located near the restrooms and follow it uphill through a forest of eucalyptus. At a fork in the trail, take the uphill direction and you'll soon be clear of the forest and surrounded by scrub and manzanita with views of the surrounding hills and sound of water in Brooks Creek below.
The best viewing spot for Brooks Falls is just before the half-way point in the hike, but don't expect much more than a drizzle of water unless the area has experienced recent heavy rainfall. There are also picturesque ocean views at the end of Brooks Creek trail where it intersects with the Montara Mountain trail. Hang a left, and return down Montara Mountain trail back to the park entrance.
San Pedro Valley Park charges a day use fee and operates seasonal opening times. You'll find plenty of parking, an interpretive center, barbecue areas, picnic tables and open spaces.
- Trailspotting Images: Brooks Falls Loop on Flickr
- San Mateo County: San Pedro Valley Park
- BA Hiker: Waterfall Loop