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Pets allowed
Yes
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
2.60 mi (4.18 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Devils Slide Trail lies a mile south of Pacifica at the base of Pedro Point Headlands. The 1.3-mile trail is entirely paved and strewn with the industrial trappings of safety and necessity. Wire netting fights the forces of gravity that give the rock-slide prone area its name. Fencing and cement barricades keep visitors at a safe distance from potentially crumbling cliffs. If the broad, paved trail gives you the eerie feeling that you’re walking down the middle of an abandoned highway, it’s because you are.

Devils Slide Trail is a decommissioned section of Highway 1, closed in 2013 after the completion of tunnels to reroute traffic around the eroding hillside. Landslides plagued the area for decades and subsequently cutoff costal access on Highway 1. 

The Bay Area coastline roughly follows the boundary between the North American and Pacific Plates. Along the trail, beautiful striations can be seen in the sedimentary rock heaved upward by plate tectonics. It is the collision of this rock with Montara Mountain's granite, in combination with the constant pounding of the Pacific Ocean, that contributes to the area's notorious erosion. 

The dramatic geology and gorgeous ocean views that previously tempted drivers to peek away from the road can now be enjoyed at a slower pace. Walkers and bikers make the 2.6-mile round trip stopping off at overlooks furnished with benches and sea view telescopes. The trail is ADA accessible and suitable for all ability levels; however, the northbound segment is a bit steep. 

Signage indicates that the trail is open to equestrians, but the logistics of getting a horse to the site are challenging. Each end of the trail has limited parking and will not comfortably accommodate a horse trailer. Riding a horse along Highway 1 to either entrance is not advisable. 

Water and restrooms are located at each trailhead, and dogs are allowed on leash. A free weekend shuttle is available from Pacifica. Visit cityofpacifica.org for schedules.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

ADA Accessible. Scenic overlooks. Dogs allowed.

Cons

Crowded. Very limited parking. Completely paved.

Trailhead Elevation

373.00 ft (113.69 m)

Net Elevation Gain

240.00 ft (73.15 m)

Address

Pacific Coast Hwy.
5927
Pacifica, CA 94044
United States

Features

Historically significant
Whale watching
Wildlife
Bird watching
Big vistas
Wildflowers
ADA accessible
Geologically significant

Suitable for

Biking
Horseback

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California

Nearby Lodging + Camping

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California
Golden Gate National Recreation Area

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