“A great trail with incredible ocean views and the shortest (and steepest) way to the top of Montara Mountain.
— Justin Shields
Birding · Views · Wildlife
The best way to approach this trail is to park at Montara State Beach or the McNee Ranch Gate off of Highway 1. It starts off on a dirt road (Old San Pedro Mountain Road
), then crosses a bridge and heads through a ranch. After about 0.5 miles, you turn left and head straight up a steep hill towards the mountain. This leads to a little flat area where a mess of rutted dirt roads descend into the trees. Stay generally right/south and look for a steep trail which leads off to the left after a tenth of a mile or so. You are aiming for the water tanks up on Alta Vista Rd. Once there, head left on the road which ends and turns into a good singletrack trail at the Rancho Corral de Tierra sign. This is the start of the Alta Vista Trail.
This trail is about 1.5 miles to the top of the peak on steep (up to 40%) grades. The trail wastes no time starting the climb; the first really steep section is about 0.4 miles in, but your way is made a little easier by a series of short switchbacks. Continue climbing, and you'll reach the next very steep section about a mile into the trail. After reaching the top, there is a very short descent to the junction with North Peak Access Road Trail
The trail surface is generally good and is mostly dirt but can be rocky at times. There are many new steps in places which help makes the climb feel much easier to tackle. There are amazing views of the mountains and ocean and you can even San Francisco from the top.
Flora & Fauna
Coyotes, hawks, rabbits, poison oak.