trail running


nature trips

dogs on leash

McNee Ranch State Park is located on the San Francisco Peninsula in San Mateo County, approx. 20 miles south of San Francisco and eight miles north of Half Moon Bay on Highway One. The highest point in this park rises to 1,898 feet above sea level, and contains extensive biodiversity where endangered species such as Hickman's potentilla, San Mateo thornmint, and Acanthomintha duttonii are found. On clear days the summit provides spectacular views of much of the San Francisco Bay Area. There are two beach access points from the bluff area. One access is across from Second Street. The second access is located about a half-mile north on the ocean side of Highway 1. Please note that the paths down to the beach are steep. Hours: 8am to sunset.

Moderate hike up to great vista point. A little busy in parts, lots of mountain bikes around. Partly shaded.

Went on Saturday with my dog. Parking lot was crowded. It was around 11:30am. Still, we had a great time. Got a little confused as the main entrance had a sign for no dogs but then the trail entrance had a sign for dogs allowed on leash. The beginning of the trail is narrow with lots of vegetation on each side. Didn’t see poison oak on that portion but there was definitely some in the first 1.5 - 2 miles. The first 1.5 miles is all steep uphill but there is a stop where most of the people sat down to rest and take in the beautiful scenery of the ocean. The next 2-3 miles is not bad at all, some uphill but not too inclined. Some hikers wearing shorts were turned away by the poison oak. It was a sunny day, not a lot of shadow until you reach the paved trail then you can find some shelter under the trees. The weather was nice, at 69 degrees. At the top of Mt Montara I only saw one tree to find shelter from the sun. Wear your sunscreen! And then prepare those knees for going down. I was kind of in a rush so I cut through the mountain downhill. Had to use my hiking poles to support my knees. But you can try to find some alternative trail that gives you a much decent descent. Great place with awesome views! If you don’t enjoy the crowd or the sunshine on your face I recommend you go early.

Great trail! I would highly recommend sunscreen as there is little to no shade. Also, currently as of today, 6/1/2018 there is a lot of poison oak on the trail beginning at the trailhead to about 1/4 mile up the trail. It took me 2.5 hrs up and down, would do it again!

Great trail and amazing views. Only complaint is that it is so overgrown and with so much poison oak spilling onto the trail. Suggest long pants and long sleeve shirt. Oak in some areas 5 + feet tall.

Beautiful ocean views, lots of wildflowers and a decently challenging hike. Hiking poles would be helpful for the way down. Cons are a little crowded, cell towers at the top and on a fire road most of the time. Definitely worth doing, get there early!

The views are amazing! Hiking shoes and sticks recommended!

The views on the way up are beautiful. Lots of greenery and sea views. Wear shoes with good tread, and bring water with you.

Incredible view of the entire peninsula, amazing what you can see from up there. Asphalt much of the way which was a bit hard on the feet.

Great training route, the Crack Crack trail near the summit has some challenging terrain.

A great trail with incredible ocean views and the shortest (and steepest) way to the top of Montara Mountain.

Just FYI, the Alta Vista portion of this loop is closed to bikes.

Beautiful trail!
Lots of coast, big waves stunning view, and valley view!
Some flower on the way, and beach right next to the trail head, so you can relax after you finish the trail.

Parking has 2 layers, there is a dirt road on the left of the lower layer for you to go up, plenty spaces available.

Bring your jackets! Very windy especially you get to top.

Climbing up is a good workout, coming down if a bit challenge for knees.

- Parking: plentiful; there is parking right at the base of hike entrance
- Restrooms: 2 portable bathrooms at parking lot
- Shoes: recommend anything with good tread, since the trails are quite pebbly / sandy
- Views: I love that this hike has views in multiple different directions, and you can go above the clouds!
- Coverage: almost completely exposed. Use sunscreen and hats.
- Other things I wish I knew: (1) Summit does not have grassy patches for sitting nor tables; if you have lunch there, I recommend bringing blanket (2) The view is beautiful on a slightly foggy / cloudy day (3) Wear shoes with good tread

The trail is very well marked and not too difficult for even beginner- intermediate hikers.

The view from the top is amazing. On a clear day you can see all the way out to SF and the Golden Gate bridge.

On your way up, take a small detour to see Jeff Cave. It's worth the extra time.

The road to Adobe Drive in Pacifica used to be known as Planet of the Apes Road by mountain bikers. Old road grade from McNee is easy to intermediate viewpoint for a short workout. Leaves out the final leg to Montara Mtn. About 1.5 hours.

Good vegetation variety. Beautiful views. A lot is on a fire road which is a bit less cool and the top view isn’t the best view but this is a hike about the journey vs the summit. Nice.

Pretty strenuous uphill areas but worth the view. Went on a warm day, watch out for snakes!

Great trail! Loved the views, especially the first leg with views back to the water, and the view from the very top. On the way back, I almost missed the turn off from the North Peak Access Road, and I found the quarter mile down through the forest to the Pedro Mountain Road to be pretty tough (but I suppose that is why the trail is rated hard).

Beautiful clear day today. Could see as far as the Farallones and across the Bay to Mt. Diablo. Gusty winds at some sections. Don’t much care for the paved roads but overall a good exhilarating climb.

Pretty steep climb but the view of the ocean is spectacular!

Really steep in sections, huge payoff!

It should be rated as moderate instead of hard. Part of the challenge is not the steepness of trail. It’s just that trail is too slippery with bits and pieces of sand soil and gravels. Scenery is ok not fantastic. Trail is mainly exposed in sun. Not that comfortable. Probably not be back next time. Do also notice some part of trail u could smell strong animal wastes.

On the bright side. It was good exercise!

Excellent trail. Not that hard even though it climbs up steadily

Loved how it was broken up into thirds. First part was fairly easy, second more rigorous, and the third leveled out a bit. Gorgeous views of Half Moon Bay and would definitely do it again.

Very steep in some sections. Great workout! Basically a dirt road. Went on a very cloudy day with the sun nowhere in site. As soon as I got to the top it was a sunny day. Amazing.


Went the full loop, ended up being about 9 miles. So beautiful!

Climbed Montara with my son 9-23-17. Great day for the views of the bay, city, and Peninsula, as the day was extremely clear. While the views were nice, this hike was on road and didn't find the loop. We agreed on this hike rating a 6 out of ten.

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