Scarper Peak via Clipper Ridge Trail is a 9.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Half Moon Bay, California that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is accessible year-round.

Length9.9 miElevation gain2,165 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingNature tripsViews
Description
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Begins in the newest addition to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Rancho Corral de Tierra. This trail takes you up a ridge and to the summit of Scarper Peak which is still an active FAA station. This out and back will take you as close as you can legally get to the protected watershed area, and until recently most of this land was also private property - not many know this is even open yet. DO NOT EXTEND HIKE by going down scraper peak service road to make a loop. It is FAA property which then leads to private property.

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Reviews (91)
Photos (120)
Recordings (86)
Completed (138)
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Nathaniel Festinger
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Hiking

Nice trail but a very loud foghorn was beeping every 10 seconds. Very irritating.

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Dennis Tonga
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Hillside Hiker
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Jeremy Jones
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HikingGreat!

Combined hiking and trail running on this route. This is a simple, semi-well trails on this hike and the majority of the ascent is moderate with small steep spots. Near the top of this route there is a private section of the trail for the air traffic control and therefore you are limited if you wish to extend the route. I completed this route in the morning before the local wild fires made the air quality too poor to manage. Good route for single trail runners; lower elevation parts of route are thinner and have less upkeep while the halfway point has wider trails.

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Matt R
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Running

Labor Day hike: I got started early to take advantage of the ridge casting a shadow on my way up to the peak, otherwise there’s almost no shade. The climb up the single tracks and then fire roads isn’t too bad. I could see it getting overgrown, but it was reasonably maintained today. There’s a gate with no trespassing signs about 1/2 mile before you reach the summit. But no fence hopping required as you can walk around it. Looped back via French trail on the way back to the parking lot to mix it up. Saw 5 people out, none on the upper fire roads. I can’t image Scarper Peak gets a lot of visitors, which makes it a nice place to hike during the pandemic.

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Michael Kahane
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Josh Marsland
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Lee Vilensky
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HikingNo shade

Hard ascent. Beautiful flora

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F & B
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Mountain bikingGreat!

Great trail, definitely glad we took our E-Mountain Bikes for those hills.

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Janine Quest For You Podcast
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Hiking

Would not rate it hard

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Sarah Gerweck
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HikingOver grown

An okay trail, but there are better options in the area. The views are okay but not great, and you kinda have to make an effort to look toward the ocean a lot of the time. The last 1.5 miles or so is overgrown to the point of (relatively easy) bushwhacking, and there’s not much to see at Scarpa Peak, though the mossy trees are very pretty. It’s pretty remote so you may want to let someone know where you are if solo hiking. I carry a sat beacon but it felt like it could easily be weeks before somebody came by if something happened at Scarpa Peak. Beware that clouds in Half Moon Bay may mean rain at the peak that won’t show up in any weather forecast. BTW the peak is named after George Scarpa, though it’s mostly called “Scarper” or sometimes“Scarpet” today. There’s a fascinating article about the history of the name at bit.ly/2yNPVBR. (It’s more interesting than it sounds.)

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Ginger Lee
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Hiking

Very good hiking especially in the beginning. Lots of rolling hills and some nice city views. The end is very lightly trafficked and has some nice mossy trees. however, it ends with a radar tower and doesn’t have a view so anticlimactic

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Megan Masters
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HikingBugsNo shadeOver grown

Beautiful, but oh so many bugs. We had to turn around at mile 2 when it became too much (it still meant a two hour hike though!). Also be mindful coming here on a hot day as very limited coverage.

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Catherine Wang
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HikingMuddyOver grown

Really great trail with a beautiful array of flowers and great views of the ocean along the trail with sightings of quite a few butterflies and a fox. Also a good range of landscapes ranging from meadows to shrubs to tall evergreens. As other hikers mentioned, the end of the trail is a fenced off FAA tower area with no views of the ocean. The trail itself was wonderful though I recommend pants for the overgrown sections and to be weary of poison oak.

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Kiimberly Gomes
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Hiking

Nice steep hike with great ocean views. The only bummer was the end as there’s no view or lookout, just a locked fence on an asphalt road. I’ll be back but next time will try a different route as there seems like a couple routes up here.

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Brian Sakhuja
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HikingMuddyScramble
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Carlos Gomez
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DO NOT EXTEND HIKE by going down scraper peak serv road to make a loop. It is FAA property which then leads to private property where there are 3 large dogs! Turn back around when you hit paved road. Other than that.....it was a very beautiful hike!

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Melinda Edmiston
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Hiking

The hike in is all uphill, some parts steep, but very doable. The day was partly overcast, some sun, which was perfect because there is no shade. The flora and terrain is beautiful, very different then other local hiking spots. Only saw six hikers on an early Sunday afternoon.

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Ray Smith
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Hiking
First to Review

If you wanted to get close to the watershed and climb the highest peak in the area, this is well worth it! All legal route with great views, bring plenty of water and food.

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Alex Gotz
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Hiking
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Eilleen MacLean
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Hiking
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Leo Ouyang
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Michelle Frazier
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S G W
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Abhishek Gupta
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Haogang Chen
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