San Mateo Coast & Two Lighthouse Hostel Coastwalk


San Mateo Coast & Two Lighthouse Hostel Coastwalk

August 2-6

5 days/4 nights

Rating: Moderate

Max Capacity: 20

$850 Coastwalk Member Price

$900 Non-Member Price

Shining a Light on the San Mateo Coast!

This year Coastwalk is shining a light on the San Mateo Coast with a stay at Two Lighthouse Hostels; Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel and the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel.

A rare opportunity to explore two sections of the 58-mile San Mateo County coast, with stunning views, charming towns and a working harbor.   Enjoy beautiful views of the coast, from up close and from up high.  We may see whales.  Stay in two lighthouse hostels with cooking accommodations and bathrooms.  We will start at the north end of the county, walking through Grey Whale Cove State Park, Devil’s Slide, various beaches, a golf course, McNee Ranch, Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, Maverick’s Beach, which has the biggest surf on the West coast, and Pillar Point Harbor.  At the south end of the county, we will walk through some of the county’s rural farming and ranching areas, including Cloverdale Ranch, a 6300-acre newly acquired open space preserve.  Hikes average about 8 miles, with some longer and shorter days.  The lighthouses themselves are interesting, quiet and comfortable, just right for the hiker who doesn’t want to camp.

Dorm Style Rooms and All Meals Provided

Max capacity 20




Coastwalk is shining a light on the San Mateo Coast with a stay at two lighthouse hostels: Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel and Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel which turned 150 in 2022.

This Coastwalk is just right with a mix of easy and moderate walks with distances ranging from 6 to 10 miles.  Coastwalkers will walk on beaches, bluffs and get some elevation for a beautiful view of ocean (up a gentle winding old road).  A short walk on the first and last day are less than 10 miles each and the middle hikes are of varying lengths.

Breakfast, brown bag lunches and evening meals are provided.

Each evening after dinner Coastwalk will host guest speakers and evening programs about San Mateo County and it’s network of hiking trails.

Coastwalkers will have a special opportunity to stay in two Lighthouse Hostels on this Coastwalk. Each hostel has dorm style type rooms with bunk beds that accommodate no more than 6 people in each room. Coastwalk has reserved two buildings at each Lighthouse property so you will only be sharing accommodations with individuals registered for this Coastwalk.

The first two nights Coastwalkers will be staying at the Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel.

8800 Cabrillo Highway, Montara, CA 94037

Sitting on a spectacular bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, HI Point Montara Lighthouse offers unique beachfront vacation experiences near Half Moon Bay, CA. Just 25 miles south of San Francisco along scenic Highway 1, this is the perfect coastal escape from the city or the suburbs. Visit our beautiful property, which includes a historic lighthouse.

Wake up each morning to the sound of waves crashing on the shore, and spend your days relaxing at our on-site cove beach or exploring the charming nearby towns of Half Moon Bay and Pacifica. The Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel is the ideal getaway for taking in the great outdoors. Hike past breathtaking scenery on the California Coastal Trail and more.

At the Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel Coastwalkers will be staying at The Surfside House and The Sea Lodge.

Check the Resources tab for links for more information about the Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel.

The Coastwalk will begin with a hike to Grey Whale Cove before checking into the hostel. Please eat lunch before arriving or bring a brown bag lunch – dinner will be at 6:30.

Coastwalkers will check out of Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel on the morning of the second day and go on our hike before checking into the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel in the late afternoon/early evening.

The remaining two nights Coastwalkers will be staying at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel.

210 Pidgeon Point Rd., Pescadero, CA 94060

Located just 50 miles south of San Francisco along California’s gorgeous Hwy. 1, the Pigeon Point Hostel sits atop a cliff at the foot of a 116-foot-tall historic lighthouse overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel’s scenic grounds feature beautiful native plants, panoramic ocean views, on-site tide pools, harbor seals, and a secluded beach. The Pigeon Point Hostel is surrounded by miles of hiking and coastal trails, and as a dark sky preserve, it’s also the perfect place to stargaze.

Check the Resources tab for links for more information about the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel.

Walk Leaders, Patti Pope and Julie Groves will send out a Welcome Letter prior to this Coastwalk with instructions on how to access the parking lot for each of the hostels and what to bring and what’s included when staying at each Lighthouse Hostel.

Please consider car pooling to this Coastwalk as onsite parking at each Lighthouse Hostel is limited.

If you would like to car pool please send an email to [email protected], please be sure the include the location you are coming from.  

Learn more: Click on the Resource Tab for links to the Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel and the Pigeon Point Hostel and surrounding areas.

Sample Itinerary –

This is a sample itinerary which is subject to change due to trail conditions and services availability

Wednesday, August 2


8800 Cabrillo Highway Montara, CA 94037  Phone: 650-728-7177

1:45PM Walk to Grey Whale Cove. [about 5.6 miles]

Prior to departing on the hike we will check to make sure everyone has arrived and make introductions. Please eat lunch beforehand.

