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Montara Mountain / McNee Ranch

McNee Ranch State Park

Montara Mountain Links:

October 12th, 1997

7.6 miles
1910 vertical feet
Total Time: 4:24

Rating: 7/10

Directions:   View Driving Map


Daisy, Dhananjay, Jessica, Leslie, Michelle, Reza, Weihaw, and I went to hike Montara Mountain in McNee Ranch State Park near Devil's Slide.

We parked at Montara State Beach (free parking), just a couple hundred feet past the trailhead. We then crossed Highway 1 and started off on our hike.

The storm that had dumped rain on the Bay Area on Thursday and Friday was now our blessing. It was Sunday now, and the sky was absolutely clear. Not a cloud in the sky. We could see for miles. The trail heads up immediately, but we were quickly rewarded with views down to Montara State Beach and off into the Pacific Ocean.

Near the beginning of the hike, looking southwest toward Montara State Beach and the ocean.

Then came the first of three killer "ups" as my hiking book refers to them. Although I'm not sure how they count them. There seemed to be more than 3. They all sort of merged together. Several portions were probably a 20% grade. But the hike, taken as a whole, wasn't that difficult. 1910 feet of climbing (about 10% average grade), and we were at the top in about 2 hours.

Reza backed by rolling green hills

The first of the killer ups

Along the way there are nice views of green valleys and amazing views of the entire Bay Area. Mt. Diablo and Mt. Tamalpais were clearly visible. We had a clear shot of the Golden Gate Bridge -- locals told us this sighting was a very rare occasion. With binoculars I could easily make out the Campanile in Berkeley, and what I think was Moffett Field in Mountain View. We also had great views of the Pacific Ocean and the coast. The Farallon Islands were visible in the distance. We could see ships, including an increasing number of sailboats.

The only thing that marred the views at the top was a radio transmitter tower. It was also a bit windy, but still tolerable in shorts and t-shirt. After eating lunch, taking pictures, and enjoying the view, we started back down.

The lizard Reza spotted near the top with his eagle eyes

Along the way we saw a few dogs, scattered mountain bikers, occasional hikers, a lizard, and a crow.

Heading back down toward the beach

I may also later scan in a panoramic picture I took from the top.


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