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blue Montara Mountain from Gray Whale Cove

  4.5 ( 20 ) Favorite

Trail

9.9 mile 16.0 kilometer out and back
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,758' 536 m
Descent: -1,758' -536 m
High: 1,886' 575 m
Low: 167' 51 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 26% (14°)

Dogs

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Trail shared by Miguel Vieira

A sea-to-summit hike of Montara Mountain.

Miguel Vieira

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.

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Check-Ins

Jun 19, 2019
Paul Smith Jr
First day back out, stellar 9.9mi — 2h 50m
May 11, 2019
Alexandre Spaeth
11mi
Apr 28, 2019
Miwa Takaki
Apr 20, 2019
Matt Fleming
Heavy fog, but otherwise really pleasant. No cover and would be especially challenging on a hot day.
Apr 7, 2019
el soufy
11.7mi — 2h 29m
Feb 18, 2019
Dory Ann Capangpangan
Feb 17, 2019
Yelin Lu
10mi
Jan 29, 2019
Tatum Byrd
9.9mi

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 20 votes

#341

Overall
  4.5 from 20 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
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3 Star
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1 Star
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Featured Hike Rankings

#61

in California

#341

Overall
370 Views Last Month
7,493 Since Dec 24, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate

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