Montara Mountain North Peak Loop Trail

HARD 382 reviews
#1 of 6 trails in

Montara Mountain North Peak Loop Trail is a 7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Montara, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1804 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

views

wild flowers

wildlife

A beautiful trail that overlooks the Pacific. Climb up towards North Peak which can be very steep in sections, and bring your mountain bike if you want to cruise down on the way back. Overlook pristine coastal landscapes from a mountain top that's just a short drive from San Francisco. If you're looking for sun along the fog-bound San Francisco peninsula coastline, then Montara Mountain is the place to head for. Rising almost 2,000 feet above the beaches of Pacifica, here is where the sun often breaks through the clouds. Even when the sun continues to hide, there's still a chance that by the time you hike to the summit you'll be hiking above the clouds.

hiking
1 day ago

Fantastic hike! The first incline to the tree at the top of the hill (you'll know what I'm talking about) is rough but it will get you geared for the rest of it. Kind of a steady incline to the peak with a few flat runs scattered. Beautiful views. I agree with the poison oak overgrowth at this time of year in the lower/starting areas so definately wear something that covers your arms and legs unless you're lucky enough to not have a poison oak allergy? A highly recommended hike, enjoy!

19 days ago

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.

hiking
22 days ago

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!

trail running
24 days ago

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.

28 days ago

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!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

The views are amazing! Hiking shoes and sticks recommended!

hiking
1 month ago

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

1 month ago

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.

2 months ago

Beautiful hike.

2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

- 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

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
4 months ago

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.

hiking
4 months ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

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).

hiking
4 months ago

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.

5 months ago

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

5 months ago

Really steep in sections, huge payoff!

hiking
6 months ago

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!

hiking
6 months ago

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

7 months ago

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.

7 months ago

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.

7 months ago

Beautiful!

8 months ago

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

hiking
8 months ago

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.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice reasonably challenging uphill in the first 2 miles and made me feel I got in some good exercise when I reached the top. Downhill side was prettier because part of it passed through a shaded treelined area. The peak does have a few ugly man-made structures on it and no great place to sit out of the way to have a snack & check out the view before heading down. Overall though, I'd do it again.

hiking
9 months ago

It was foggy down below and super sunny above. Nothing much to see in the middle parts of the hike. Nice views at the top and at the bottom.

10 months ago

I didn't reach the peak but I'll definitely try again.

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