Explore the most popular trails near Half Moon Bay with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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really great, easy trail with beautiful views

It’s a nice walk, but super flat and easy. If you’re looking for a nice stroll with a view this is fine, but if you’re looking for a challenging hike you’d be best to look elsewhere

Nice day trip for the dog and kids to run around! Had a wonderful time even with the overcast.

today I covered this loop except I started from South parking lot of purisma which is by skyline Blvd hwy 35. There are space for about 12 cars. however this entrance is much less popular and only have couple of cars Wednesday morning at 10:30. from here it's a gentle 1.8 miles downhill fire road to intersection of Craig Britton trail. once down to purisma creek, it's a flat trail all the way to Higgins road trail head which is pretty popular with about 12 cars parked. the flat creek trail has more people, I ran into 10 hikers and one biker. at early November, the creek is still flowing, a little miracle for peninsula. from Higgins to Harkins ridge trail is mostly exposed and hence dusty just like other south Bay trails. from this point to intersection of Craig Britton trail is all uphill with couple of steep sections. this part of Harkins ridge trail is not pleasant. then comes the beautiful part once I turn into Craig Britton trail which is gentle downhill narrower hiker only trail. it's in the redwood Grove and shady all the way. this trail is as enjoyable as the flat creek trail. there are fewer people on either Harkins ridge or Craig Britton trail. then I turned back to South parking lot. this route is 10.7 miles long with 2297 feet up and 2297 downhill according to Google maps. Google estimate 4.5 hours for the route. it took me 5.2 hours. it's a good hike.

mountain biking
1 month ago

What seems to be missing in these reviews is that this section of the trail does, indeed, go through the Ritz Carlton and its golf course which is all paved, but also one can continue north and south. Going north from the Ritz Carlton, the official paved path goes across a bridge and heads north all the way through Half Moon Bay and above. The signage is scarce but the trail does go through. Heading south is a bit more interesting. Near the end of the golf course along the coast there is a sign that says "coastal trail ends" and immediately after that on the coast is the beginning of a well used flat and winding dirt trail (fine for hiking but best for mountain bikes) that runs along the bluffs (pretty close in places so not so great for young children) for a mile or so to the Cowell Ranch Beach and the start of the new Cowell -Purissima official trail which is only open on weekends and holidays under a deal reached with the local growers. This official trail continues south for miles and is great. The entrance is well gated closed on weekdays and not possible to go around. From the beach is a short road that leads to a good sized parking lot just off highway 1. So, going northwards from the parking lot one can go to the beach, head north on the unmarked dirt trail to the south end of the golf course, then onto the paved trail along the golf course and through the hotel property and continuing on the official trail to and past Half Moon Bay. My wife and I have ridden our mountain bikes and seen people hiking this way for years.

mountain biking
1 month ago

Ok, if you park in the parking lot just barely off Highway 1 a few miles south of Half Moon Bay, you can walk or bike this road to the beach overlook and go down to the beach . Nice views. From here you have 2 choices. On weekends and holidays you can head south for several miles on the cowell-purissima trail which is new and well constructed. The deal with the adjacent growers was to keep out the public on weekdays. The trail entrance is heavily gated here and not possible to go around. The second choice (not shown on maps and not signed) is to head north along the coast from where the trail starts just before the beach overlook all the way up to the Ritz Carlton golf course and Hotel where the trail continues (and is now official) through the Ritz Carlton and all the way through Half Moon Bay and above. This unmarked section of the trail is very heavily used, goes right along the bluffs (pretty close in places), is flat and beautiful, and takes you right to the beginning and into the official trail along the golf course.

mountain biking
1 month ago

Excellent fairly easy bike ride suitable for families, mostly flat, lovely, and interesting sights to see. The old barn was built into the hillside for easier loading of hay which was then dropped through the floor to the cattle below. Take the extra mile or so hike onward from the barn along a lovely trail. Nice restrooms with trash receptacles shortly after the start of the trip and again further on. My wife and I really enjoyed this place. Did Purissima Cemetery and bike ride along the coast nearby afterwards. Not hard to miss the turnout to the parking lot on the left a couple of miles from the main highway.

hiking
2 months ago

very easy hike, beautiful location and views, some of the trail you can't see the beaches but most of the trail is right on the bluff, definitely recommend

Easy trail. Very calm and peaceful early in the am. Great views too.

on Coastal Trail

road biking
2 months ago

The trail goes thru a golf course.... Ugghhhhh!

