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Been on the hike to Black Mtn many times but especially love going in the late fall or early spring when the temps are cooler. I've never heard of a Monte Bello "Loop" before and you won't find signage in the preserve that says that. Its a series of trails; be sure to grab a map. The landscape is beautiful here and weather often different from the valley. From parking, we usually take the Bella Vista Trail to the Backpack Camp and then follow the old Ranch Trail - it lets you out onto the road just shy of the top. We often lunch on the rocks at the top of the mountain (Calera Limestone) after checking for rattlers first. The return via Indian Creek Trail is GORGEOUS, especially in spring, but also rocky, steep & open exposure - luckily we were prepared for the brief rain we got today. When we junction with the Canyon Trail that leads back to parking, we've come so far down the hill that its a sustained climb back up - not always fun at the end of a long hike. If this return trails sound too challenging, suggest taking Bella Vista back down.

trail running
13 days ago

Can start also at Parker Ranch near Saratoga Country Club, crosses Fremont Older & Stevens Creek Park boundaries. Have phone or GPS, lots of forks, options & Vista points

All paved (for better or worse), nice views, good work out.

Unfortunately, lots of air traffic noise pollution (right by the airport).

hiking
24 days ago

Hiked up here today (started in Stern Grove and did a big 5.5 mile loop, including a stretch through the mansions in St. Johns Wood neighborhood). Amazingly clear day, almost no wind at all. Saw a 2' long garter snake on the top of Mt. Davidson! Panoramic views taking in Sutro Tower/Twin Peaks to the north, downtown SF to the northeast, south of Mission, south SF, over to Brisbane... As well as clear views of the East Bay, including Mt. Diablo way off in the distance. In the western direction we could see some of the Farallon Islands as well. My wife prefers this location over Twin Peaks because there are no cars and no crowds -- it's a lot more peaceful!

on Fort Funston Trail

27 days ago

Great place to bring your pup! Fun running in the dunes - great views

This is more of a dog park than a trail. Great if you like dogs. To be avoided if you don’t like dogs or are running.

Scenery: 2
Views: 4
Difficulty: 3.5
Crowds: 3
Shade: 1

My 1-5 Rating Scale Comparisons for above:
5 for Scenery; Mcway Falls Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP
4.5 for Scenery: Berry Creek Falls Big Basin State Park
4 for Scenery: Steep Ravine Trail

5 for Views: Nimitz Trail Tilden Park
5 for Views: Ridge Trail San Bruno Mtn Park
4.5 for Views Montara Mtn Summit San Pedro County Park
4 for Views Rancho Canada Del Oro Bald Peaks trail

5 for Difficulty: Junipero Serra Peak
4 for Difficulty: Mount El Sombroso Loop Trail

Love the views of the hills & Bay Area. The hills give you a great workout. Interesting to see the Nike Missle site and learning about the history. I'd definitely do this again and hopefully keep hiking down to the Farallones Trail. Love the smells of the nearby plants and eucalyptus trees.

Decent workout, gorgeous views of bay area and pacifico

gorgeous views. lots of sand and dogs

The walk, as others have said, is completely ruined by the tall barbed wire fence - completely unnecessary, we have walked around many reservoirs that don’t employ such aggressive boundary techniques. However, the water temple is beautiful and peaceful and made it worthwhile - this is what gets the stars! But if the temple had been closed I would have been disappointed by this hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Super when it's not foggy or windy. Woof!

Lots of shade once you move off the top of the ridge. The redwoods are great and not that much elevation for a relaxing hike.

2 months ago

Was nice, went with Fuqua Energy Club Gang for Klinkman’s bday, some pretty aggressive hills for the first half. But definitely some panoramic views. Getting there took longer than I thought because the road up was classic windy and frankly would be insanely dangerous in the dark because I didn’t see any streetlights and I did see a lot of steep drops around some intense u-corners.

Beautiful views of the Pacific, but too many dogs off leash to be a favorite for me.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice and easy hike. The trail might seem steep at times but almost 90% of it is fully shaded. Loved watching the redwood trees and my friend also spotted many wild flowers.

Excellent MTB trails

hiking
3 months ago

We did this hike last year and loved it. It went a lot faster than I expected. The cross at the top was fun to see in person (and not just in Dirty Harry). A great SF stroll.

BEST dog park in the Bay!

walking
3 months ago

Very fun trail, a lot to see, especially the hang gliders. Not strenuous, good for a walk in most weather.

challenging and worth the effort. we went up the paved way and my 7 year old made it up with me. once you get up to the top the old Nike missle post and buildings are great to look at and take pictures of. the view of course is a awesome.

Nike Missile base is just a dirt patch

Yet to see a hang glider land

hiking
3 months ago

We started off going to the left of the loop, which was a lot of open unshaded incline. Definitely was a lot longer than we thought. Started at 8:30 got off about 12. We did like the different treads, not very many people out there.

hiking
3 months ago

My go to hike

My first official hike happened here the first week I move to CA...aka...first week of June. It was challenging, but that's because I was/am inexperienced. My friends were experienced and even they enjoyed it and found some challenges. It has beautiful views and it was an amazing adventure that I would definitely repeat.

hiking
5 months ago

Overall a decent trail. The first half was nice, with a good amount of shade. The trail got very steep in the middle, and the second half was almost completely exposed to the sun. The second half was also a biking trail and had good views, but was pretty uncomfortable on a hot day (~90 degrees).

Dog-watch galore. Beach access. Hang gliding area. Beware of horse poop on trails. Overall, cute hike for families. I would not consider this area if you want something intense.

trail running
5 months ago

Good variety of terrain. Good steep sections with flat sections in between. Enough shade to not burn under the sun. Loved it!

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