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Montara Mountain North Peak Loop Trail

MODERATE 281 reviews
#1 of 7 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 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
21 days ago

Long hike, the start of it is pretty steep, the rest is ok, specially if you go through the bike route. It is a scenic hike and you have nice views of ocean and hills.
One important downside is that there isn’t enough sign there! So if you don’t have your phone with you, or don’t have service, you might get lost! There are two parking lots, so make sure you save and remember where you parked! I went to the other parking lot (as I said there aren’t signs there), so I had to hike another mile to get to the parking lot.

hiking
27 days ago

According to my Apple Watch, this hike ended up being exactly 10 miles for me. Parts of it were challenging but a pretty decent hike overall with amazing views of the Oceanside. I started at about 9am. Suggest you get there early otherwise parking fills up pretty quick. It took me a good 3 hours to finish the hike but that’s including the times i stopped for pictures and to eat. Amazing hike overall.

hiking
washed out
27 days ago

Great trail. The perfect distance. The views are amazing. You get views of the ocean, views of the mountains, views of the bay, views of the city. You see it all. It’s amazing. Very moderate hike. Very gradual incline. Well worth it

hiking
1 month ago

75% of the trail was vehicle accessible which I didn’t love. I’d also say this was a moderate trail and not hard, nonetheless it was lovely to be outside and the views of the city and ocean were beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

Probably one of my top 5 favorite hikes under 10 miles. The trail is extremely well maintained and easy to follow with the AllTrails map. I got to the top in an hour and 18 minutes, but took my time coming down and stopped at numerous view points for pictures. My total time was a little over 3 hours. This trail can also be an out and back trail if you don’t want to go down a different route. The only thing difficult about the trail is the steepness on the way up, but the terrain is ideal for hiking. I would say it is more moderate than hard.

hiking
scramble
1 month ago

Outstanding views and very well-maintained trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Great views!

2 months ago

Love this hike! Great views.

2 months ago

Coastal view is awesome on the top of mountain. But wind is pretty strong, remember to wear warm coat!

2 months ago

Steep but worth it.

hiking
3 months ago

great views of the area. about two areas with steep elevation gain. there is a little network (3) of trails that can get a little confusing, so be sure to download the map. took us about 4 hours with time for pictures and resting. no reception in the parking lot, but spotty through out the trail.

hiking
4 months ago

Really good hike. The hike gets really steep towards the north peak. Recommended to do it early in the day so you are done by noon.

4 months ago

Steep and beautiful views.

hiking
4 months ago

Very steep coming up or down from parking area...but not so steep that I had to slide on my butt.

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Hidden gem sandwiched in between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay. Beautiful coastal views. Not as hectic as other over hyped trails in the area. Nice Fresh air. You might spot a whale or two on the lower end.

trail running
5 months ago

Beautiful and eerie pre-dawn October run up Montara Mountain. After heading out from the TH, I dropped down a bit and took the old road around a half mile in. About 2 miles in to the climb the trail gets a bit steep, but is non-technical and easy to follow even in the dark. I continued to climb up through and above the marine layer, feeling like I was in the Lost Boys. After about 4 miles, I reached the North Peak and took the fast decent back down.

hiking
5 months ago

Got right up on the North Ridge- way above the fog

hiking
6 months ago

Good route. I've done other hikes from Grey Whale Cove this was the first deserving of the hard rating. The combination of the two steep sections and that you tackle the entire 2k incline in the first part of the hike keeps you on your toes.

I chose to hike up to the peak and then run down, with a few exceptions where it was too steep to run and stay in control.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike with gorgeous views of the peninsula. From the top, you'll be able to see Mount Diablo and Mount Tamalpais off in the distance. There are two really steep sections of the trail. Namely, the section right at the beginning near the parking lot area and the last section of the Fly Amanita trail (the narrow one with a bunch of switchbacks that goes through a forested section) before you meet up with Old San Pedro Mountain Road. It wasn't easy getting down the latter (which was at least a 50-degree slope)—we had to slide down the dirt right at the junction.

6 months ago

this is pretty similar to Mission Peak but with way better views and less people. definitely go before noon because it'll get hot. at a moderate pace finished in about 2 hours.

7 months ago

was a nice hike

hiking
7 months ago

Challenging but manageable- just the right amount of steeps

7 months ago

1:49 mins

8 months ago

Nice views while hiking, however trail was not so great. Ending was terrible as it was just telephone lines and machines. Very foggy and humid throughout hike. I wouldn’t make this place a priority hike

8 months ago

This trail is pretty busy and there are are power lines everywhere. Looking for something more naturey.

hiking
8 months ago

good all around trail but the view can get foggy

hiking
8 months 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!

9 months 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
9 months 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!

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