Montara State Beach

California, United States
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 (1 vote, 1 review)
Montara State Beach is a popular location for visitors who can explore the beach tide pools or go surf fishing. The beach is bounded by low hills both to the north and south. Restaurants and grocery stores are nearby.

Point Montara has a lighthouse that offers overnight accommodations. It is operated by Hostelling International, a non-profit group.

Montara Mountain (also called McNee Ranch) is part of Montara State Beach. The mountain is a northern spur of the Santa Cruz Mountains and features the only undisturbed Coastal Mountain Habitat found over 100 miles of coastline.

Report a compliment or problem regarding park maintenance issues with the Park Observation Program.
Getting There
On the San Francisco Peninsula in San Mateo County, approximately 20 miles south of San Francisco. The beach is located eight miles north of Half Moon Bay on Highway One.

There are two beach access points from the bluff area. One access is across from Second Street, immediately south of the Outrigger restaurant. The second access is located about a half-mile north on the ocean side of Highway 1. The paths down to the beach are steep.
Climate/Recommended Clothing
The weather can be changeable; layered clothing is recommended.
Operating Hours & Contact
The day-use area is open from 8am to sunset.
Telephone: 650-726-8819
Tips & Rules
Dogs are permitted provided they are controlled with a leash of no more than six feet at all times.

No beach fires are allowed.

Please refrain from removing shells, driftwood, and other natural beach features. Fireworks are prohibited.
Accessible Features
We are working to improve accessibility throughout our parks but we regret that there are currently no (wheelchair) accessible activities at this park. This may be an undeveloped park, or there may be terrain, historic or resource protection issues or other limiting factors. However, there may be some wheelchair accessible features, such as parking areas, restrooms, and routes of travel, that meet some of the current accessibility guidelines. Call the park or email us at for details.
Community Trips
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Montara - Gray Whale Cove Trail
by Achaetes on Dec 30, 2011
Montara, California, United States
5.4 miles
We wanted a 5-ish mile trail along the Pacific coast to hike with some visiting family members.  The Montara - McNee Ranch State Park seem like a good choice, but the trails to North Peak were all 7 miles or more.  We finally settled on the Gray Whale Cove State Beach parking area and trailhead.  We took Gray Whale Cove Trail along the coastline to Old San Pedro Mountain Trail and took...
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Busted gears
by rdloughery on Jul 18, 2009
Pedro Valley, California, United States
2.1 miles
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Trail Intro (Montara, California, United States) Photo
Gray Whale Cove Trail
by inko10k on Jul 18, 2009
Montara, California, United States
2.5 miles
A short and relaxing trail running along side by the Pacific and Hwy 1. Will definitely return and try out one of the longer trails in this area.
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POST Hike 13Dec2010
by ejobshop on Dec 13, 2010
Montara, California, United States
3.6 miles
POST Gaurdianship hike
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montara hike w chris & sam
by katehandel on Jan 16, 2010
Montara, California, United States
1.4 miles
by mollin on Jun 21, 2009
Montara, California, United States
0.0 miles
McNee Ranch State Park
by drencken on Feb 20, 2010
Montara, California, United States
5.6 miles
Montara Mountain
by bheiser1 on Oct 04, 2012
Montara, California, United States
7.0 miles
Late afternoon hike up Montara Mountain (but not to summit ... ran out of time before dark).  Got up far enough to get some great views above the afternoon clouds/coastal fog.
McNee Ranch SP -- Gray Whale Cove Trail
by Bgoodmansf on Aug 01, 2013
1.2 miles

We took Gray Whale Cove Trail along the coastline to Old San Pedro Mountain Trail and took that for another mile and a half (or so) and then tracked back the same way to the parking area. It was a fairly easy hike with a mild slope. Unfortunately it was foggy the whole time, so we missed all the spectacular views, but what we could see was very pretty.
Visited on Dec 30, 2011

by Achaetes on Dec 31, 2011

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What people are saying...

montara, Pacifica, Gray Whale Cove Trail, Gray Whale Cove Beach

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