Montara Mountain North Peak Loop Trail

MODERATE 356 reviews
#1 of 7 trails in

Montara Mountain North Peak Loop Trail is a 7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Montara, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. 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: 1,804 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

beach

partially paved

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
no shade
rocky
1 day ago

hiking
7 days ago

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

hiking
14 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

hiking
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!

hiking
20 days ago

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.

hiking
no shade
22 days ago

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

hiking
no shade
25 days ago

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

hiking
28 days ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked with my dog! She loved it :)

hiking
1 month ago

***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

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
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.

hiking
2 months ago

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

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

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!

hiking
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.

hiking
2 months ago

Went R at the stable & did the super steep side up. Brutal, but peaked it in a shade over an hour with only 2 one minute breaks

Steep on the initial bit but not bad after that. Foggy at the base but sunny as you got higher too with great views. Going the loop option on the way back is a nice alternative to the steep bit but adds a lot of distance if your legs are tired.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail especially if you stay off the main road and take an excursion onto the Crack trail (watch out for mountain bikers!). The summit can get very windy and viz is occasionally low.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail has everything. Gorgeous ocean views, wildflowers, lush green mountains, Karl the fog and a great workout on top of that. Best to be done on a hot summer day because this part of the bay is usually cooler and cloudy.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike on and near Montara Mountain North Trail just north of Half Moon Bay CA. Wild flowers galore!

hiking
3 months ago

great views. fun hike. a couple benches on the way up make for great rest stops. first part of hike was steep and easy to slip. on the way down we found a an alternative route (small unmarked trail 0.5 miles before the steepest drop) that took us down via Pedro mountain trail

hiking
4 months ago

The hike is more of a 9-mile out and back rather than a loop. Beautiful views in the beginning and as you make your way back towards the coast. A LOT of elevation gain as the beginning 1/3 is very steep. Exposed trail with lots of sun so be sure to remember sunscreen. All in all a good hike near Pacifica.

hiking
4 months ago

This trail is super muddy, steep, not marked well and filled with tourists. It was an OK experience but there are better trails in the area.

Prepare for mostly uphill battle! Beautiful views though !

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