Native people occupied these lands for at least 9,000 years. The local band, Aramai, lived in the village of Pruristac at San Pedro Creek. They hunted, fished and harvested nuts, roots and berries. Gaspar de Portola arrived in 1769 and their lives were changed forever.

There was no easy way to travel between Pacifica and Montara. All routes over San Pedro Mountain were treacherous. In 1879, Half Moon Bay-Colma Road carved the path the Ocean Shore Railroad would later follow. In 1915, construction for the Coastside Boulevard over the east slope of the mountain allowed farmers to take produce to market. Steep grades and hair-raising curves caused many accidents before State Route 1 was completed in 1937.

California State Route 1 (renamed Highway 1 in 1964) was closed at Devil's Slide for the first time in 1940 and was ever after plagued by erosion and landslides. Plans for an alternate route over Montara Mountain precipitated heated public controversy. Congressman Tom Lantos was instrumental in securing Federal funds for a permanent solution, and monumental grassroots efforts secured the votes for the Tunnel Initiative. The Tom Lantos Tunnels opened in 2013, retiring the section of Highway 1 that would reopen in 2014 as multi-use, recreational Devil’s Slide Trail.