Montara Mountain Ascent, Montara, California: 21 November 2004

Latitude: North 37° 33.309’

Longitude: West 122° 30.585’

Photos by Neil Mishalov and Hideyuki Sugioka

Montara Mountain offers spectacular views from an unusually tall mountain at coast side, a relic of granite which was once close to the Los Angeles Basin many millions of years ago. The hike has a number of steep climbs, and, assuming the weather is clear, the hiker will be rewarded with spectacular views of the surrounding terrain at every point during the hike.

Montara Mountain is approximately 30 miles southwest from my home in Berkeley, California. This hike was led by Craig Foster under the auspices of the Stanford University Outing Club.

Some hike factoids and statistics: Time on the trail: 11:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Number of hikers: 45 Distance covered: 9.05 miles. Total ascent: 2,310 feet. Maximum elevation: 1,898 feet. Route: Trail head 8 miles north of the intersection of Highway 92 and Highway 1 => Old San Pedro Mountain Road Trail => Montara Mountain Road Trail => Summit of Montara Mountain => Montara Mountain Road Trail => Spur Trail to Gray Whale Cove Trail => Gray Whale Cove => Spur Trail to Trail head

All Images and Text Copyright © by Neil Mishalov


Topographic Route Map and Elevation Profile:

Data gathered with a Garmin GPS Map 60C

Topographic mapping program for Macintosh OSX by National Geographic

Satellite Photo Map with Route Superimposed:

TerraBrowser satellite mapping program for Macintosh OSX by Chimoosoft

GPS track converter by GPSBabel

Panoramic View from the top of Montara Mountain. Looking north, northeast, with San Francisco and Mount Tamalpais straight ahead, and Mount Diablo on the right side of the photo

Scroll = = = = = > to see the complete panoramic image

Click on an image to see the full size photograph

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The start of the hike. We are about 8 miles north of the intersection of Highway 92 and Highway 1 Julio on the left and Craig Foster on the right. Craig is the fearless leader of this hike, and the current president of the Stanford Outing Club Craig giving the group some pointers prior the beginning of the hike
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The trail to Montara Mountain is visible in the distance Up we go 45 people joined the hike
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A short break before continuing upwards A view of the coast line The Marin Headlands are visible in the distance
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We continue our trek Climbing all the way On Montara Mountain Trail
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Hideyuki on the left and Mr. Choi on the right Some sections of the trail are steep A view of the beautiful mountainside
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On the horizon, 30 miles off the coast, in the center of this photo, you can see the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge Mr. Choi, Neil and Hideyuki San Francisco in the distance and the town of Pacifica in the foreground
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Craig and Hideyuki are formally introduced Mount Diablo in the distance Approaching Montara Mountain summit (elevation 1,898 ft.)
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Ida on the left and Lucie on the right Lunch at the top of Montara Mountain Julio, Craig and Maria
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An antenna "farm" near the summit of Montara Mountain Heading back down the Montara Mountain Fire road It was a beautiful, clear and windy day
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Whoa! What's this? Jo, on the left, and Annaliese seem to be in the middle of some Montara Mountain ritual. I wonder what it all means? Craig giving the group the option to return directly to the trail head, or to continue north and visit Gray Whale Cove The group decided to head to Gray Whale excellent choice!
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We descend towards sea level Heading north on a trail that is paralleling Highway 1. Gray Whale Cove is in the distance Gray Whale Cove
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Lucie and Ida Highway 1 and the rugged coastline of California Montara State Beach is located at Gray Whale Cove
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Gray Whale Cove On the beach The air was clear and the wind was blowing
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Members of the hiking group We all had an excellent time Maria is in the foreground and Stephania is checking out the views from a horizontal perspective
The conclusion of another excellent ramble put on by the Stanford Outing Club

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This page created on 22 November 2004, and all photographs copyright 2004, by Neil Mishalov <> and Hideyuki Sugioka