Montara Mountain Trail starts as a meandering jaunt through the Blue Gum Eucalyptus forest with striking glimpses of coastal Pacifica and the ocean beyond. Once out from the Eucalyptus, the trail offers lush coastal scrub and beautiful Manzanita groves leading past the Brooks Creek Trail intersection. The ascent continues at a more moderate degree winding around the hilltop with a panoramic view of the western portion of Montara Mountain Ridge before meeting the steep flank of the mountain. Here, challenging switchbacks await you over granite rock mixed with rich red clay higher and higher up the mountain with each sequential elevation change offering a broader view of both the park below and the western coast. The change in elevation brings its specialties: impressive granite rock formations, the rare Montara Manzanita which only grows on this mountain and all the other resilient coastal plant colonies that have thrived at this altitude for centuries.
Montara Mountain Trail offers the versatility of using the Brooks Creek Trail intersection to descend back to the park or the more challenging option of continuing on up the mountain where the trail ends at the San Pedro Valley Park Boundary at approximately 1,600 feet of elevation gain. From there, the trail continues onto McNee Ranch State Park property where it intersects at the ridge of the Mountain with Montara Mountain Road and continues west down to Montara State Beach. This access road is lined with beautiful granite outcroppings and offers the stunning vistas of the San Francisco Bay on the one side and Montara State beach and Half Moon Bay on the other.