Hike Date: October 9th, 2010
Distance: 9.9 miles
Elevation: Min: 49 ft Max: 1744 ft Gain: 2618 ft
Trail(s): Montara Mountain Trail, Brooks Creek Trail
Where’s it at? San Pedro Valley County Park and McNee Ranch SP in Pacifica, CA
Cost: $5 whether or not a ranger is there
My Tracks™ by Google, for Android Stats:
Total Distance: 15.90 km (9.9 mi)
Total Time: 2:40:26
Moving Time: 2:09:25
Average Speed: 5.95 km/h (3.7 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 7.37 km/h (4.6 mi/h)
Max Speed: 10.06 km/h (6.3 mi/h)
Min Elevation: 15 m (49 ft)
Max Elevation: 532 m (1744 ft)
Elevation Gain: 798 m (2618 ft)
Recorded: Sat Oct 09 11:59:18 PDT 2010
Activity type: trail hiking
Any idea what my favorite thing about Fall is? If you guessed the time change, you’re wrong. If you guessed leaves changing colors, you’re half right. My favorite thing about fall is that poison oak turns red and dead. It is a little bit of karma if you ask me, I turn red and want to die whenever I touch it.
That said, I think this hike would be great any season. It’s not a grassy area so it isn’t your typical “Golden” California hill this time of year. I did actually even find some patches of green grass and here it is October already. Pacifica is quite often foggy and wet. Today was a great sunny day, in fact I should’ve brought sunscreen.
I parked at San Pedro Valley County Park in San Mateo County in the city of Pacifica, CA which is on the Pacific coastline south of San Francisco and west of Daly City. Traveling counter-clockwise I started on the the Brooks Creek Trail, turning onto Montara Mountain mountain Trail and hiked to the summit, retracing steps halfway back until I got to the junction for the Brooks Creek Trail again. This time I took the Eastern route which passes by what would normally be Brooks Creek Falls. There isn’t much water this time of year so no pictures of the falls. I’ll be sure to go back in early Spring or late Winter after a rain.
The cost was $5 and they have a lot of decent picnic tables and barbecues near the lot with water facilities and bathrooms. Along the hike I think I found 8 or 9 benches strategically placed for great and varying views.
There’s a pretty big variety of trail type and quality. The first third is a really well maintained and fairly wide trail with an easy slope and switchbacks. The second third is VERY narrow. In fact I wanted to look up the official definition of “Trail” in a few spots. Lots of fancy footwork involved to ascend here. I don’t normally mind narrow trails but when they’re lined with poison oak and there are a number of occasions where you have to try to squeeze by other hikers, I’d have preferred it stay wide the whole way. The final third of the trail to the summit is a pretty steep and dusty fire trail.
Definitely recommend this hike at the top of all the coastal hill hikes I’ve done around the peninsula this year. It has a great variety of terrain, flora/fauna, views and trail types.
A shout out to Guerrero’s Taqueria in Pacifica for serving up an icy beer and super burrito to finish the adventure!
Photos from Hiking Montara mountain via San Pedro Valley (click to enlarge)
Useful Links about Montara Mountain via San Pedro Valley
Directions to San Pedro Valley County Park
View Judging Earth by its cover in a larger map