“A steep fire road to the summit of Montara Mountain.”
— Bob Gardner
This fire/service road starts from a small pullout on State Highway 1 just north of Montara State Beach. Past a gate, heading east, it's a gravel road that crosses the Old Pedro Mountain Road
near a ranger residence. Old Pedro Mountain Road
is an easier option for the first part of the ascent.
This road takes a more direct but steeper route before rejoining Old Pedro Mountain Road
in a short distance and the two roads share the same route until Old Pedro Mountain Road
branches off part way up the ridge. The road starts climbing steeply at this point with a few breaks before reaching the communications tower at the summit (1,900 ft).
The road is generally wide and smooth, with the section shared with Old Pedro Mountain Road
consisting of old broken pavement. The steep sections are sandy with ruts repaired with rock making for sketchy descents. Some upper sections were carved out of the bedrock.
This trail provides nice coastal views when it's not foggy, which is rare.