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. Park closes at sunset.
Very pretty. Parking lot was crowded at 4 on a Sunday (figures) I got a little lost, which is pretty typical for me, maybe others won't have the same problem. Definately wouldn't consider this "hard." More easy-moderate. A few steep sections but they are brief and infrequent. Would be a killer cardio workout on a mountain bike. Didn't go the last .5 miles because it looked like the view didn't change much & it was getting dark. Was enjoyable & pretty, not too crowded once you made it out a bit from the parking lot. Would definately do again.
It's a nice climb to the top and the views are great. However much of the trail is badly eroded and off camber. Also the downhill grind is fairly boring.
Perfect hike for 360 ocean views and of the SF peninsula! I have to say while this hike is rated Hard, overall the route was a Moderate level. The only strenuous parts I encountered were the steep inclines (mostly in the beginning, and a few times during the mid-leg). Once I got past those, I felt the route was relatively smooth. It's pretty much a fire road all the way to the summit.
*TIPS: Bring extra layers, it can get chilly with the sea breeze towards the tops. Go on a clear day so you can get the full experience of the oceanic views. Those steep inclines I mentioned, may get slick on the way down if you go on a dry, summer day. Stick to Spring or Fall for this trail.
**Optional: instead of opting for the marked summit past the radio towers (which is a small area covered by small shrubs-- and slightly anti-climatic), there's a short dirt trail that forks off (maybe 7 mins before the final stretch to the actual summit trail). Explore a neat little alcove/"cave" and an epic ocean view (if you continue the dirt trail behind the "cave").