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.