Old Pedro Mountain Road

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California

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Old Pedro Mountain Road

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  • Pacifica and Mount Tamalpais seen from Old Pedro Mountain Road.- Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Old Pedro Mountain Road at McNee Ranch.- Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Picnic area at McNee Ranch, just off Old Pedro Mountain Road.- Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Highway 1 and Gray Whale Cove seen from Old Pedro Mountain Road. - Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Montara Mountain seen from Old Pedro Mountain Road.- Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Cyprus trees on Old Pedro Mountain Road.- Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Montara State Beach seen from Old Pedro Mountain Road.- Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Red elderberry (Sambucus racemosa).- Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Old Pedro Mountain Road.- Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Mountain biker on Old Pedro Mountain Road.- Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Wildflowers on Old Pedro Mountain Road.- Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Old Pedro Mountain Road.- Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Looking west from Old Pedro Mountain Road.- Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Old Pedro Mountain Road.- Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Anise swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon) on Old Pedro Mountain Road.- Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Indian paintbrush (Castilleja) on Old Pedro Mountain Road.- Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Nonnative eucalyptus grove on Old Pedro Mountain Road.- Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Pacifica and Mount Tamalpais seen from Old Pedro Mountain Road.- Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Nonnative wild everlasting sweet pea (Lathyrus latifolius) on Old Pedro Mountain Road - Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Hiker at McNee Ranch State Park.- Old Pedro Mountain Road
  • Poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) on Old Pedro Mountain Road.- Old Pedro Mountain Road
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Wildflowers. Ocean views. Gradual incline. More accessible than nearby trails.
Cons: 
Mostly paved. Poison oak.
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Region:
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for: 
Hiking
Biking
Horseback
Total Distance: 
12.00 mi (19.31 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Remnants of Old Pedro Mountain Road carve a steep and winding path through McNee Ranch and connect the coastal towns of Montara and Pacifica. Broad and paved in some parts and overgrown to a singletrack in others, Old Pedro Mountain Road is popular with hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers scaling the formidable Montara Mountain.

The road winds roughly 6 miles from Pacifica’s Higgins Way to the Corona Street Trailhead in Montara. Many choose to summit Montara Mountain via the North Peak Access Road instead of completing the entire trip between the two towns. It is 3.25 miles from Higgins Way to the North Peak turnoff (toward the top of Montara Mountain), while starting in Montara will get you to the turnoff in 2.75 miles. The summit is an additional 2.5 miles from there.

Old Pedro Mountain Road is moderate in difficulty given that switchbacks mitigate the climb to the trail’s highest point at 930 feet.  The North Peak Access Road is a more direct and strenuous route to Montara Mountain’s 1,898-foot summit.

One may also connect with Old Pedro Mountain Road via Gray Whale Cove Trail and its subsequent offshoots that unite the trails of McNee Ranch.  

Prior to construction of the Pacific Coast Highway, Old Pedro Mountain Road was the main thoroughfare between Colma and Half Moon Bay. Various incarnations of the road traversed the dangerous hillside and led to myriad auto accidents.

Broken pavement and a few wrecked cars are all that remain of the trail’s former use. Wildflowers, Cyprus trees, coastal scrub, and the elements are reclaiming the road year by year. Keep an eye out for poison oak, as it is rampant in the region.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(6 within a 30 mile radius)

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(98 within a 30 mile radius)

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