Lovely hike on a rare sunny day in Pacifica. Good wildflowers. Pics and a hike report are here
Nice walk; fairly empty, just me and mountain bikers. Great cell phone reception at the top with all the radio attennas. 2 hours up and 1 hour down.
This a beautiful training hike. If you don't go early, consider going late in the afternoon to avoid crowds. Once you crest the first few hills and the trails wraps around the hill the sun is not as warm and the wind chill picks up.
We left around 3:30pm on a Sunday afternoon and did not see ANY other hikers on the trails to the top. Only two groups of mountain bikers.
Been up this peak other times besides that listed (that's the only one I wrote down). Beautiful place, though- excellent views of the ocean, Halfmoon Bay, Pacifica, and almost no people! When done, one gets to walk down to the beach 2 min away, right on the other side of the highway!
I got no view at all on the summit for the first two times. Fog, mist and wind is normal occurrance here (bring a jacket), which contributes to the lush vegetation and (I think) the lack of crowds. I prefer the San Pedro valley route, which has more narrow hiking trails (as opposed to fire road) and views of the deep canyon northwest of the summit. The mountain is never crowded considering it is less than 10 miles from San Francisco. It has more ocean view than city views since it is set back behind other lesser ridges (San Bruno Mtn, Sweeney Ridge) on the bay side. The famous Devil's slide (landslide prone) area of Highway 1 basically passes under the shoulder of Montara Mountain.