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Sweeney Ridge from Sneath Ln Trailhead - California, United States

by stevelabo  
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Located in the town of Pacifica, California, the site of the discovery of San Francisco Bay consists of the point at which the Portola Expedition, 1769, crossed over Sweeney Ridge, and for the first time, came to view one of the world’s largest sheltered anchorages. From the top of Sweeney Ridge one can see not only inland to the Bay, but north along the ocean coast as far as Point Reyes. No structures are on the site nor are any in the immediate vicinity.

In late October of 1769, Captain Gaspar de Portola and his party of sixty men (with a caravan of 200 horses and mules for riding and the pack train) had come from San Diego in search of Monterey Bay, but from their overland approach, they had failed to recognize it. They had come north, climbed over San Pedro Mountain and had made camp in Pedro Valley, now in the city of Pacifica. Though already within today’s Bay Area, they were still unaware of the Bay’s existence.

On November 1, 1769, Sergeant Ortega with a squad of scouts began a three-day reconnoitering tour. Somewhere along the five mile stretch between Mussel Rock and the summit (Point Reyes), Ortega saw San Francisco Bay on his first day of scouting. When Ortega returned to camp on November 3, Portola’s next move was an attempt to go around this new found “estuary” to examine the vicinity of Point Reyes. From the camp on San Pedro Creek, Captain Portola and his men followed the beach to the north, then entered the hills and from the summit beheld the great estuary.

There are three primary ways to access the Sweeney Ridge by foot:
1) Sneath Lane Trailhead
2) Shelldance Nusery Trailhead on Hwy 1 in Pacifica
3) Skyline College Trailhead (South East Corner of Parking Lot #2)
Sweeney Ridge, Portola San Francisco Bay Discovery Site, Bay Area Ridge Trail, Portola Gate, San Bruno, Pacifica
Photos: See all pictures and videos from Sweeney Ridge from Sneath Ln Trailhead
Trip Info
May 25, 2009
Trip Location: Pacifica, California, United States
Length: 5.7 miles
Duration: 2 hours
Activity: Hiking
Trip viewed 8,821 times
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