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Fun trail. Didn’t have my hiking boots, so bouldering was difficult. Areas of the trail require you to climb over rocks so be prepared.

Also parking in the parking lot is $8 cash. You can park on the side of the road but be warned that there is a ditch and I saw a car get stuck. Not hard to park, just be safe!

This trail was super fun. Was able to run for a good half of it. There is a lot of poison oak though, so long pants and caution is advised. gorgeous views even with fog. Once you get to the top, go to the cave. Much more satisfying than the electric plant on north peak.

hiking
9 days ago

This is a good trail when you just want to get some distance in. It’s not too challenging and has enough shade to make it doable on an 80 degree afternoon.
The down side is not much scenic variety - mostly laurel and eucalyptus forests.. I like something a little more dramatic or varied but still totally fine and nice to get a longer hike without a long drive..
I’m not the fastest hiker and this took me pretty much exactly 3 hours.

Did the Whitmore Gulch - Purisma - Craig Bitten. A total of 9.2 miles.
I would rate this Moderate

Beautiful hike and a great workout

Hike was beautiful! We took Harkins Ridge down and Whittemore Gulch back up and managed to be in the shade a majority of the time.

stream trail is the best, all in redwoods and always chillly

Beautiful forest, views (the ocean in Halfmoon Bay) and flowers.
If you are fit under 55 you can get started either way, otherwise I would go anti clockwise.

hiking
16 days ago

Started from Skyline Blvd, arrived at 9:45 on a Sunday and the parking lot was full. However, the trails were fairly quiet, garbage free and sparcely populated. Whittemore Gulch Trail was beautiful: Redwoods, shady, ferns, etc, but all downhill. Harkins Ridge was a killer. STEEP uphill and in the sun. Not pleasant at all. Did see two little foxes running across the trail.

The beginning is steep, and it was pretty foggy the day we went. The fog was actually kind of cool, though. Good 1:30ish hour hike.

Whether you start from either French Trail or Stream Trail, there's good elevation coming in and out of it. You’ll find several picnic tables along the way and enough bathroom facilities. There's also lots of side trails to explore.

My AllTrails app suddenly stopped recording at one point so I wasn't able to full record my hike but that's ok (pardon the gap on my recording).

If you decide to hike on a weekend and choose Skyline Gate Staging Area as your starting point, try to get there before 8am to have a better chance at finding parking (vs street parking).

The climb out is ennervating

Love Montara Mountain

hiking
17 days ago

Great trail for beginner or people with some hiking experience.. close to moderate but not too difficult. If u do the hills starting from west side of the lake towards north and then looping down south on the east side of lake will be better than doing the other way around unless u r a hiker who loves going up grades.. the grade from the east side of lake for a 1/2 a mile is steep.. but otherwise the hike is generally easy to moderate.. great views.. about 9 Miles long. 3- 3 1/2 hrs

What is great about this trail is that you can make it as long or short as you like. There ate lots of trails that off shoot this trail so if you want an extension or if you want to cut it short you can. The French trail is one of my favorites because first of all it’s beautiful, it’s up-and-down to get a nice workout and no bikes!
it really is a good idea to get there early as it does get crowded and it tends to get warm as you’re making your way uphill back to the parking lot. Definitely put this one on you list!

Very nice elevation loop. You will feel the burn. Start as early as possible.

Within few minutes you forget that you are very near to some of the busiest cities. A close-up experience with nature, this moderately rated hike will help you appreciate the much needed quiet time you are missing after living in the city. Good for kids who can manage some elevation.

Good workout. Nice views. Suggest getting there early (before 10am) if you want convenient parking and a peaceful hike.

Just completed a portion of the loop today. I'm giving this a Moderate to High Moderate rating. Our loop was 7.51 miles in 5 hrs, 4 mins (not including a 30 min lunch). Minimally, carry 2 liters of water or hydration pack. We spoke with the Ranger and followed her suggestion. We took Whitemore Gulch Trail down: great suggestion. Saw two bucks immediately, good trail maintenance, great views, wild flowers blooming. We came back up Harkins Trail and it is steep in several areas (8%} and in more Sun. Ranger suggested coming back up Whitemore, but you're going to have to come back up either way. if we had more tone, we'd have done the full loop.

Definitely a moderate to hard trail, more on the hard side given the elevation and distance . The entire loop is exactly 9.9miles (starting and ending at the entrance parking lot ) and we hiked it clockwise. The climb to the top is ~4.5 miles and elevation gain is around 400ft/mile and is a great workout (going Counterclockwise results in a relatively shallow climb but a steep descent which is very hard on the knees). Great Panoramic Views of the valley provide some respite in the climb. Bring lots of water. Overall, a great workout and an enjoyable hike

Surprisingly nice trail for a quick walk after work. Some decent elevation gain (especially towards the top going anti-clockwise) and good views.

I went in the evening and found anti-clockwise worked well - singletrack half of the way up and the majority in shade. Sections did have sun in the eyes so sunglasses recommended.

hiking
27 days ago

Started from the Higgins Road Trailhead. Nice mix of shady forest and great views.

This hike should be categorized as hard due to the length and the elevation. It was quite difficult doing the full loop, but completely worth it. Absolutely gorgeous.

Gorgeous and vigorous hike!

This is definitely a difficult loop. I would not recommend it to people who cannot handle slopes or the heat. The path is also not paved, and may require some climbing over large rocks and boulders. I finished it in close to 2.5 hours, but I stopped a lot for photos and to snack. The views are absolutely gorgeous!

The only con I have is that it's a very popular place, so parking can get difficult to find.

The hike is between easy to moderate. I went clockwise and found it enjoyable. The views of ocean and pine trees of rangers there are very blissful to see. Sometimes, the trail totally vanishes and all you have to do is to get past the boulder or rock covering it. Please carry bug repellent as there are lot of blood sucking insects and they will keep swarming you. Most of the time I could only only hear them. This trail would be very beautiful in raining season.

Got to Skyline parking lot before 8am on a Sunday and it was already full so had to park along the street. Hike down Stream Trail and to the other parking lot was pretty easy, shaded and downhill, passing by campsites and redwoods. Headed back via French trail, which requires some uphill initially and then a few portions of up and downhill, nothing too strenuous. Overall a good hike, just get there early.

River trail is flat and a pleasant walk. French trail portion is strenuous but fun. Lots of foilage and shade

this trail has beautiful views of the coast. the hike uphill is quite a good workout! i agree with other reviewers, do this trail clockwise. turn left first. this gives you a lot more shade during the hike up.

trail running
1 month ago

I have only run part of the trail but I love it! It is a great workout with some steep inclines. I did get lost a few times but that added to the fun.

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