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Chalk Mountain [CLOSED] is a 6.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Pescadero, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and running.

Length 6.5 mi Elevation gain 1,601 ft Route type Out & Back
Hiking Running Forest Views Wildlife Closed No dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)

As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009 A wonderful hike through many different ecological zones.  You start in a shady redwood canyon with a cool breeze and quickly climb into warmer but still north facing slopes.  About half way up the hill you are treated to the first of two spectacular overlooks.  Near the top of the climb you hit the upper overlook with views out to Pigeon Point Lighthouse,  then you transition into manzanita scrub and sunny ridges interspersed with some pine forests.  The hike ends at the location of an old fire tower.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (55)
Photos (125)
Recordings (59)
Completed (71)
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Kailee Santos
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HikingGreat!

This trail isn't too hard to get to off highway 1. No reviews mentioned a 2 mile dirt/rocky road to get to the trailhead so I was skeptical when my GPS told me to turn onto this road. Just be sure to bring a car that can handle the rocky terrain. As for the hike, I took others' word that this was more of a moderate hike than hard as it's listed but I would definitely rate it as hard. However, my opinion could be skewed by the fact that I went in 90 degree weather. The first mile of shaded switchbacks is definitely challenging but it is very rewarding once completed. As for the trail itself, it is fairly narrow and could be a concern with COVID but on a Saturday afternoon I only ran into a couple other groups who thankfully had masks. Trail is easy to follow so just keep going up! After checking out the upper vista point, you can continue on the path to the left of the sign where you'll walk through unshaded, dry, rocky terrain until you reach a dirt road. Go left up this road until you reach a fork with the right side going uphill and the left going downhill. If you go to the right at the fork, you'll reach some sort of signal tower with a bathroom and the view is incredible. The AllTrails map tells you to go further than this but I didn't because it was so dang hot and I was tired of walking on the dirt road in sweltering heat. Walking on a dirt road isn't my ideal hike so that's why I take off a star. But overall this is a good, challenging trail! Might need to come back to find the waterfall next time.

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Mitch Aman
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HikingGreat!
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Rob Mann
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Lisa Hinshelwood
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Hiking

Wow this is fun and gorgeous. Trail head is not marked. We only found it by seeing cars parked there and using gps with all trails map. It is difficult for first 1.5 miles up very steep switchbacks to top. Then fire road continues with beautiful views. We had some fog so views were obscured at points but when fog cleared - wow. Don’t know where it actually ends as it says 6.6 round trip but we ended up doing more like 8 and didn’t see a fire tower as described. Loved this hike. be aware with covid very hard on switchbacks to pass people at a good distance and some hikers we saw were clueless but on a Sunday we only ran into about 8 others

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Missy Brenner
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Hiking

Beautiful and well-maintained trail that I would agree is more moderate than hard if you are a somewhat regular hiker. We took our time and enjoyed the shade on the tough up through the redwoods. We loved passing through a couple ecosystems. It was a really nice, rewarding half day hike. We saw maybe 5 other hiking pairs or threes on a June Sunday afternoon, which I thought was pretty mellow given the time and season. One tipped us off that if you extend the hike past the Chalk Mtn. lookout, you can take connecting Big Basin trails to see a waterfall for reasonable additional mileage. I’d definitely come back and plan for a full-day expedition to try that out. Parking was easier than we expected. To get to the trailhead “parking area,” which is just a good-sized flat road shoulder area, you will be driving a narrow dirt road for a mile or so. There’s good signage on the trail and mirrors on some of the blind corners on the road, which I always appreciate.

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Harshvardhan Pandey
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HikingRocky
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Maddie Thies
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Hiking

Good sweat, straight up until you reach the fire road. Check the forecast, if it’s clear you can see 360 degrees and the ocean below. Gorgeous hike and not too busy for a Saturday if you go early.

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Bill M
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Hiking

The first section of the trail was in a beautiful Redwood forrest which was rather peaceful and serene. We only saw 3 people on this part of the trail however this section is only about a mile and a half and then you come out of the forrest onto a dirt road. This later section of the trail was basically just hiking on an old dirt road so not as aesthetically appealing. Nice view from up top and a good solid day hike. I would consider this more a moderate day hike than hard as listed.

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Corrine S
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Hiking

Went on a Saturday and only ran into 2 hiking groups and two mountain bikers. First portion is nice shaded switchbacks with little off shoot views to take breaks along the way and look out at the ocean. Second half is great views of the hills to one side and the ocean to the other. Also the last 2 miles of the drive to the trailhead is on kind of a bumpy dirt road, which most cars should be able to handle but just in case be aware.

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Kay Lynne
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Hiking
First to Review

Brought my hiking group up on a perfect day - I always plan around CLEAR WEATHER for this hike. Near the top of my list of favorite hikes in San Mateo County - although its not for everyone. Hardest part is the first mile - you climb 1000+ feet on a switchback trail in the shaded woods; it helps to stop at the lookouts and catch your breath or suck on an orange slice. Once you get up on the road, the landscape completely changes to knob pines, chinquapins & "the Chalks." For the most part you'll be trailing on top of the ridge as you head to Chalk Mtn and its terrific "backdoor" views of Big Basin SP. At Chalk Mtn. there's a radio tower and a toilet (a "Loo with a View") & brief cell reception. If you want a picnic table, walk west of the radio tower on the small flat hill above the road. You return the way you came to your parking spot on Whitehouse Road (technically your starting place is in Ano Nuevo State Preserve.) Don't forget to bring WATER!

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Michael Perry
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Heidi Moran
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Dmytro Mymrikov
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Melissa Shaw
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Don Martin
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Leo B
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Kimberly StClair
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Behzad Shahrasbi
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Adarsh Nair
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Gregory L
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kris hitchcock
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Junk Lfm
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Frank Bien
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Tim Van Loan
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Trevor Luxon
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Daniel Heywood
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Paola Castro
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J Fouts
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Eddie DC
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Leo B
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