Just off Highway One in Half Moon Bay, four small beaches stretching south from Montara Mountain form the gentle two-mile curve of fine, white sand that is Half Moon Bay State Beach. To the east the Santa Cruz Mountains frame a dramatic backdrop to this captivating north central coast region known to local residents as the “Coastside.” To the west the enduring Pacific rolls vigorously across the broad, flat beach. The breakwaters of Pillar Point to the north have a buffering effect on the surf, and the waters at this end of Half Moon Bay State Beach form a calm surf. This picturesque setting is ideal for sunbathing, fishing and picnicking. A campground provides accommodations for those who wish to visit longer. The Coastside weather pattern is typical of the north central coast, with cool morning fog and highs in the mid-60s during the summer. Spring and fall bring clear, crisp days, while wind and rain – broken by an occasional bright, sunny day - rule the winter months. Dressing in layers is recommended. Beach fires are not allowed, and dogs are prohibited on the beaches at all times. Dogs are permitted in the campground, in the day-use picnic areas, and on the Coastal Trail, provided they are controlled with a leash of no more than six feet at all times.
Five stars simply for the view not really the hike. I lived near the RItz for a few years and would do a combination of the trail and the beach. On a nice low tide you can walk the entire distance on the beach or there are a few places you can go up and down to the beach and trail to change things up
Absolutely beautiful coastline! I've been staying at the pelican point RV park for the past month and 'hiked' all over this place. It really is beautiful, except it's not really what I'd consider hiking. I guess I'm just used to mountain hikes. But there are plenty of hard packed dirt trails all over the place that go for miles. Great for mountain bike riding! There is a nice paved trail that takes you around the ritz Carlton, it isn't that long (maybe 2 miles). It's extremely dog friendly just beware of ticks because they are EVERYWHERE! Make sure you check and recheck yourself and pets if you hit the trails or go anywhere near brush.
Beautiful stunning vistas on this coastal trail. I only remembered to track it one way, but it was a nice hike. Lots of ruts in places, spots to walk the beach, and in early May the wildflowers are gorgeous! Wind advisory today made it tough (30-35 mph gusts), but worth it.