Montara Mountain, Pacifica CA


• 4-star hike
• 6.5 to 11.0 mile options
• Medium difficulty | Gain 1,650 to 2,180 feet
• Pacifica, CA | San Francisco Bay Area
• Directions: San Pedro, North Peak, Grey Whale, Pedro Mt


The massiveness of Montara Mountain, viewed from Sweeney Ridge.

If you’re looking for sun along the fog-bound San Francisco peninsula coastline, then Montara Mountain is the place to head for. Rising almost 2,000 feet above the beaches of Pacifica, here is where the sun often breaks through the clouds. Even when the sun continues to hide, there’s still a chance that by the time you hike to the summit you’ll be hiking above the clouds.

You're spoiled for choice if you want to scale this peak, so we've traced the best and most popular routes to the top and provided individual maps that you can use to navigate the area's trails.

San Pedro, North Peak, Grey Whale, Pedro Mt


San Pedro Valley Park 4★
6.5 mi, Out & Back, Medium, Gain 1,650 ft
Our favourite way up the mountain is also the most direct. Beginning at San Pedro Valley Park the narrow trail winds through eucalyptus forest then rocky coastal chapparal before linking half way up the North Peak Access Road. This approach up the northern flanks of the mountain offers some great coastal views of Pacifica and across the Golden Gate. We have more about San Pedro Valley Park in a separate trail review linked below.
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails
Trailspotting San Pedro Valley Park

North Peak Access 4★
7.8 mi, Out & Back, Medium, Gain 1,800 ft
Wide and steady, this winding service road provides a gradual climb up Montara Mountain with views of the appraoching peak.
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails

Grey Whale Cove 4★
8.9 mi, Out & Back, Medium, Gain 1,745 ft
An alternative way of staring a North Peak Access Road hike, but with an extended preamble up and along some coastal hills. From the Grey Whale Cove trailhead some like to make their own route directly up the hill and shortcut the winding trail, but please be respectful of the landscape.
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails

Pedro Mountain Road 4★
11.0 mi, Out & Back, Medium, Gain 2,180ft
Before the Devils' Slide road in front of the coastal cliffs, and definitely before the digging of the Tom Lantos Tunnel, the Pedro Mountain Road was the only connection between Pacifica and Half Moon Bay, and the smaller settlements in between. Crumbling pavement still exists on this wide trail, before it connects up to the North Peak Access Road.
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails


Montara Mountain Trail in San Pedro Valley Park.

Tangents:
• Trail Links: Official, Public Map at AllTrails
• Facebook Group: Comment on this article

San Francisco's Best Hikes
For great Bay Area trails check out Trailspotting's Best Hikes of the San Francisco Bay.

LA's Best Hikes
Explore the natural side of tinseltown with Trailspotting's Best Hikes of Los Angeles.
Bluesky Icon   Facebook Icon    Flipboard Icon   Instagram Icon   Mastadon Icon   Reddit Icon   RSS Feed Icon   Threads Icon
Subscribe for new trail reviews weekly

Trailspotting is non-commercial, ad-free and for the public good. Share and enjoy!
Content provided without warranty of accuracy. Copyright © 2005-2024 Stuart Green all rights reserved. Reproduction requires explicit consent.
About Trailspotting.