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Montara Mountain from Gray Whale Cove

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (25) 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 25 votes

#422

Overall
  4.5 from 25 votes
5 Star
60%
4 Star
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3 Star
8%
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1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#69

in California

#422

Overall
38 Views Last Month
14,602 Since Dec 24, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Near the top of Pt. Montara.
Nov 9, 2015 near Montara, CA
Awesome view of Pacific Ocean
Dec 29, 2018 near Montara, CA
Grey Whale Cove, rocks and waves
Mar 13, 2019 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
View of the water.
Nov 10, 2015 near Montara, CA
Rancho Corral de Tiera from North Peak.
Jul 17, 2022 near Montara, CA

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Aug 20, 2022
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Feb 12, 2022
Tilman Giese
Apr 3, 2021
Michael Jacobs
Oct 18, 2020
Ezra Fernandez
7mi
Oct 4, 2020
Gretchen Kreutz
Aug 1, 2020
Sandeep Goyal
3mi — 15h 00m
Jul 25, 2020
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Jun 13, 2020
Erica Y
3h 00m