Home > Hike, Peninsula and South Bay, SamTrans > Pacifica Coastal Hike: Mori Point and Beaches, Three Ways

Pacifica Coastal Hike: Mori Point and Beaches, Three Ways

December 18, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

This trip to the Pacifica coastal region demonstrates the flexibility of using transit to do hikes that would normally require a car shuttle. Three options for this hike are described: one-way up the coast, an out-and-back trip, and up the coast and over the ridge. On all of the hikes, you’ll have the chance to walk out to the tip of Mori Point and to enjoy the beaches of Pacifica. The third option adds a vigorous hike up to Sweeney Ridge for additional views.

Places visited: Linda Mar Beach, Rockaway State Beach, Mori Point (Golden Gate National Recreation Area), Sharp Park State Beach, Sweeney Ridge
Approximate length: 6 miles (option 1), 8.5 (option 2), 8.75 (option 3)
Hiking time: 3 1/2 to 4 hours (option 1), 4 to 4 1/2 hours (option 2), 5 hours (option 3)
Map: Mori Point
Terrain: Paved and dirt paths. Mostly flat with a couple of moderate uphill sections (options 1 and 2), Flat sections and moderate to steep uphills (option 3)
Transit schedule: SamTrans (download current schedules for routes 110, 112, and 140)
Start point: SamTrans 110 (and 112) stop, Linda Mar Park and Ride Lot, Pacifica
End point: SamTrans 112 stop, Westport and Lundy (option 1), Linda Mar Park and Ride Lot (option 2), SamTrans 140 stop, Skyline College (option 3)

Getting to the start point:

  • From San Francisco, take BART to Daly City. Walk to the bus area just outside the station, and transfer to SamTrans 110. Take the bus to the Linda Mar Park and Ride stop.
  • From the Peninsula and South Bay, take Caltrain to Millbrae station. Transfer to BART, and get off at Daly City. Walk to the bus area just outside the station, and transfer to SamTrans 110. Take the bus to the Linda Mar Park and Ride stop. SamTrans 112, leaving from Colma BART, is another option for those living near the station or near Serramonte Shopping Center.
  • From the East Bay, take BART to Daly City. Walk to the bus area just outside the station, and transfer to SamTrans 110. Take the bus to the Linda Mar Park and Ride stop.
  • From the North Bay, take Golden Gate Transit Route 70/80 or 10 to San Francisco. Get off at Hyde and Grove streets (just before Market Street), and walk to the Civic Center BART station on Market Street. Take BART to Daly City. Walk to the bus area just outside the station, and transfer to SamTrans 110. Take the bus to the Linda Mar Park and Ride stop.

Notes:

  • The hike options are described in order of difficulty. The first two hikes are mostly flat with a couple of moderate climbs. Option 3 is more challenging, requiring a steep hike up to the ridge. Even if you think you know which hike you plan to do, I recommend printing or noting the times from all three SamTrans transit schedules (110, 112, 140). That way you can easily change your mind and do one of the other hikes.
  • Pacifica can be foggy, particularly in the summer. Fall and early winter are your best options for clear views and mild weather. The hikes can still be enjoyed on foggy days; as with all coastal hikes, bring warm clothing. For wildflower viewing at Mori Point, do this hike in the spring.
  • There are number of options for food along the route through Pacifica: at the beginning of the hike in Linda Mar Shopping Center, in Rockaway Beach, and a couple of options when your route reaches Highway 1 and Reina Del Mar. If you are doing the shortest hike, you may also want to wander inland from the pier/turnaround point to find additional options between the coast and Highway 1. If you plan on doing option 3, I recommend bring extra snacks, as there will not be food options at the end of this hike.
  • On my visit in 2009, the current Mori Point trail system did not exactly match the brochure’s map due to restoration efforts. The park is well-signed and mapped, however; you can easily check your map and adjust the route accordingly or explore other trails that have been opened since the time of this writing. If you are looking for more information beyond what is offered in the park brochure, Bay Nature magazine has a very nice history of the land.

Directions:

