The San Mateo Classic Coastwalk
5 days/4 nights
2 nights Camping + 2 nights Hostel
The San Mateo Classic Coastwalk
5 days/4 nights (Camping + Hostel)
Rating: Moderate Max Capacity: 20
This Classic Coastwalk begins with two nights camping at Half Moon
Bay State Beach then two nights at the Point Montara Lighthouse
Hostel. Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the historic
lighthouse and hostel is set against the breathtaking scenery of the
California Coast. Daily hikes include Quarry Park, the Pillar Point Bluffs,
the Cowell-Purisima Trail, Wavecrest Open Space, and two different trails
on Montara Mountain – Devil’s Slide and Old San Pedro Mountain, all the
while within sight, sound and glimpses of the ocean through the trees.
Quarry Park and Wicklow Open Space, Fitzgerald Marine Reserve (bluffs only), Jean Lauer Trail along the
heights of Pillar Point Bluff, Cowell-Purisima Trail, Montara Mountain, Devil’s Slide trail, and the
comforts of the Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel, perched on spectacular cliffs of the California coast.
Camping, parking, and hostel fees; guided hiking; shuttle transportation; gear haul; light breakfast fixings (cereal, juice, coffee); dinners (4).
Make sure to bring:
Food for your lunches (4 days).
Average Daily Hiking:
5 to 9 miles.
Types of Hiking Surfaces:
Coastal bluffs, sandy beaches, steep coastal mountains, paved roads.
Climb and descend 1400 feet in 2.4 miles with many switchbacks on Montara Mountain.
Hikers should be in excellent physical condition, as the Montara Mountain and Devil’s Slide hikes
will require stamina and physical exertion with potentially warm or hot weather conditions.
2018 San Mateo Coastwalk
Day 1: Friday August 3
1:00 PM – Meet at Sweetwood Group Campground, at Frenchman’s Creek, Half Moon Bay
State Beach, 2158 Cabrillo Hwy, Half Moon Bay (12 vehicles max parking).
2 PM – After everyone arrives and camp is set up, we drive to Quarry Park in El Granada.
5PM- Welcome Snacks
6PM – Dinner
Overnight: Sweetwood Camp
Day 2: Sat. Aug. 4 – CCT Section 4 (4.5 mi) and part of CCT Section 5 (2.25 miles) – 6.75
7-8 AM – Breakfast
9 AM – Gather to set out on Trail: Starting near HI Point Montara Lighthouse, we walk along Vallemar Street until we get to the
Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. We will spend some time here to investigate the Reserve.
We walk through the little town of Moss Beach and onto the Jean Lauer Trail along the heights
of Pillar Point Bluff. We come down from the bluffs at the outskirts of the little town of
12 NOON: LUNCH ON OWN – We will stop in the town for lunch where you can either eat your
own “brown bag” lunch or eat at one of the several restaurants at Pillar Point Harbor.
2 PM: Walk along Half Moon Bay State Beach until we arrive at our Sweetwood campsite.
5 PM – Snacks and Dinner at 6 PM
Overnight: Sweetwood Campground
Day 3: Sun. Aug 5 – Cowell-Purisima Trail (only open weekends and holidays!)
7-8 AM- Breakfast
9AM – Gather to set out on the Cowell Purisima Trail.
This spectacular stretch of the California Coastal Trail opened to the public in 2011. Meander past rich farm fields and gaze out at the Pacific Ocean as you hike along this
3.6 mile bluff-top trail just south of Half Moon Bay. We continue north through the golf
course, past the Ritz Carlton, and then along the beach or the bluffs to Half Moon Bay
State Beach, passing through Wavecrest Open Space.
Overnight: HI Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel, Check-in after 3:30PM
16th Street and Highway 1, Montara, 650-728-7177
Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this historic lighthouse and hostel is set
against the breathtaking scenery of the California Coast. Here we will enjoy bunk beds in
shared rooms, showers, a full kitchen, and free WiFi!
Day 4: Mon. Aug. 6 – CCT Section 3 Montara Mountain (approx 6.7 miles)
Start from Pacifica State Beach, walk 1.25 miles along Linda Mar Blvd to the Sanchez Adobe
Historic Site. (CLOSED on Mondays). From here we have two choices: (a) the 2.4 mile Montara
Mountain Trail with lots of switchbacks and climbs above 1400 feet, or (b) climb approximately
900 feet on the 3.2 mile Old San Pedro Mountain Road (fire road). Either way, we join with the
North Peak Access Road and come out to a parking lot on Highway 1 via the Gray Whale Cove
Trail (1.4 miles).
Overnight: HI Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel
Day 5: Tue. Aug 7 – Devil’s Slide, Mori Point, Sharp Mark
The group drives their own cars to Sharp Park, Pacifica. We shuttle everyone in the vans to the
south end of the Devil’s Slide Trail and walk the 1.5 mile trail. We get picked up at the north end
of the trail and shuttled to Pedro Point where we walk to Sharp Park via Mori Point (4 miles).
Sharp Park, located along Beach Blvd and Montecito Ave in Pacifica, is a narrow strip of land
with grass, picnic tables and restrooms above the sandy beach.
12 NOON – Beach lunch before we bid our new and returning Coastwalk friends farewell and begin our journeys back home.
David has been an avid hiker and backpacker since graduating from high school in 1970. He has been able to hike many of the county, regional and state parks near his home in San Jose, and nearly every year he does a backpack trip in his beloved Sierra Nevada mountains or in the canyon lands of the Southwest. For the last few years he has set his sights on hiking the California Coastal Trail, having completed the San Luis Obispo,
Sonoma, and Mendocino Coast Walks.