San Pedro Valley County Park

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Half a day

Route Quality: 4 Votes

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Created On: Feb 18, 2002
Last Edited On: Feb 21, 2002


Road access to the two San Pedro Valley County Park (SPVCP) trailheads is via California's famous Highway 1.

Navigate from your starting point to SPVCP with Yahoo! Maps. Quickest access from Highway 1 is via Linda Mar Boulevard.

If you are without a car, or planning to do a through-hike which begins or ends at another trailhead, public transportation options are quite convenient. The San Mateo County Transit Authority offers weekday-only bus service to within 500 feet of the SPVCP entrance. Route info for the bus from Get off at the intersection of Linda Mar Blvd. and Oddstad Dr.

Route Description

Click on the thumbnail image to the right to view the vicinity of this hike. The red "P" is the parking area for SPVCP. The red trail marked on the map is the "Montara Mountain Trail". It is well maintained, even during the wet winter months, and climbs 1080 feet over 2.5 miles until it meets the main Montara Mountain Access Road. San Pedro Valley is in the shadow of two large mountains, and receives much rain and little sun, so the vegetation at the base of the climb is quite thick. Beautiful groves of eucalyptus (imported), redwood (native but replanted), and fir help you forget yourself. As the trail climbs, the flora gives way to shorter trees, like the bright-red-barked Manzanita(?) tree, as well as to flowering shrubs taller than a man. By the time the trail meets the Montara Mountain Access Road, the vegetation is predominantly low, thick brush.

Although not marked by me on the map above, there is a second, very desirable route up the mountain, "Brooks Creek Trail". Follow obvious signs from the SPVCP main parking lot up Brooks Creek Trail. The trail travels roughly southwest from the red "P" on the map, climbing steeply, through similar changes in vegetation. After 500 feet of climbing, you are treated with fantastic vistas of a 180-foot-high Brooks Falls, where Brooks Creek tumbles over a dropoff on Montara Mountain's steep granite. From here, the trail climbs another couple hundred feet and rejoins the main Montara Mountain Trail. One downside: during the winter, the steep slopes and heavy rains in this vicinity make the Brooks Creek Trail prone to washouts. After either the Brooks Creek or Montara Mountain trails join the main Montara Mountain Access Road, the climb is a straightforward-if-steep 624-foot climb over 1.6 miles to the north (true) summit of Montara Mountain.

Essential Gear

Winter weather can vary from 65 ° Fand sunny to 40° F with heavy winds and driving rain or fog. Summer weather can vary from 100° F baking with no wind to near-winter conditions (55° F with fog and heavy ocean winds). Dress accordingly.

Furthermore, there is very little usable water on any of the Montara Mountain trails at any time of the year, especially in summer. The hikes are short, but you should be self-sufficient.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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mpbro - Aug 22, 2005 11:24 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

First of all, my definition of "day" is the hours of usable sunlight. In the winter, this could be 10-11 hours. Thus to me, a "half day" hike is a hike that takes 4 hours or more.

Round-trip distance for this trail is 8.2 miles. To finish in 2 hours requires hiking faster than 4 mi/hr, which is a brisk pace on flat ground, very brisk on steep terrain.

Many hikers will go no faster than 1-1.5 mi/hr. This implies 5.5-8 hours of total hiking time. In the winter, 8 hours is much more than half a day of usable sunlight.

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