The Montara Mountain Trail begins as a meandering junction through the Blue Gum Eucalyptus forest with striking glimpses of the Pacifica coast and the ocean beyond. The trail offers lush coastal scrub and beautiful Manzanita groves leading past the intersection of the Brooks Creek Trail, once out of the Eucalyptus. The ascent continues at a more moderate degree winding around the top of the hill with a panoramic view of Montara Mountain Ridge's western portion before meeting the steep mountain flank.
Here, challenging switchbacks await you over granite rock mixed with rich red clay higher and higher up the mountain with each sequential change of elevation offering a wider view of both the park below and the west coast. The elevation change brings its specialities: impressive granite rock formations, the rare Montara Manzanita that only grows on this mountain and all the other resilient coastal plant colonies that have thrived for centuries at this altitude. Montara Mountain Trail offers the versatility of using the Brooks Creek Trail intersection to get back to the park or the more challenging option of continuing up the mountain where the trail ends at the San Pedro Valley Park Boundary at an altitude gain of approximately 1,600 feet.
From there, the trail continues to McNee Ranch State Park property where the fire road runs along the top of the mountain ridge to the North Peak Access which provides 1,898 feet of elevation gain. This access road is lined with beautiful outcroppings of granite and offers amazing views of San Francisco Bay on one side and Montara State and Half Moon Bay on the other side.
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