Valley View Loop, San Pedro Valley Park,
County of San Mateo Parks,
San Mateo County
In brief:
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 675 feet.

Exposure:
Mostly exposed.

Trail traffic:
Moderate.

Trail surfaces:
Dirt trails and fire roads.

Hiking time:
1 hour.

Season:
Nice any time; lovely in spring.

Getting there:
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:
http://www.transitandtrails.org/trailheads/400

GPS Coordinates* for Trailhead
:
Latitude 3734'44.05"N
Longitude
12228'28.02"W
(* 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.

Trailhead details
:
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.

Rules
:
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
:
CSMP's San Pedro page.
Park headquarters 650-355-8289

Map Choices:
• 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 Press).
Map from CSMP
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 descriptions (order 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).

Valley View Loop in a nutshell -- a printable, text-only guide to the featured hike.

View 45 photos of the hike.





Go to Bay Area Hiker Home page


San Pedro Valley Park in Pacifica shelters a variety of bay area plants and animals.Trailhead  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.View of the valley
      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. Valley View Trail 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. Valley View TrailAt 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.Bobcat
     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