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Montara Mountain Trail

San Pedro Valley County Park

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California

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Montara Mountain Trail

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  • Lupine and sword fern (Polystichum munitum) overlooking the Pacific.- Montara Mountain Trail
  • Pacifica seen from Montara Mountain Trail.- Montara Mountain Trail
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Montara Mountain Trail
  • Montara Mountain Trail becomes rocky and steep toward the summit.- Montara Mountain Trail
  • Eucalyptus trees on Montara Mountain Trail.- Montara Mountain Trail
  • Cream bush (Holodiscus discolor) on Montara Mountain Trail.- Montara Mountain Trail
  • Montara Mountain Trail.- Montara Mountain Trail
  • Poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) on Montara Mountain Trail.- Montara Mountain Trail
  • Eucalyptus trees on Montara Mountain Trail.- Montara Mountain Trail
  • Eucalyptus trees on Montara Mountain Trail.- Montara Mountain Trail
  • Montara Mountain Trail.- Montara Mountain Trail
  • Wild blackberries often grow near poison oak.- Montara Mountain Trail
  • Montara Mountain Trail.- Montara Mountain Trail
  • Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).- Montara Mountain Trail
  • Trails of San Pedro Valley County Park.- Montara Mountain Trail
  • Mount Diablo seen from Montara Mountain Trail.- Montara Mountain Trail
  • Marin Headlands and the Pacific seen from Montara Mountain Trail.- Montara Mountain Trail
  • - Montara Mountain Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Shaded lower segment. Stunning Pacific views. Lush landscape.
Cons: 
Poison oak. Insects. No bikes or dogs allowed.
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Region:
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
5.00 mi (8.05 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Montara Mountain Trail carves a path through the dense brush and challenging terrain of Montara Mountain’s north face. Protected from the winds of the Pacific, the landscape varies significantly from the southern and western routes. 

Nonnative eucalyptus groves shade hikers on the gradual switchbacks of the trail’s lower segment. As the singletrack climbs in elevation, views of the Pacific and San Pedro Valley below are revealed. Multiple overlooks provide a chance for hikers to rest and take in the scenery along the challenging 2.5-mile climb.

Montara Mountain Trail leaves San Pedro Valley County Park and becomes gnarly and rough hewn toward the summit. The rugged, rocky path gives way to a North Peak Access Road before reaching the top of the mountain. The highest point, North Peak, is approximately 1 mile from the end of Montara Mountain Trail. However, North and Middle Peaks both house communication towers, and the slightly closer and lower Peak Mountain is a recommended place to summit that is free from electrical buzz.  

Peak Mountain lies to the west of the access road and can be identified by a small cave and the absence of radio towers. It is approximately 7 miles round trip from San Pedro Valley to Peak Mountain. Completing Montara Mountain Trail without continuing to the top of the mountain is roughly 5 miles.

The gates to San Pedro Valley County Park are locked near sunset, and posted closing times change seasonally. The day use fee is $6. Dogs and bikes are prohibited on Montara Mountain Trail.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(6 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(101 within a 30 mile radius)

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