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Montara Mountain North Peak Loop Trail

HARD 309 reviews
#1 of 2 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
1584 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

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
14 days ago

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

hiking
20 days 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
22 days 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.

1 month ago

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

1 month ago

Really steep in sections, huge payoff!

hiking
2 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
2 months ago

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

3 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.

3 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.

3 months ago

Beautiful!

4 months ago

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

hiking
4 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
5 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.

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

hiking
6 months ago

Parking at trail head is limited (maybe only 4 cars). But can walk to free Montara state beach parking down hwy 1 a couple minutes away.

Beautiful views of city and ocean on clear day.

6 months ago

Park at the beach parking lot (you will see a sign that says "Montara State Beach" then enter the trail on the right side when facing the mountain. The beginning is steep but once you get up to the top the remainder of the trail is a gradual down hill. I would say the first 20 min is hard and the rest is easy. So a more accurate rating would be "moderate" in my opinion.

7 months ago

It was very foggy, which in a sense was good because the trail is very exposed, but we could only imagine the stunning views we were missing...

hiking
7 months ago

It's hard but well worth it! The views along the way are stunning and keep changing! You get everything from beautiful beach views, to parts that feel like an enchanted forest, to hard uphill dirt paths. Climate changes from cool and breezy to hot and sunny. It's the full package.

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