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If you hike this loop I recommend hiking clockwise. I made the mistake of hiking counter clockwise and could not find where the trail picked back up after crossing the road from Mori point. I was where the trail head should have been, but as always in California quite literally nothing is identified or marked. I searched around for probably 20 min trying to find the hiking trail, but found no success. I ended up on a mountain biking trail that ran kind of close to the hiking trail and figured I could cut across a gulch through some brush to get to the hiking trail. DO NOT DO THIS! Yes the trails are close, but the brush and foliage is thick and there is an area between the two where some homeless people have set up camp. This hike took me 4.5 hours to complete when it should have taken me 3-3.5. Be sure to take plenty of water on this hike as your are exposed for essentially all of it

Great views!

I love this trail. It has many interesting features. If you go while it’s misty it adds even another element of beauty. One of my local favorites for sure.

Definitely one of my favorite trails!

The drive to the trailhead is gorgeous. I only completed a portion of the trail because I arrived so late but it was windy, with wildlife all around, and beautiful views of the coast.

The beginning was steep. Towards the end of the trail there was an abandoned missile site which was pretty much graffitied. The view was okay, I could see the ocean in the back. There were no shades so it is best to go in the morning.

This loop is for hiking only. No bikes allowed. Instead if you head down the hill from the firestation, you'll find a fire road that leads to double bow and then to railroad grade.

Love this hike! Great views.

Coastal view is awesome on the top of mountain. But wind is pretty strong, remember to wear warm coat!

Great family hike! Came here with my family on Christmas day, and there's definitely pretty steep up and downs, but my parents managed just fine with a walking stick. We did a clockwise loop, South Ridge Trail to end of the Bluff Trail, a quick jaunt to the first viewpoint on the Middle Ridge Trail, then headed back to the parking lot via Arroyo Trail. Total was 2.55 mi, 653 ft of elevation change. Beautiful views of the coast on a sunny clear day. Bring a hat and layers for the wind and the chilly shaded Arroyo Trail.

One of my fav hikes within an hour of San Francisco. It’s a good deal of elevation changes so prob deserves the hard rating. Great coastline views and you traverse some meadows.

Steep but worth it.

Beautiful hike with a few redwood groves along the way, easy for conversation because it’s not too difficult

It’s pretty fun with great waterfalls.

great views of the area. about two areas with steep elevation gain. there is a little network (3) of trails that can get a little confusing, so be sure to download the map. took us about 4 hours with time for pictures and resting. no reception in the parking lot, but spotty through out the trail.

Got there on Sunday, was not crowded at all. Gradual elevation may make you catch your breath. Overall a nice trail for getaway.

hiking
1 month ago

The Hazelnut Trail is a steady incline for the first 2 miles, the switchbacks make it easier. Saw rabbits, chipmunks, lots of deer.
This December day started partly cloudy with intermittent sunshine. Made for a beautiful day!

This is my third time hiking in the area and each time I see something new. This is a great workout with stairs and a good mix of ascending/descending, all with a great view. This is also one of the shorter mileage hikes that features the ridge and the beach.

Really enjoyed this route! I see a variety of descriptions here, some of which don’t match up with my experience....

Middle Peak Fire Road; Lakeview; International; Upper Northside; Eldridge Grade Fire Road

If you go counterclockwise on the loop, it’s towards the easy end of “moderate” - I felt like the whole trail went down or level, but somehow I magically ended up where I started (meaning the climb was so subtle it didn’t really register). Steepest climb on my route was hike the highway back to my car in the east peak lot.

You do need to pay attention to your route though! There are several unmarked trails that can easily lead you off course. And in future, I’ll start from the International trailhead instead of the east peak lot/middle peak fire rd.

Most of the views everyone talks about are on the Eldridge Grade portion and at the trailheads/parking spots. Beautiful trek through madrone and oak woodlands to redwood groves at Collier Spring. I hiked it after a decent storm so there was a lot of downed limbs on the trail. And I had it entirely to myself for everything but the last mile when two mountain bikers passed by on the fire road.

today I covered this loop except I started from South parking lot of purisma which is by skyline Blvd hwy 35. There are space for about 12 cars. however this entrance is much less popular and only have couple of cars Wednesday morning at 10:30. from here it's a gentle 1.8 miles downhill fire road to intersection of Craig Britton trail. once down to purisma creek, it's a flat trail all the way to Higgins road trail head which is pretty popular with about 12 cars parked. the flat creek trail has more people, I ran into 10 hikers and one biker. at early November, the creek is still flowing, a little miracle for peninsula. from Higgins to Harkins ridge trail is mostly exposed and hence dusty just like other south Bay trails. from this point to intersection of Craig Britton trail is all uphill with couple of steep sections. this part of Harkins ridge trail is not pleasant. then comes the beautiful part once I turn into Craig Britton trail which is gentle downhill narrower hiker only trail. it's in the redwood Grove and shady all the way. this trail is as enjoyable as the flat creek trail. there are fewer people on either Harkins ridge or Craig Britton trail. then I turned back to South parking lot. this route is 10.7 miles long with 2297 feet up and 2297 downhill according to Google maps. Google estimate 4.5 hours for the route. it took me 5.2 hours. it's a good hike.

So amazing- loved this trail and was not too difficult, esp. with a good bike! I started in Pacifica and went all the way to Moss Beach, where my family joined me by car and picked me up. - The trail continues down Montara Mountain and goes behind Sun Valley Equestrian, all the way to the town of Moss Beach.

Really good hike. The hike gets really steep towards the north peak. Recommended to do it early in the day so you are done by noon.

Great length of hike and definitely I’d rate this as moderate l. Steep dusty uphills are rewarded with nice downhills in intervals. The views along the way are absolutely worth the sweat! Bring a jacket if it’s foggy because on the way back you’ll need it in the areas with all the trees! We’ll do this one again for sure.

Lots of steep uphill but the scenery is worth it

I'll admit I was unsure of the trails quality for the first half of the detoured loop, a detour because a good third of the stated loop is rendered unhike-able. Once we reached the waterfalls, though, wow. After the waterfall (moving counter-clock) you reach the trail's maximum elevation where the terrain shifts suddenly from the damp redwood covered valley floor to dry granite ridges.



Nature rocks.

Amazing for a first hike on Mt.Tam! Loved the varied terrain from forest to ocean view. A treat for the kid in you to hike down stairs, to the creek, over bridges and then to climb a 10 rung sturdy ladder. Take your time and enjoy!

Absolutely fun hike. A must for anyone with an itch for nature and to escape.

Steep and beautiful views.

Very steep coming up or down from parking area...but not so steep that I had to slide on my butt.

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