Gray Whale Cove Trail

EASY 187 reviews
#1 of 1 trails in

Gray Whale Cove Trail is a 2.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Pacifica, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

2.2 miles
269 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly



nature trips


trail running




wild flowers

From CA-92 West, turn right onto Main Street and drive for 0.3 miles. Turn right onto CA-1 North adn drive for 7.4 miles. The parking lot for the southern entrance into Montara State Beach is to the south of a restaurant called La Constanera.

1 month ago

Solid beach hike

4 months ago

Nice little hike.. good hike to give kids extra experience.

4 months ago

Good views, even through the fog. Nice elevation gain from the parking lot followed by a flat trail. My only complaint is that the trail was pretty overgrown or narrow in some places and LOTS of poison oak. Keep an eye out for it!

5 months ago

There is a couple of benches towards the end of the trail that overlook the beach. Very beautiful coastal scenery! Visited 8/5/2018

6 months ago

Great family hike. Very beautiful views.

6 months ago

Great for hiking with kids and grandparents

11 months ago

Easy hike for kids and being dog friendly is a huge bonus.
Views are gorgeous. Parking is busy but didn’t have to wait long (came around 3 pm on gorgeous Saturday)
Easy access to additional trails

11 months ago

Found parking difficult, probably because of the beach. Nice trail though and only a few other pups which is good for our not so good pup. It’s also very narrow and exposed so bring sunscreen and water.

11 months ago

Easy hike with nice views. Parking and beach access available at both ends. No restrooms.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

very short trail a bit of hill in the beginning and at the turn around but nothing too crazy. the biggest thing is that the parking lot is not to the South of the restaurant as is mentioned in the description but actually to the North. Additionality, the start finish parking lot recommended here is a bit small so I recommend parking at the larger lot at Gray Whale Cove then hiking south to Montara opposed to starting at Montara and hiking north to Gray Whale Cove.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Nice view along the trail. Easy walk most of the way. Most of the trail is quite exposed, so make sure wear sunscreen. The trail is probably more suited for cooler days (like winter), I imagine it’d be too hot and too exposed for hot summer days.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Fun and beautiful.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELVES! This is a beautiful hike that I take my pup on. Today my dad joined us and we went all the way to the top and he got a sharp pain. We checked his shoe and there was nothing. He kept going and the pain continued. Later we found the piece of glass that went sideways into his shoe and was stabbing him. We all like to have a good time but please clean your stuff up and pack it out (it’s even lighter than when you carried it full)

So sad, this is a beautiful hike with amazing views that I highly recommend. Just wanted to give a heads up to fellow hikers.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Beautiful views

Sunday, October 22, 2017

This trail has STUNNING views! Whales were breaching just off the coast. The trails has gentle slopes (where not flat) after a slight incline out of the parking area. The first section of the trail can be dense with vegetation, including poison oak; walking single file and carefully is key. Shortly after beginning the trail widens and wildflowers line the trails.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

I was looking for an easy hike for a girl's trip and this did not disappoint! Accessible for everyone's skill level and beautiful views. We were fortunate enough to see a few whales from the bench lookout and several bunnies along the way. Highly recommend for all levels!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Easy to find and navigate. Brought my dog and boyfriend and we all had great time. Being close to Half Moon Bay, we refueled at Sam's Chowder house where dogs are allowed on the patio. We will be back again and will attempt the harder trails nearby!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Simply the most gorgeous views you'll ever get on a hiking trail. If mountain cliffs dropping into the smashing waves of the Pacific Ocean aren't for you then steer clear of this little piece of paradise. The trails can get a little narrow when passing, but I'm searching for absolutely anything not to like about this spot.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Very easy hike and decent views of Pacifica. Benches available to sit at scenic spots.

Parking can get full at times but really depends on days you go, weekends will be busy. Can hike down to the beach also for a good walk but be careful of traffic crossing cause you have to cross main road with two way traffic.

Enjoy !!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Absolutely beautiful hike!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Great hike except for the fact my husband made me trek uphill instead of arpund. Gorgeous view for this flat land Floridian.

Monday, March 13, 2017

This is definitely more of a walk than a hike but if you love the ocean then you will surely be a delight. There is a fantastic view of the water the entire time. Easy as pie and highly recommended. It's also a hop skip and jump from the abandoned old bunker so thats totally cool too!

Saturday, March 04, 2017

This trail has a lot of great views of the ocean! Definitely on the easy side. There are other trails up there you can take to challenge yourself - just make sure you bring a trail map of the area in the event you don't have cell/internet service.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Excellent hike with breathtaking views. We did it with our 3y old and he was comfortable walking. Note that at this time, it's muddy and not stroller friendly with very uneven path. Plan accordingly.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Always my favorite easy hike in HMB.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

easy hike with amazing views !

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

This is a fairly easy hiking trail. I took my 6 month old puppy with me for the first time and he loved it! Amazing views throughout the first half of the trail. We ended up walking to the beach right after! This is definitely somewhere I will be going again!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Beautiful scenery

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Easy trail with awesome views. You can spot whales from the high points in the trail in summer.

trail running
Saturday, August 13, 2016

This trail was awesome for trail running. Great views of the ocean while going along the side of the hill. I joined up with another trail that did a loop and intersected gray whale trail again. Running, the whole thing took 30 minutes I could've gone longer as there were more trails available to go higher up. Perfect for a morning warm-up.

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