This is a great biking trail for a hot summer day.
The wild flowers are beautiful attracting multicolored butterflies and hummingbirds!

on Coastside Trail

road biking
3 months ago

I did single track biking and I had a great time but realized that it was a very short ride. Wish it would be longer.

trail running
3 months ago

Definitely allows dogs on leash the whole way. Great low grade and very well-managed trail if you want to clock some miles and be by the ocean pretty much the whole time. Can get pretty busy later in the day.

Came here with 4 other friends on Labor Day weekend. Arrived at 10:30 and found parking I the road. The 6 miles uphill is mostly shady and not too steep, the 3 miles downhill is a little steep. Very few people on the trail. Peaceful and green trails, clear road signs and free maps at the trailhead. Really enjoyed the hike. Definitely 5 star!

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.

Great day hike. Very peaceful.

We went here yesterday, a Sunday in August, and didn't get onto the trail until around 1pm. We started on the Purisima Creek Trail, which was entirely shaded (which we prefer on a hot day!). There weren't too many other hikers, and we didn't see any horses, although we saw plenty of evidence of them on the trail. Craig Britton is a single file path, and still mostly shaded. There are some beautiful views of the coast and you can see above the fog. Once we got to Harkins trail, we were mostly in the sun and it got pretty hot. It gets more crowded towards the parking lots, and although there were some tourists towards the end of the trail, we didn't see many other hikers during the three hours we hiked. As far as wildlife, we saw some quail, a banana slug, and some other small birds. Can't wait to do it again!

4 months ago

It is paved and goes mostly through a golf club. It was awful.

What a wonderful place. Beautiful views from the cliff top, saw an incredibly elegant Grey Heron that was patient enough to let me take some great photos, some kind of bird of prey hovering literally right at eye level and, if you’re OK with a steep descent, an almost deserted beach to walk. Totally recommended.

FYI all road access has been cut off to the public so, don't waste your time.

Arrived 7:30a on Saturday and snagged the last space in the lot, which can’t hold more than 8-10 cars. Hiked this lovely loop counter clockwise, so I was going downhill on the very steep Haskins Ridge trail. My knees don’t thank me. Did the loop in a bit over 3 hours with lots of photo stops. Lots of second growth Redwoods, ferns, and burbling creeks at the lower elevations. Sunny with views at higher elevations. Didn’t encounter very many people until the last third of the hike. Nothing spectacular, but this was an exceedingly pleasant hike.

walking
5 months ago

The trails start just up the street from the parking lot to the right and are pretty well marked. There’s effectively no elevation change, and one of the options further from the cliff’s edge is basically a fire road - so it’s an easy stroll. Lovely coastal views abound!

And of course, the beach is nice too, which is accessible from the parking lot.

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.

Fantastic trail, highly recommend as day getaway.

hiking
6 months ago

Don’t freak out about going up the road where all the forbidding Air Force signs are :) It’s literally 15 feet, then you’re on the trail off to the right. Decent signage along the way, minimal elevation change, easy and beautiful hike along the cliffs! Not crowded at all on the trail but the parking lot was full because of beach goers.

We did a 16 mile hike and ended up on this. Some spots were very muddy. It was tough with some steep inclines. Wish there were more restrooms. Great views and you'll run into some rabbits and banana slugs.

trail running
7 months ago

It was okay. Nice views but a paved and boring trail that goes through a golf course. Would probably go right at the parking lot instead of left if I come here again

hiking
7 months ago

From a hiking with children standpoint this is a fantastic trail. There are several parking lots in the area and each appears to have bathroom facilities. The trails are well maintained and a mix of dirt and pavement. The nice thing here is that you are never far from beach access or any of the smaller walking trails along the bluffs. This is great when the kids want to choose their own adventure. As of this writing the fee to enter and park is $10.00.

hiking
7 months ago

So beautiful

Horribly crowded felt like a tourist attraction in the city, everyone unnecessarily rude or weird. Many people who I met on the trail where very unfriendly it felt like a walk through sf not an open space reserve in hmb

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