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Scarper Peak Trail



1.5 mile 2.5 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 445' 135 m
Descent: -67' -20 m
High: 1,920' 585 m
Low: 1,485' 453 m


Avg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 17% (10°)


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Trail shared by Lee Watts

Remote peak slightly higher than than Montara Mountain and covered with huge old-growth douglas fir.

Lee Watts

Features Views · Wildflowers


For years, I have wanted to climb this remote peak, because it is the highest peak around and it is visible from all over Rancho Corral de Tierra. Moreover, it is the only peak covered with trees. Until recently, this trail was on inaccessible private property. Today, however it is part of a new addition to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. I believe this trail was originally part of the Scarper Road that goes all the way to Montara Mountain, but today, it appears like an old, grass-covered farm trail that branches off from the wide, well-graded road to the cell tower.

The starting point for the Scarper Peak Trail requires a fairly long hike any way that you come: Deer Creek Road, the Clipper Ridge trail, or the Scarper Road. About 200 yards from the start, the Scarper Peak Trail drops about 60 feet in elevation and then begins the climb to the top. A lot of it is easy, but there are some short, steep climbs. At the beginning, there are views down the canyon of Locks Creek and on to the ocean south of Half Moon Bay. The last part of the trail passes through old-growth forest of douglas fur. Many of the trees are huge, and most of the trunks and lower branches are completely covered with moss.

There is an air traffic control station at the top of the peak. About 200 yards from the end, the trail passes only about 25 yards below the station. It is possible cut up through the brush and go directly there, but if you continue down the road, you'll soon come to a paved service road that leads to the station. The top is a bit disappointing. Trees and brush block all views in the area.

You are allowed to hike for some distance down the service road, but it eventually leads to inaccessible private property.

On various current maps, the peak is labeled either Scarper Peak or Scapet Peak. Andy Howse points out that both spellings are wrong in this historical accountof the peak. In that article, he shows an 1894 map which names it Scarpa Peak and the map shows that large tracts of land around it were owned by George Scarpa.

Flora & Fauna

Old growth douglas fur.

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Nov 24, 2019
Elisha Polomski
no view at top cuz of trees, but they r nice trees, doug firs. nice clearings near top have views of farallon islands and coast down to pescadero.… 11.8mi
May 26, 2019
Eric N

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5 Views Last Month
75 Since Mar 6, 2019



Air Traffic Control Station atop Scarper Peak. All views nearby are obstructed by trees and brush, including a lot of huge, old-growth, moss-covered Douglas Furs
Feb 24, 2019 near El Granada, CA


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