Looking for a great trail in McNee Ranch State Park, California? AllTrails has 7 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 3 moderate trails in McNee Ranch State Park ranging from 3.3 to 5.6 miles and from 78 to 1,305 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!


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.

This trail is definitely more difficult than “moderate” – in parts it is quite challenging. We started off hiking clockwise along Old San Pedro Mountain Road, which is paved and reasonably well maintained, and popular with mountain bikers and dog walkers. When we reached the junction of The Mile we decided to do the next part counterclockwise, which I am very glad that we did - as other reviewers have noted, The Mile is steep and scrabbily and it would have been much more difficult to navigate the decline than it was to climb up it. The next section takes you on the San Pedro Mountain Trail, which wide enough for only one person most of the way, and has spectacular views. Then came the hard part! The hike switches back onto Burnside, which is not at all maintained, and is very difficult. The terrain is steep in parts, and mostly overgrown. Thistles and blackberry will snag you along much of the way, so I would highly recommend wearing long pants, and not shorts. After Burnside, it’s a relief to get back onto Old San Pedro Mountain Road. It is paved for much of the way down, and made for a pleasant hike back to the starting point. We stayed on the road, and didn’t take Boy Scout back to the bottom, as we were pretty worn out by the trails by that time. We did the hike on a weekday so we didn’t pass many bikers – those we did see where on their way uphill on the Old San Pedro Mountain Road. It would be terrifying to be climbing The Mile and have a bike hurtling down towards you, particularly as the trail is very narrow in some parts.

6 days ago

Great views. Did this at 5pm, lovely in the fog.

no shade
off trail
7 days ago

This was a fairly simple trail. The hike started in fog but it was soon burned off by the sun. As you climb higher it begins to get very hot and can easily get 75-80 degrees with no wind. Take lots of water. Great views

Steep climb up but nice way back. Beautiful wildflowers.

Well I made the mistake (or did I) of not starting counterclockwise by the farm but I feel both are the same the only downside of doing it the way I did is you can very easily pass some of the trails and have to keep eye on map. I followed Pedro road and added on some mileage to this hike . Word to the wise when you pass tiny dirt “entrance” and keep hiking thinking nah that’s not where I turn .. think again it is lol I passed by my turn twice during this hike and had to double back cause I totally missed where to turn . The last 1-2 miles with the direction I went was pretty steep on the way down in couple sections so definitely glad I wore my hiking shoes this day and had grip. The last mile is pretty overgrown but still pretty easy to make your way down .

no shade
13 days ago

14 days ago

It was foggy all day, but the trail itself is a good moderate exercise. Saw many rabbits, they don’t even hide!

A great hike, but no joke for kids. Ours bugged out just shy of the summit. It’s a steady climb all the way out, but the incline increases the last couple of miles. Coming back’s a breeze ... literally - you’ll feel the wind coming off the ocean. Amazing scenery, tons of fog, and lots of people.

Foggy at the start. Sunshine at the top. Tough Inclines at beginning and in the middle, thus giving a moderate rating. No shade, so mid-day summer hike is not recommended. Trail conditions are okay and at some spots, a rocky terrain to walk on but overall no scrambling needed. 4 stars for views all around

Beautiful hike though the route I took was mostly fire road instead of trail. I preferred that because I could let my dog off leash. The route is pretty steep in parts. Views of the coastline are gorgeous. Hotter at the top once above the marine layer

It took us less than 3 hours to complete the trail though we missed one turnoff to stay on it on the return. We ended up returning from Grey Whale cove which totalled for 9.5km (an extra km). I definitely recommend going counter clockwise as doing it otherwise will make for a very steep and slippery descent. We were happy to have downloaded the trail on our phones as we would have gotten lost for sure otherwise as signage is not present for this trail.

Cool hike!

A trail where the trail itself is spectacular not the peak at the end.

Great trail with very nice views of the pacific. First half is paved and easy but the second half towards the mountain gets a a little trickier. Overgrown/steep in certain areas and the last 1/4 or so is a mountain biking trail so be on the lookout for bikers.

Hiked with my dog! She loved it :)

***BEWARE OF TICKS!*** I brought my 2 dogs with me and they both have newly placed Seresto collars, however, they both attracted ticks. I found one and picked it out before it bit but as for my other dog, he did get bit and ended up in the vet ER because he collapsed halfway through the trail and is now still recovering from a massively infected and open wound from the bite site on his back...it’s been 2 weeks. In addition, there are several overgrowths of poison ivy and poison oak and branches sticking out eye level...just keep an eye out. Overall, nice strenuous hike with scenic views. However, I wouldn’t recommend bringing dogs unless they have a flea collar AND topical flea treatment.

