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Top 3 Trails for Hiking Near Half Moon Bay

March 5, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

hiking near half moon bay

Photo Credit: Miguel Vieira/Flickr

No matter where you’re hiking near Half Moon Bay you’re sure to be met with beautiful views, refreshing weather, and wonderful Northern California wildlife. Whether it’s the Pacific Ocean, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, one of the small towns below or a grove of giant redwoods, you won’t be disappointed by the many sights that accompany hiking in the area. Though the fog does tend to roll in from sea at certain times of year, the weather is always temperate leaving you with perfect days that are neither too hot nor too cold for steep ascent, or an easy forest meander. When you’re visiting the charming town of Half Moon Bay, CA, and perhaps even staying at the beautiful Mill Rose Inn, you ought to head to the hills or the coast to tackle a nice walk in the wilderness.

Here are three of the best trails for hiking near Half Moon Bay:

  1. Montara Mountain Trail is just north of Half Moon Bay in Pacifica, CA within the San Pedro County Park. This 2.1 mile out-and-back hike has a number of small trails that can easily make it a loop hike if you prefer not to see the same scenery twice. Beginning with a track through the Blue Gum Eucalyptus forest where you can catch a few glimpses of the ocean through the trees, the setting transitions into lush coastal scrub and Manzanita groves, and as you ascend you will begin to see the ridge of Montara Mountain. Gaining 1174 feet in elevation you’ll notice awesome granite rock formations and the rare Montara Manzanita, unique to this mountain.
  2. Located off the famous Skyline Boulevard, you’ll find the accessible Redwood Trail. Built with a grant from the Peninsula Open Space Trust in the Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, this is an easy flat trail through a redwood grove where you may just catch a glimpse of the ocean. The wheelchair accessible picnic tables make this a great place for a snack before or after tackling the quarter-mile walk through the woods.
  3. The Pedro Point Headlands offer wonderful hiking trails along this bluff in Pacifica. With three short, manageable hikes leading out to the Pedro Summit, this is one of the best oceanside trails for hiking near Half Moon Bay. Explore all five of their easy trails while breathing the salty sea air, and enjoying the coastal scrub and seabirds flying around. If you’re lucky you may even catch a glimpse of whales feeding out in the bay.

While visiting the area it’s a great idea to find some hiking near Half Moon Bay, which will give you an exciting half day trip through the beautiful natural landscape. On any of these trails, you’ll get to appreciate what makes Northern California so naturally unique, as well as the dramatic beauty of coastal mountains and bluffs. The Mill Rose Inn is happy to give you other hiking suggestions, as well as send you off properly nourished to tackle the San Mateo County countryside.

Your Guide to Hiking Montara Mountain

June 20, 2014 by Mill Rose Inn

Montara MountainGuests staying at our Half Moon Bay bed and breakfast, Mill Rose Inn, have access to a bounty of natural beauty. Not only is our inn surrounded by rich and colorful gardens, but also the Half Moon Bay area is an ideal place for hiking and exploring. Half Moon Bay trails cover a variety of landscapes along the coastline and ocean views are plentiful. There are several places in the area you can visit to enjoy the outdoors. One in particular is Montara Mountain. This beautiful mountain is a great place to spend your time hiking and enjoying the picturesque California countryside. Here’s a short guide to hiking Montara Mountain!


Montara Mountain forms the northern spur of the Santa Cruz Mountains, a narrow mountain range running the length of the San Francisco Peninsula. The highest point rises to 1,898 feet above sea level! Overlook pristine coastal landscapes from a mountaintop that’s just a short drive from the Mill Rose Inn. If you’re looking for sun along the San Francisco peninsula coastline, the Montara Mountain is the place to head for. The sun often breaks through the clouds, giving you the best view of the area! By the time you hike to the summit you’ll be hiking above the clouds, so don’t let the gloomy weather stop you from seeing the pristine view. Montara Mountain hike at McNee Ranch is a fabulous 7-10 round trip mile walk up to the 1898-foot North Peak summit. Take caution when deciding to hike this mountain. Hikers should be in reasonable shape in order to enjoy the walk and avoid sliding.


To start your adventure up to the summit, choose from any of the awesome trails the area has to offer. With several trails to choose from, there is sure to be one just right for you.


The shortest official trail begins in San Pedro Valley County and promises gorgeous views from the Northern flanks of the mountain towards Pacifica. The narrow 3 ½ mile trail begins inside the boundary of San Pedro Valley County Park, passes through eucalyptus forest and rises high into the hills, revealing impressive views of the surrounding area and endless coastline.


The Farralone Cutoff trail is 4.1 miles to the summit. The path crosses the cultivated fields north of Montara and several others things before the real climb begins. This path is a little longer than the San Pedro Valley Park one. To began your journey turn off Route 1 at 2nd Street and take a left turn onto Farallone Avenue. For a map of the trail, check here.


Graywhale Cove State Beach trail is one of the longest trails to the summit of Montara Mountain. This 4.8-mile path begins at Graywhale Cove State Beach and winds up the side of the massive mountain. The view of the coastline on all the trails named above is breath taking!



When you’re mapping out which Montara Mountain trail to explore, don’t forget to book your stay at a local Half Moon Bay bed and breakfast. Mill Rose Inn has a beautiful selection of rooms and suites to choose from. Many rooms have garden views, claw foot tubs and fireplaces. Plus, your stay includes a delicious full champagne breakfast so you’ll have the fuel to hit the Montara Mountain trails. Find your perfect room and start planning your trip today!

Also, here is  a comprehensive article on Top 50 Long Distance Hiking Trails In The USA you might enjoy.


Photo courtesy Eugene Kim.