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Sweeney Ridge

Sweeney Ridge

Sweeney Ridge

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: California, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 37.61025°N / 122.45829°W

Object Title: Sweeney Ridge

County: San Mateo

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 1270 ft / 387 m


Page By: Noondueler

Created/Edited: May 25, 2012 / May 30, 2012

Object ID: 791691

Hits: 2050 

Page Score: 84.27%  - 18 Votes 

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Pacific Coast from Mori Ridge
Pacific Coast from Mori Ridge
Sweeney Ridge (part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area) is about a 2 mile long north/south running open scrub brush covered uplift just east of Pacifica on the San Francisco peninsula. It can be accessed from San Bruno to the northeast or the Coast Hwy. (Hwy 1) to the west.
There is an old deserted Cold War Nike Missile site on top and the ridge has the distinction of being the location from which the Spanish Army discovered San Francisco Bay in 1769.
This is a easy to moderate few hour hike with fine views of the Pacific coast, the surrounding hills and ridges and Montara Mountain 3 miles to the south. On clear days Mt. Tamalpais rises over 20 miles north of the Golden Gate, and the East Bay Hills and Diablo Range define the skyline across SF Bay.
San Bruno Mountain runs east/west 5 miles to the north, the South San Francisco metropolitan area spreads below to the north and east and San Andeas Lake defining the San Andreas Rift Zone sits below the ridge a mile or so the east.

Getting There

North from Sweeney Ridge
Sweeney Ridge north
There are 5 surrounding trailheads from which to reach the crest of Sweeney Ridge.

Sneath Lane: From Hwy 35 go west on Sneath Lane as it curves up and around 1 mile to the trailhead. Hike the paved road 1.7 miles up to the top of the ridge. This is the easiest approach with only a 400' gain.

Skyline College: From Hwy. 35 take College Dr. west a half mile and go left a quarter mile to the trailhead. Hike up about a mile to the junction with Mori Ridge at the top of the ridge.

Mori Ridge: From Hwy. 1 .8 miles north of Rockaway Beach take the little road curving up at the Shelldance Nursery sign a quarter mile to the trailhead. Hike up Mori Ridge 1.2 miles to the ridgetop going south.
This is 1000' gain with great views going up of the coastline.

Cattle Hill: From Rockaway Beach take the unofficial trail 2.2 miles up to the top of Sweeney Ridge. This is a sketchy route through some private property with no trailhead parking best used as part of a 7 mile loop from Mori Ridge with a 1,200' gain.

Estella Drive: From Rockaway Beach take Fassier Ave. 1.5 miles up to the trailhead. Hike up .3 miles and take the ridge trail another mile up to the top of Sweeney Ridge.

Red Tape

South from Sweeney Ridge
Sweeney Ridge south view
No access fees.
Dogs permitted on leash.
Multi-use access shared with mountain bikers.


South from Mori Ridge
South from Mori Ridge
Coast Hwy. from Mori Ridge
Rockaway Beach from Mori Ridge
There is no camping on the Sweeney Ridge.

Current weather and 5 day forecast

Click here for the Pacifica forecast.


Pacific Coast from Mori RidgePassenger jet taking off from SFODown to the coast from Mori RidgeSan Bruno Mtn. from Sweeney RidgeSouth from Sweeney RidgeRoad atop Sweeney RidgeNorth from Sweeney Ridge
Coast Hwy. from Mori RidgeSweeney Ridge from Mori RidgeSouth from Mori RidgeNike Missile site info signSan Andreas Lake from Sweeney RidgeMonument at the Discovery sight