Sweeney Ridge

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California, United States, North America
San Mateo
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
1270 ft / 387 m
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Sweeney Ridge
Created On: May 25, 2012
Last Edited On: May 30, 2012


Pacific Coast from Mori RidgePacific 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 RidgeSweeney 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 RidgeSweeney Ridge south view
No access fees.
Dogs permitted on leash.
Multi-use access shared with mountain bikers.


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

Current weather and 5 day forecast

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