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A short loop that climbs to a ridge where you get great views of the Pacific Ocean and Pillar Point Naval Station.


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Map Key

0.7

Miles

1.2

KM

Point to Point

372' 113 m

High

103' 31 m

Low

269' 82 m

Up

187' 57 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

24%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views · Wildflowers

Need to Know

The area is popular with mountain bikers, so make to be aware of what is going on around you.

Description

The Flat Top Trail is a dirt singletrack trail that climbs from the San Carlos Trail into the hills above El Granada and Half Moon Bay. In order to get to the trail, you can park at the end of Coral Reed Ave and follow the San Carlos Trail roughly a quarter of a mile to where the Flat Top Trail takes off to the right. The trail begins climbing immediately uphill through an open area, where pampas grass grows along the trail. Climbing steeply up the ridge for almost 0.2 miles, make sure to take a rest and enjoy the views of the Pacific Ocean that open up behind you. You can see the Pillar Point Air Force Station, Mavericks, and the Pacific Ocean.

At roughly 0.3 miles, the trail levels out so make sure to enjoy the views when you get to this point. Several unmarked trails continue through the sandy area at the top that lead to the Almeria Trail or Clipper Ridge Trail. If you want to continue on the Flat Top Trail, follow the path that hugs the right side of the sandy area and begins to descend back down the hill. The trail is essentially a loop, so you'll be headed back toward the start of the trail at this point.

The vegetation in the area grows close to the trail as you descend. There are a couple of steep areas, but overall the trail drops gently back to the junction with the San Carlos Trail. As the trail approaches a grove of pine trees on the right side of the trail, you are almost back to the parking area. The trail emerges back at a different part of the San Carlos Trail. If you parked at the end of Coral Reef Ave, you can cut through the eucalyptus grove, which provides shade, or follow the San Carlos Trail to the right to get back to your car.

Contacts

Shared By:

David Hitchcock

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 2 votes

#25420

Overall
  3.5 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#2,638

in California

#25,420

Overall
2 Views Last Month
293 Since Oct 7, 2018
Intermediate Intermediate

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Photos

The top of the trail flattens out and several side trails for mountain bikers connect with the Clipper Ridge Trail. The Flat Top Trail circles to the right and then descends back toward the parking lot.
Oct 8, 2018 near El Granada, CA
While the trail does flatten out at the top, there is quite a climb to get there. Like most trails in the park, you get a good view of the ocean if you turn around.
Oct 8, 2018 near El Granada, CA
A grove of eucalyptus trees creates shaded relief at the end of the trail. The trail emerges at the parking lot.
Oct 8, 2018 near El Granada, CA

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