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Sweeny Ridge Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.1 (14) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

This loop will have you feeling like you're "On top of the World."


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Map Key

5.7

Miles

9.1

KM

Loop

1,211' 369 m

High

610' 186 m

Low

954' 291 m

Up

958' 292 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

19%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly Make a day of this hike. Take your time getting to the top where it gets a lot easier. Play guessing games of things you can spot like the Farallone Islands, whale spouts, and more.

Overview

No matter where you start, it is all uphill to reach this ridge! The 360-degree views once you've gained the elevation are worth the effort. Check out the Portola Monument Site where the San Francisco Bay was first viewed. Stop and eat a snack or have lunch here before you head back.

Need to Know

You are exposed to all the elements up on the ridge. Be prepared for wind, fog, sun, and more.

Description

To access this route, you'll head first toward the Baquiano Trail. Though there isn't a parking area at the trailhead, there is plenty of on-street parking. The Baquiano Trail is a steady singletrack climb up to the Sweeney Ridge. Switchbacks make your climb a little easier. Be sure to turn around and look at the ocean from time to time. When you meet up with the Cattle Hill Trail, you'll notice that a doubletrack branches off to the west. This is a short and pleasant route with a few rollers. Take the out and back for beautiful vistas, or skip this portion to carry on your journey.

Once you meet up with the Sweeney Ridge Trail, head south. The fork on your right is the Sweeney Horse Trail, which you'll take. Continue on the Sweeney Horse Trail until you come to the Sweeney Meadow Trail. The meadow for which the trail is named is a beautiful mid-way point to enjoy the view before you loop back to the Sweeney Ridge Trail.

If heading back to your vehicle via the Sweeney Ridge Trail and the Baquiano Trail isn't appealing without a few more miles, continue north past the Baquiano Trail. You have three options, veer right onto Sneath Lane and head down the hill, continue a while to the Mori Ridge Trail and go left or veer right on to the Notch Trail. All three of these trails add over another mile or two depending how far you want to follow them.

You can reach Sweeney Ridge off of either of these last three mentioned trails. Plan on working your way up more than another mile or two from their designated parking areas. You can get to the Sneath Lane and the Notch Trail trailheads from Highway 35 if you don't want to drive all the way into Pacifica.

Flora & Fauna

All the coastal flora is here, including native grasses and ocean birds.

History & Background

The Portola Monument Site is located along this route, and marks the spot where the San Francisco Bay was first viewed.

Contacts

Shared By:

Phil DiGirolamo with improvements by Susie Stone

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 14 votes

#2086

Overall
  4.1 from 14 votes
5 Star
21%
4 Star
71%
3 Star
7%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#273

in California

#2,086

Overall
101 Views Last Month
4,607 Since Mar 24, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
67%
8%
25%
0%

Photos

The lookout at the high point of the 4k route.
Mar 11, 2016 near Pacifica, CA
Half way up Baquiano Trail looking back to Mori Point.
Mar 29, 2016 near Pacifica, CA
San Fransico Bay discovery monument.
Mar 29, 2016 near Pacifica, CA
To the bay side, see the airport?
Mar 29, 2016 near Pacifica, CA

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Check-Ins

Feb 3, 2020
Caroline L-c
Great trail to run - spectacular views. You really are on top of the world! 5.4mi — 1h 05m
Oct 24, 2019
Astrid Harris
Oct 20, 2019
Dmytro Kryvko
5.6mi — 2h 08m
Oct 20, 2019
Inna Kryvko
5.6mi — 2h 08m
Sep 1, 2019
Caro W
Aug 24, 2019
Naresh G
Jul 27, 2019
Courtney B
May 7, 2019
Samar Soriano
sooo much poison oak! beautiful wildflowers everywhere. 2 small falcons 6.2mi — 2h 42m