“A relatively tame trail up to wonderful views plus a fast descent off the backside.
— Peter Aumann
Hazard Peak is a very well-built trail that serves as the best place to start riding in Montana de Oro State Park. The end goal, Hazard peak, is a great viewpoint when there's no fog. Check weather locally to get the greatest reward for your climb.
The trail begins by heading up a sandy bluff, turning right at a junction in a eucalyptus grove (mile 1.0), then meandering back towards the brush covered slopes of Hazard Peak. Sustained yet moderate grades lead to a sharp left turn and an exposed traverse and shortly thereafter, the summit. A spur trail heads up to a picnic bench and amazing coastal views.
On the far side of Hazard Peak, the trail changes character and becomes rocky and steeper. This short drop quickly leads to a more flowy section and after a distinct right curve at a bench, and finally into a series of quick curves. The trail ends at a junction in a new, lush micro-climate.
While the front side of this trail (trailhead to Hazard Peak) is a blast both up and down, the backside's top section is loose, rocky, and will require most riders to walk on the way up.
Note - Hazard Peak is also a popular hiking destination, and Montana de Oro in general is popular with equestrians, so grab a bell at the trailhead box and help keep all trail users happier.