Just did the loop and it was very cool! Lots of environment changes to keep it interesting

Not really a loop as you can see on the map. Gets steep on the last half but the trail is wide and easy. Some mountain bikers but the wide trail makes it not a problem to share. As others say, definitely go clockwise, the steep part is hard to descend. We missed the trail and accidentally went counterclockwise - the "loop" part of this hike isn't marked at all so check your map. Great exercise, hard to say about the views since it was so foggy! Will have to return on a clearer day.

Beautiful trail, not very crowded, and we were lucky to get a lovely view. We missed a few turns in this route because they veer off the main trail but they all merge back together so no harm done. The sky was clear when we started but the thick Bay fog rolled in just as we got to the top. We did the route counter clockwise and had a rough time on the descent because of the sandy/rocky steep slope. Highly recommend going up the steeper (clockwise) route and coming back on the zig-zagging route so you don’t strain your knees. We are in our early 30s and don’t have a knee issues and had to basically run down some parts of the trail because of the steep slope and gravel trail. I don’t recommend this trail for those with knee issues.

Did it on 6/29/19. Was cloudy when we reached. Started at 7:30 in clockwise fashion. First half mile is really steep, so make sure you have hiking shoes with good grip. Awesome views at the top, on a clear day you can enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific ocean on the west + Mt. Diablo on the east. No shade until remaining 2 miles. Simply a great hike. Completed in 3 and half hours with a relaxed down hill hike.

Awesome trail, with awesome views of the ocean, pretty good workout, well maintained trails! One of my favorites!

We decided to do this on a hot Sunday afternoon. Even though the predicted temperatures were 90+ we braved to do this hike. Main motivation was to do a hike with a ocean view as I had never done that before. We had a bit of frustrating time firstly as it took 30 mins for the last 5 miles to reach grey whale cove beach parking where the trail head for this trail is. And secondly due to non availability of parking. We waited for 30 more minutes and luckily found the parking spot. All these frustrations were gone within 10 minutes of the trail as the views of HWY 1 with bright blue Pacific Ocean in the background were mind blowing. ocean views continued I amaze for 1st 30 minutes. Later the trail turns into the mountains where you don’t get much ocean views. However the shade and trees were good relief. After this the trail starts to get a bit steeper. With the hot sun right on head and the dry footing made it a little difficult to climb up. We continued to hike with gradual pace and ultimately made it to the top of the north peak. Just a mile before the north peak one starts to get views on both the sides(I think montara and Pacifica towns) of the mountain and it feels great to see these sweeping views of the beach towns. We did see some wild flowers even though this was early June. Also Near the peaks we spotted multiple butterflies as well as few humming birds. Coming down was less strenuous and we felt good cool breeze even on such a hot day. it took as 5 hours as we took lot of pictures and also rested near a lone tree where the breeze was refreshing. Overall it was a bit more challenging than expected mainly due to the temperature on that day but I would highly recommend this hike to someone who wants the ocean views with good workout.

2 months ago

Beautiful, dog-friendly trail. I love that this hike is not narrow and the trail is visible. On the way to the top you see the beautiful ocean. I saw so many cute dogs along the hike. This hike is in Half Moon Bay so there might be fog. Always bring a jacket to this hike because it gets very cold! I went in May and it was foggy and cool. I actually prefer that it's cool since there was no shade and it was a steady incline to the top. It was a great workout! My Strava recorded I hiked 9 miles in 4.5 hours. I went with my friend and her dog. At the end of the hike, I found 1 tick on her dog. Lastly, when I reached the top there was NO VIEW (because of the fog). Still, the workout was worth it! I will definitely be back to see what this hike is like with no fog.

Took me 4 hours. Pretty windy in June, wear jacket and long pants. View is really good. Very foggy.

This was a fun hike up the mountain. We decided to go right at the initial fork instead of straight up which took us on a nice meandering hike along the side of the mountain. Suggest doing it on a partly cloudy day as there isn’t much cover. Trail is in good condition and plenty of wildflowers this time of year! That path then lead to the top following a steeper grade which made us scramble a bit. Didn’t make it all the way to the top but will definitely be back to finish it!

washed out
2 months ago

This was good as a training hike - definitely got in the mileage and elevation gain that I needed. I knocked it two stars for two reasons. 1. much of the single track has eroded, perhaps due to the recent rains, which made it extremely uncomfortable on the feet and ankles. 2. on the way back, where the route diverges from the entry route, the trail becomes very steep, at one point so steep that I had to navigate it backwards with my hands on the hill above me. probably would have great views on a clear day, but all I got was pea soup above the first mile or so.

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