  • From the bus stop, walk west on Linda Mar Blvd.
  • Shortly, cross Highway 1 to the ocean side. To do this, you will need to cross three ways, as there is no pedestrian crossing from the right hand sidewalk of Linda Mar.
  • Carefully cross to the beach pathway, watching for traffic, and turn right to start walking along Linda Mar Beach. If surfers are out, you may wish to spend some time here before continuing the route.
  • Continue north on the pathway past Rockaway Point, a hilly point sticking out into the ocean. Note that there are some paths leading up and around to the ocean side. Some of these are narrow and have steep drop-offs.
  • Head down a paved switchback section of trail to end up at Rockaway State Beach. There may be surfers to watch at this beach as well; feel free to spend some time here before continuing on.
  • When ready, continue along the coast through the small neighborhood of Rockaway Beach. The path ends for a short section, where you will head diagonally right across a parking lot to get back onto the path. Here you want the paved path that heads away from the ocean, not the dirt paths heading up and around to the ocean side.
  • Continue on the path as it heads away from the coast and towards Highway 1, passing an old limestone quarry. You have option the along here of saying on the paved path or using a dirt path slightly to the right. Either is fine, but watch for cyclists on the paved section.
  • Continue towards the highway, passing garden club plantings and native plant restoration along this section.
  • When you meet Highway 1, the path continues north and parallel to the road for a short distance. Here you will have some traffic noise, but only for 10 minutes or so.
  • Just before the road that turns into Mori Point, you will see a dirt trail on your left. Turn in at this trail.
  • Follow the signs for Upper Mori Trail, which parallels the wider accessible trial to your right.
  • Stay left at the intersection to follow the Lishumsha Trail (not right, which connects with the wider trail).
  • Stay left again at the next intersection to continue heading up to the point (again, the other direction goes down to the wider trail).
  • At the major intersection, continue out to the point on the coastal trail.
  • Pass a sign for the Bootlegger’s Steps, and continue out to the point.
  • When you arrive at the trail’s end, you may wish to spend some time at the point, wandering around and enjoying the views. This is also a good place to stop for lunch if it is not too windy.
  • When ready, head back from the point the way you came.
  • Turn left at the sign for the Bootlegger’s Steps.
  • Head down the steps to the trail below.
  • Turn left to start heading north along the coast. You will pass Sharp Park Beach on your left and Sharp Park Golf Course on your right.
  • The pier is your turnaround point. Feel free to wander out on the pier here if you wish. When ready, turn around and head back the way you came along Sharp Park Beach.
  • Pass the Bootlegger’s Steps and continue on the trail as it starts to curve away from the ocean.
  • Stay left and head along the wide graded trail. You pass over a wood section of the trail and continue straight again on the graded/dirt trail.
  • Continue on the trail as you pass fences and neighborhood to your left.
  • When you exit Mori Ridge, you will see a building ahead of you, a Moose Lodge, with a parking lot. From here continue on to the directions for whichever hike option you would like to take.

Option 1 — One Way:

  • From the entrance to Mori Point, head left past the Moose Lodge and to the sidewalk. Begin walking north along this street, Bradford Way, which parallels Highway 1.
  • Pass Seaside Drive on your left and Westport Drive on your right.
  • Turn right at the next intersection onto a paved path that heads under the highway. Watch for golf carts here, as this is a golf course path.
  • Turn right at the next block after you pass under Highway 1, which is Lundy Way.
  • Turn right at the next block, Westport, and cross to the bus stop on the other side of the street. This is the stop for SamTrans Route 112. Congratulations, you made it!

Getting back from this end point: Take SamTrans 112 to Colma BART. For San Francisco, the East Bay, and the North Bay, take an SF/Pittsburg/Bay Point train (on weekends) and transfer at Balboa Park or 12th Street/Oakland for other lines. For the Peninsula, take the SFO/Millbrae train to Millbrae, and transfer to Caltrain.

Option 2 — Out & Back:

  • Head right along the road until you shortly reach the intersection where you turned in to Mori Point.
  • Turn right on the paved path and start heading back the way your came.
  • Go back the way you came, stopping at the beaches if you like, or at any of the restaurants along the way.
  • Turn left at Linda Mar Blvd. Note again that you will need to cross three ways here.
  • Walk a short distance to the bus stop at Linda Mar Park and Ride, where you began the hike. Congratulations, you made it!

Option 3 — Sweeney Ridge:

  • From the entrance to Mori Point, head left past the Moose Lodge and to the sidewalk. Begin walking north along this street, Bradford Way, which parallels Highway 1.
  • Pass Seaside Drive on your left and Westport Drive on your right.
  • Turn right at the next intersection onto a paved path that heads under the highway. Watch for golf carts here, as this is a golf course path.
  • Turn right at the next block after you pass under Highway 1, which is Lundy Way.
  • Pass Westport Drive on your right.
  • Where the road turns to the left, look on your right for a trailhead. The trail will be difficult to see until you arrive at the turn; it is signed as going to Mori Ridge.
  • Walk along the trail for a short distance through an open area, paralleling Highway 1.
  • Turn left and start heading up the steep road signed as Shelldance Nursery. Stay to the side of the road and watch carefully for car traffic.
  • Stay on the road as it curves past a couple of buildings and finally reaches the nursery. Stop in at the nursery if you like, which is open on the weekends. Otherwise head left around to the back of the nursery.
  • Walk through the parking lot, signed for Sweeney Ridge, to the trailhead for the Mori Ridge Trail.
  • Start climbing the dirt trail that heads steeply up to the ridge.
  • Stay left, on the main trail, at the next intersection. To the right is a water tank.
  • Continue up the trail until you reach the top of the ridge and a trail intersection. Turn left at the intersection.
  • Take the stairs down and then up out of the ravine.
  • Pass around the small building to continue on the trail.
  • Keep an eye out for a narrower trail heading off to the left from the main trail. Take this trail a short distance to its end point at the Skyline College parking lot.
  • Cross the parking lot to the stairs at the other side.
  • Take the stairs and then walk straight a short distance to the SamTrans 140 bus stop at the edge of the college campus.

Getting back from this end point: Take SamTrans 140 to San Bruno BART (140 going in the other direction also stops here; make sure you take the one signed for San Bruno BART rather than for Pacifica Manor). For San Francisco, the East Bay, and the North Bay, take an SF/Pittsburg/Bay Point train (on weekends) and transfer at Balboa Park or 12th Street/Oakland for other lines. For the Peninsula, take the SFO/Millbrae train to Millbrae, and transfer to Caltrain.

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