This 4.2 mile loop is the longest hike within the park, and is a good tour through
San Pedro's varied vegetation.
Distance, category, and difficulty:
This 4.3 mile loop hike is easy, with about 900 feet in elevation
change. Trailhead elevation is about 200 feet, and the high point is about
Mix of sun and shade.
Dirt trails and fire roads.
Nice any time; lovely in spring.
From CA 1 in Pacifica (San Mateo County), turn east at Linda Mar Boulevard.
Drive east on Linda Mar about 2 miles to the end of the road, then turn
right on Oddstad and almost immediately make a left into the park.
Get driving or public transit directions from Transit and Trails:
GPS Coordinates* for Trailhead:
(* based on Google Earth
data, shown as degrees, minutes, seconds)
Gas, food, and lodging:
Gas, pay phone, restaurants, and stores back near CA 1 on Linda Mar. No
Once past the entrance kiosk, bear right and park in the lot. $6 entrance
fee (self-register is kiosk is unattended). Maps available at the trailhead
information signboard. Wheelchair accessible restrooms and drinking water
at edge of parking lot. Several designated handicapped parking spots, and
some trails are wheelchair accessible. SamTrans bus #14 stops at Linda Mar
and Oddstad, and you can walk into the park from there visit the Transit
Info website for details..
Bikes are permitted on only one trail. Some trails are designated hiking
only, and a few allow equestrians. No dogs. Park is open from 8 a.m. to
about sunset (hours vary seasonally).
The Official Story:
San Pedro page.
Park headquarters 650-355-8289
Map Choices/More Info:
Use AAA's San Francisco Bay Region map to get there
Hiking, Bicycling, and Equestrian Trail Map of Pacifica and
Trails of the Coastside and Northern Peninsula are the best map guides
to the park (available from Pease
A hike through
San Pedro to the top of Montara Mountain is mapped and described in 60
Hikes within 60 Miles: San Francisco, by Jane Huber (yup, that's me,
the creator of this website). Order
this book from Amazon.com.
Peninsula Trails, by Jean Rusmore, has a simple map and trail
this book from Amazon.com).
Tom Taber's The Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Book has a simple
map and park descriptions (order
this book from Amazon.com).
Read more about other Bay Area Hiker loops
at San Pedro.
View photos from this
Go to Bay Area Hiker Home page
Trail, at 3.3 miles, is the longest path in San Pedro Valley Park. Designed with plenty of switchbacks, the aptly named trail
climbs through chaparral and permits sweeping views of the rest of the
park, Sweeney Ridge, the ocean, and Montara Mountain. The hiking and equestrian
trail makes a nice, easy loop when combined with Weiler Ranch Road and
Plaskon Nature Trail.
Start at the information signboard
near the start of Plaskon Nature Trail. Cross the bridge and walk
about 90 feet on Plaskon Ridge Trail, then turn right at the signed
junction with Hazelnut Trail.
The hiking and equestrian trail begins under
cover of a particularly large and lovely coast live oak. In spring, you
may see trillium and forget-me-nots. Hazelnut Trail soon leaves the woods and begins an ascent
through grassy chaparral. Poison oak is everywhere, and is particularly
obvious in autumn and early spring, when the leaves are red-tinged. A
few madrones and coast live oak persist, but gradually the trail makes
a transition into more shrubby vegetation. Creambush, coyote brush, huckleberry,
hazelnut, ceanothus, chinquapin, toyon, California coffeeberry, elderberry,
and manzanita line the narrow path. You might see vetch and hound's tongue
in early spring. As you climb you'll have views, initially of Weiler Ranch
Road and the valley, then followed by glimpses of Sweeney Ridge and Montara
Mountain. Cow parsnip crowds the trail in spring, and hedge nettle, hound's
tongue, starflower, iris, false Solomon's seal, and trillium bloom in
the shady spots.Blue witch nightshade, thimbleberry, currant, yerba santa, and pitcher sage also make occasional
appearances. Hazelnut Trail passes through a eucalyptus grove, resumes
a climb through chaparral, bisects a second eucalyptus forest, and again
emerges in chaparral. You might see mission bells in early spring, in
bloom along with thimbleberry, and ceanothus. Manzanitas, which start
flowering at San Pedro around Christmas, will already have berries developing
by winter's end. The trail is rutted and tough to walk in some stretches. A series of switchbacks will lead you to a bench with a view back down
to Hazelnut Trail, and up to Montara Mountain. Thick hedges of huckleberry
tower over the trail on the right, and on the right you might see the
last blossoms on currant bushes in early spring. As Hazelnut Trail heads
east, Sweeney Ridge is visible on a clear day.The trail starts to descend on
switchbacks, with the same familiar chaparral plants lining the trail.
Poison oak, which had abated for a while, returns with a vengeance. Hazelnut
shrubs are common, although you might not notice them in the winter when
they ditch their leaves. Weiler Ranch Road comes back into view. On a
hot day, a bench under some chinquapin is a perfectly shaded rest spot.
You may see milkmaids, paintbrush, and manroot blooming in spring. At
3.37 miles, Hazelnut Trail ends at Weiler Ranch Road. Turn left.
Flat Weiler Ranch Road, open to hikers,
equestrians, and cyclists, runs along the Middle Fork of San Pedro Creek.
This wide trail is popular with parents pushing strollers and kids learning
to ride bicycles. Dogwood thrives near the waterway. After crossing a
bridge, Weiler Ranch Road follows the contour of the valley floor, where
deer are commonly spotted. At 3.62 miles, Weiler Ranch Road meets Valley
View Trail at a signed junction. Continue straight on Weiler Ranch Road.
As you draw near the park's border, Weiler
Ranch Road splits. Either leg is a option, I took the path to the left
(if you stay to the right, you'll pass the other end of Valley View Trail;
turn left and head roughly west). After crossing the creek again, you'll
pass two reservable group picnic areas and some restrooms. Weiler Ranch
Road ends at the edge of the parking lot, at 4.16 miles. Turn left
and walk on the sidewalk a few feet, then turn left on Plaskon Nature
A bridge crosses the South Fork of San
Pedro Creek, where salmon may be spotted spawning after heavy winter rains.
Willow, and dogwood, as well as coast live oak, shade the path. At 4.24
miles, you'll reach a previously encountered junction with Hazelnut Trail.
Continue on Plaskon Nature Trail to the trailhead.
Total distance: 4.26 miles
Last hiked: Tuesday, November