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Montara Mountain from Gray Whale Cove

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (21) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A sea-to-summit hike of Montara Mountain.


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Map Key

9.9

Miles

16.0

KM

Out and Back

1,886' 575 m

High

167' 51 m

Low

1,758' 536 m

Up

1,758' 536 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

26%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views

Overview

An incredible sea-to-summit hike with non-stop ocean views.

Need to Know

Look out for poison oak, which is abundant on the Gray Whale Cove Trail.

Description

This route to the summit of Montara Mountain is a longer, more scenic alternative to the direct route on North Peak Access Road Trail. There is also much more parking at the Gray Whale Cove trailhead.

At the Gray Whale Cove parking area, find the Gray Whale Cove Trail at the southeast end of the lot. Begin the climb up a scenic valley among dense coastal scrub. Soon, you're walking above the ocean bluffs with great views up and down the coast. Keep your eyes on the ocean for pelicans, whales, and seals.

You pass some benches overlooking the ocean on your right, and a short while later you reach an intersection. Turn left to leave the Gray Whale Cove Trail and to connect to Old San Pedro Mountain Road. When you reach the road, turn left again.

Old San Pedro Mountain Road winds through coastal scrub and some groves of trees, then merges with North Peak Access Road Trail. Turn left and continue uphill.

After a few turns, Old San Pedro Mountain Road splits away from North Peak Access Road Trail, and you bear right to continue toward the summit. On a clear day, you'll get views of Point Reyes, Mount Tamalpais, and San Francisco to the north, and Pillar Point and Half Moon Bay to the south.

Reverse the route to get back.

Flora & Fauna

As you gain elevation, look for the lush cloud-forest like coast scrub near the summit.

Contacts

Shared By:

Miguel Vieira

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 21 votes

#392

Overall
  4.5 from 21 votes
5 Star
57%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
10%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#66

in California

#392

Overall
538 Views Last Month
10,256 Since Dec 24, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Near the top of Pt. Montara.
Nov 9, 2015 near Montara, CA
View of the water.
Nov 10, 2015 near Montara, CA
Sunset from the junction of where the North Peak Access Road Trail breaks off from the Old San Pedro Mountain Road.
Nov 9, 2015 near Montara, CA
Grey Whale Cove, rocks and waves
Mar 13, 2019 near Montara, CA
Awesome view of Pacific Ocean
Dec 29, 2018 near Montara, CA
Grey Whale Cove and Look-Out Point from south end of beach.
Mar 13, 2019 near Montara, CA

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Check-Ins

Jun 13, 2020
Erica Y
3h 00m
Mar 19, 2020
Astrid Harris
Sep 28, 2019
Naresh G
Aug 28, 2019
Matthew Gilbert
Jun 19, 2019
Paul Smith Jr
First day back out, stellar 9.9mi — 2h 50m
May 26, 2019
Naresh G
May 11, 2019
Alexandre Spaeth
11mi
Apr 28, 2019
Miwa Takaki