5:00PM Coastwalkers will check into the first Lighthouse on the tour – Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel.

6:00PM Dinner

Thursday, August 3

6:30AM Breakfast

 9:00AM After breakfast and after packing our lunch, water and snacks we will depart the hostel and hike up Montara Mountain using the old road, a steady gentle grade, with portions of the pavement still intact.  There is a brief steep climb, then down to Devil’s Slide. We will walk over the new Highway 1 tunnels and walk along the old Highway 1, now used only for walkers, observing amazing geology and ocean views.  We will place some cars here for the ride back to the hostel.  [about 10 miles]

6:30PM Dinner – followed by a special guest speaker.

Friday, August 4

Breakfast 6:30AM

After breakfast, we will check out of the hostel and stage some cars at the south end of our walk. We will take water, snacks and lunch. We will head south to the Fitzgerald marine reserve, Maverick’s Beach, Pillar Point Harbor and the beaches south of the harbor.  After the hike we will drive to our second Lighthouse at Pigeon Point. Coastwalkers will be staying at Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel.

6:30PM Dinner – followed by a special guest speaker.

Saturday, August 5

Breakfast 6:30AM

9:00AM We shuttle people to the beach we left yesterday and continue our walk south on the coastal trail to the Cowell-Purisima trailhead, where our cars will be located.  A small portion is on Hwy 1 and through a neighborhood (1 mile).  We will drive back to the hostel for dinner.  (10 miles).

6:30PM Dinner

Sunday, August 6

Breakfast 6:30AM

After breakfast, and making our lunch, we pack up, clean up and check out of the hostel.  We will hike out and back, directly from the hostel to Cloverdale Ranch, returning to our cars (6 miles). 

Highly recommended: If you have time after departure, you might consider visiting Ano Nuevo State Park to see the elephant seals or up to the lovely town of Pescadero to have cream of artichoke soup at Duarte’s or try the wonderful cheeses at Harley Goat Farms. For more information, please click on the Resources tab.

  • Hiking shoes, boots or sturdy walking shoes
  • Waterproof sandals
  • Spare walking shoes & laces
  • Comfy camp shoes
  • Hiking poles
  • Water-proof windbreaker/ or parka for cold nights
  • Long pants and long sleeve shirt (protection against sunburn, poison oak, and bugs)
  • Layers for upper body
  • Hat for sun protection that ties under chin
  • Beanie for cold, windy conditions
  • Other clothing – underwear, T-shirts, lots of socks, etc.
  • Bandana
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Sunscreen (minimum 30 spf)
  • Natural bug repellant
  • Personal first aid kit (band aids, blister pads)
  • Personal medicines
  • Day pack
  • Plate, cup, bowl, and eating utensils
  • Sturdy Tupperware for leftovers
  • Flashlight & headlamp with new batteries
  • Spare batteries
  • Folding camp chair
  • Tent & Ground Cloth
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • REUSABLE Water Bottle
  • Trail snacks (power bars or jerky)
  • Credit Card & cash for camp showers and treats
  • Solar shower if there is no shower at campsite
  • Shower towel

What’s Included:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided.


  • Coffee: (Regular in percolator with caffeine free available upon request), Teas, Cocoa, Juice, Milk (1/2 & 1/2, 2% Milk, Soy & Almond Milks)
  • Sweeteners- (sugar, honey)
  • Yogurt
  • Biscotti
  • Hot Cereals (Instant Oatmeal, and prepare it yourself steel cut oats available)
  • Granola
  • Walnuts or assorted nuts
  • Fruit (fresh)- (Blueberries, Bananas, Apples, Oranges / Cuties)
  • Fruit (dried)- Raisins & Craisins


  • Breads- (Multi Grail & Gluten Free)
  • Almond Butter
  • Fruit spreads
  • Cold Cuts
  • Cheeses (sliced)
  • Condiments, (Mustard, Mayonnaise)
  • Butter, (Regular and dairy free)


  • Dinners are included unless otherwise noted and will be provided by Coastwalk’s Volunteer Food Angels. 

Our Chuckwagon Wrangler will do their best to accommodate you but if you have special dietary needs please bring your food in a small cooler and we will be sure to provide you with ice throughout the trip.

Walk Leader – Julie Groves

Julie Groves is a long time Coastwalk and CCT advocate. Julie began going on Coastwalks with her parents, Bill & Lucy Kortum and as an adult she brought her children on many Coastwalks. 

Julie is an Occupational Therapist who lives in Los Gatos, California.


Walk Leader – Patti Pope

Patti Pope is a long time Coastwalk member and has been on numerous Coastwalks. Patti’s children grew up on going to on Coastwalks and now grown adults, joined Patti on the 2022 San Luis Obispo Classic and signed up to become Coastwalk volunteers. Coastwalk is looking forward to the next generation of volunteers. 

Patti is an educator who lives in Woodside, California.



Volunteer Support Staff:

Hike Leader: Mike Minky

Chuckwagon Master & Hospitality King: Bob Adams