Mori Point, Pacifica CA


• 4-star hike
• 1.3 to 2.2 mile options
• Easy & Medium difficulty | Gain 140 to 450 feet
• Pacifica, CA | San Francisco Bay Area
• Driving Directions: Mori Rd, Calera Creek, Rockaway



California Coastlines
More California coastal hikes and beaches to check out at Trailspotting.com.

When savoring the splendor of the coastal bluffs of Mori Point in Pacifica you might want to bear in mind that the views here were so nearly very different. Developers have considered many plans for this land - condominiums, commercial development, an intersection for a new freeway extension and even a proposal to create a "Coney Island of the West" on the wetlands below.

At the turn of the millenium the fervent efforts of the Pacifica Land Trust, California Coastal Conservency and the Trust for Public Land resulted in the purchase of the land and it was turned over to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area for preservation and restoration. An area that was once overrun with criss-crossing desire paths and ruts created by offroad motorcycles, these bluffs have recovered nicely and now the endangered red-legged frogs can now croak out a sigh of relief.

Mori Rd, Hilltop, Circuit Expand Map

Sunsets from Mori Point are rarely the same twice, and in the morning the hills are also a great whale and dolphin watching location. We describe three looping trails of varying difficulty, all of which offer excellent coastal views.

Mori Point Road 4★
1.3 miles, Loop, Easy, Gain 140 ft
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails

Easiest of the routes with the least amount of elevation. Note that the Upper Mori Trail (the higher of the two parallel trails) is rougher, so if you're looking for something easier and flatter still then take the Old Mori Road that runs adjacent to the residential neighborhood and leads to the wetlands boardwalk. To reach the coastal bluffs from the beach area you'll need to climb the long Bootleggers Steps, but there's also a nearby Coastal Trail that switchbacks up the hill.

Many folk prefer to turn North at the beach and continue along the flat coastal levee that leads towards Pacifica Pier where you'll find a cafe selling snacks as well as drinks. This area includes a large parking lot and can be a good alternative location to begin your hike.

There are no parking fees at any of the Mori Point trailheads. For this route we recommend parking at the end of Bradford Way near Route 1, but this is also the busiest parking spot so we list an alternative trailhead at the end of Fairway Drive, but please be respectful as this is located in a residential neighborhood.


Views from the top of the Bootleggers Steps.

Hilltop Route 4★
2.2 mi, Medium, Loop, Gain 450ft
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails

For hikers with a predilection for hills, this route ties together the park's ridgelines while avoiding some of the steepest hillside tracks. There are great views in all directions from these modest peaks. Up on the Timigtac Trail you may find an occasional half-buried tyre, reminding you that these hills were once a popular motorcycle scrambling spot.

Easiest parking is at Scott Lane by Calera Creek at a set of Route One traffic lights in the Reina del Mar neighborhood of Pacifica. If this is full, we've marked out several alternative parking areas on our map.

Circuit Route 4★
2.1 mi, Loop, Medium, Gain 340 ft
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails

Slightly more forgiving than the Hilltop Route, this approach still provides excellent views and includes the Bluff Trail which features excellent views from the clifftops. This area is also where the final moments of the 1971 Harold and Maude movie was filmed for those with an interest in noodly 1970s cinema. Utilize the same parking spots as for the Hilltop Route.


Boardwalk at the end of Mori Point Road protecting wetland wildlife from trail traffic.

Rockaway Beach is a popular Pacifica spot for visitors with its hotels and restaurants, in addition to the large ocean-side free parking area that we marked on the map. You can easily reach Mori Point from here by following the paved path that leads from the parking are and runs adjacent to Calera Creek. We also marked an alternative trail that starts at the beach and heads up the hill, but this is for the more adventurous as it requires a stream crossing and a very steep section of trail.


Sunset from the summit of Mori Point Hill.


Looking North over Sharp Park golf course and towards San Francisco and Mt Tamalpais.


Spring wildflowers on Mori Point's coastal bluffs.

Nearby Trails:
• Show on map: All nearby trails

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

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