2 mile loop is the easiest in the park. Look for deer and bobcats.
Distance, category, and difficulty:
This 2.1 mile loop hike is easy, with about 400 feet in elevation
change. Trailhead elevation is about 200 feet, and the high point is about
Dirt trails and fire roads.
Nice any time; lovely in spring.
From CA 1 in Pacifica, turn east on Linda Mar (the last traffic light in
town heading south; the first one heading north from Devil's Slide) and
drive about 2 miles to the end of the road. Turn right on Oddstad, then
make the immediate 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, stores, and restaurants at the shopping center on Linda Mar, about
2 miles west of the park. No camping.
Entrance fee of $6 (self register when entry kiosk is unstaffed). Lots of
parking in paved lots. Restrooms near the Walnut Grove Picnic Area. Maps
available at the information kiosk near the picnic area. 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. There are designated handicapped parking spots,
and one short trail is wheelchair accessible.
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
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 park
this book from Amazon.com).
The Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Book, by Tom Taber has a simple
map and park descriptions (order
this book from Amazon.com).
View Loop in a nutshell -- a printable, text-only guide to the featured
View 45 photos of the
Go to Bay Area Hiker Home page
Pedro Valley Park in Pacifica shelters a variety of bay area plants
and animals. It's rare to visit and fail to see deer, and twice I've seen
bobcats here. There's always something blooming or fruiting, and Brooks
Falls beckon in late winter, a prelude to the spring wildflowers which
dot the forests and grassy hillsides. The Valley View Loop is a short
and easy hike, prefect for beginning hikers, parents with children, and
anyone up for a brief nature interlude.
Begin at the edge of the northern parking
lot at a kiosk near a sign pointing to Walnut Group Picnic Areas
and Trail Access. The paved service road crosses San Pedro Creek,
and is lined with moisture loving plants such as dogwood, ferns, elderberry,
and blackberry. After about 200 feet the service road passes restrooms
and a nicely landscaped picnic area.San
Pedro Creek is crossed once again, the paved road ends, and you'll enter
the mouth of a lovely valley. Check the trail or pick up at a map at the
information kiosk (with an interesting display of the park's non-native
pest plants), then keep walking a few feet to the signed junction of the
Weiler Ranch Road Trail and Valley View Trail.
Begin an easy climb on Valley View Trail,
open to hikers and equestrians only, which initially winds through eucalyptus
and coyote brush. Beware of poison oak, especially in the winter when
large shrubs are leafless, though the branches are still potent with itchy
oil. Valley View Trail makes a sharp turn right near the park boundary
and exits a eucalyptus grove, allowing a great view to the south
of North Peak in McNee Ranch State Park(except
when it's foggy). The navigating gets a little confusing as some social
trails, deer paths, and an old routing of the trail cross the official
trail. The real path is marked with a decaying wooden trail sign which
reads Valley View Trail; when you encounter the old path continue straight. Grassland carpets the nearly flat crest of the hill, but the trail soon
wanders through chaparral and takes a slightly steeper course, though
the hiking is still easy. Look for cotoneaster (a non-native poisonous
plant with pretty red berries), creambush, ceanothus, huckleberry, coyote
brush, California coffeeberry, sagebrush, toyon, and poison oak on the
sides of the path. Views east and south, toward the hills of the San Francisco
Watershed, are unobstructed and wonderful. This very quiet section of
the park is home to many animals, and you may see footprints and scat from deer, coyote, and bobcat. Remain on Valley
View Trail as a few unmarked paths depart to the northeast on the left
side of the trail. Much too soon for me, the trail begins a descent. Switchbacks
keep the grade manageable. The trail is very rocky in sections, as it
passes by a few silktassel shrubs, along with toyon and coyote brush.
At a corner, look for a bench with the best view of the eastern section
of the park, including the switchback-happy Hazelnut Trail on the other
side of the valley. This is a good spot for some nature exploration with
binoculars. You might get lucky and see coyote or bobcat in the grassy
valley, but you stand a good chance of seeing deer and hawks. Valley View
Trail continues a descent, passing through some eucalyptus on the way
back down to the valley floor. On a hike in October, I noticed pick blossoms
busting out from the bare branches of a currant bush, a sure harbinger
of winter's approach. At 1.6miles,
Valley View Trail ends at a signed junction with Weiler Ranch Road Trail.
Turn right on Weiler Ranch Road Trail.
This flat wide trail, open to cyclists,
equestrians, and hikers, is a very popular path for joggers and local
walkers. Walk back to the previously encountered junction at 1.9 miles,
then turn left and retrace your steps back to the trailhead. On
a hike in October, as I passed the picnic area, I noticed an animal sitting
in the grass in the field off to the left. I crept closer and had the
privilege of watching a bobcat for a few minutes (love that white tipped
short tail switching back and forth!), until the beautiful creature stepped
back into the brush. (Visit the bobcat
page for more photos.)
Total distance: 2.1 miles
Last hiked: Tuesday, October 10, 2000