Home > BART, Hike, Peninsula and South Bay > San Bruno Mountain Summit

San Bruno Mountain Summit

Located just south of San Francisco, San Bruno Mountain is a great destination for urban dwellers looking for nature close to home. San Bruno Mountain is a favorite spot for wildflower viewing in the Spring and a year-round hiking option. Starting at Daly City BART, this hike takes a neighborhood route to the park, climbs to the mountain’s summit and back down again via a loop trail, and ends at Balboa Park BART.

Places visited: San Bruno Mountain State and County Park
Approximate length: 9 miles
Hiking time: 4-5 hours
Map: San Bruno Mountain Park (PDF)
Terrain: Mix of flat sections and gradual climbing on paved and dirt trails.
Transit schedule: BART
Start point: Daly City BART
End point: Balboa Park BART

Getting to the starting point:

  • From San Francisco, take BART to Daly City.
  • From the Peninsula and South Bay, take Caltrain to Millbrae station. Transfer to BART, and get off at Daly City.
  • From the East Bay, take BART to Daly City.
  • 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.

Notes:

  • A number of variations on this hike are possible. From the mountain’s summit, you can hike out and back along the ridge a ways (note that the Ridge Trail does not connect to neighborhoods in Brisbane, so you will need to return the way you came). For a shorter and less steep hike, take the Saddle Loop Trail from the Old Guadalupe Trail. Or, take the Dairy Ravine and/or Eucalyptus trails with the Summit Loop Trail for a short loop hike.
  • This hike is pleasant even after heavy rains. The muddiest section is a very short section from the small parking lot at the start of the loop. An alternative to this section is to walk along Radio Road  and then turn right to connect to the Summit Loop. Despite its name, the Bog Trail should be passable after wet weather, but feel free to take the paved Old Guadalupe Trail both ways if this is not the case.
  • Be prepared for foggy and/or windy weather at San Bruno Mountain, especially during the summer.
  • Food options are available on Mission Street near the end of the hike. There are several good spots in the park to stop and eat a bag lunch.

Directions:

  • Exit Daly City BART at the front of the station (not to the parking garage in back of the station).  Turn right and walk along the front of the station to the next corner.
  • Carefully turn left onto John Daly Blvd., staying on the left side of the street.
  • At the next intersection, De Long Street, cross and veer slightly left to walk on Los Banos Ave. paralleling John Daly Blvd.
  • Continue walking on Los Banos until it ends at Santa Barbara Ave.
  • At Santa Barbara turn left and make and immediate right on Los Olivos Ave.
  • At the end of Los Olivos, turn left, onto Mission Street.
  • Shortly, cross at the crosswalk to the other side of Mission Street, and then immediately turn right on Wellington Ave.
  • Continue straight on Wellington for three blocks, and turn right at Winchester Street.
  • Left at the next block, Crocker Ave.
  • In three blocks, cross Bellevue and continue on Crocker as it veers slightly left.
  • At Pointe Pacific is a very short stretch where the sidewalk ends. Walk on the left side of the street in front of the houses, staying close to the side of the road and watching for cars.
  • Pass Rampart Way on your left.
  • Turn right at the San Bruno Mountain trailhead (Old Guadalupe Trail), shortly before you reach the next block.
  • Continue straight at the intersection to stay on the Old Guadalupe Trail.
  • Turn right at the intersection for the Bog Trail.
  • Stay left at the next intersection (right is the other part of the Bog Trail loop, which is slightly longer).
  • Along the Bog Trail are benches in pleasant spots for taking a rest or eating a snack.
  • Continue straight on the Bog Trail where the other part of the loop intersects with the trail.
  • Shortly, you reach the parking lot and the park entrance for cars. There are restrooms here; check for maps on the signboard if you would like a printed copy.
  • Walk through the parking lot to the opposite end. Turn right to exit the parking lot and immediately veer left to walk along side the road, Radio Road. Here you will see a trail coming in to meet the road.
  • Shortly, you cross under another road, Guadalupe Canyon Parkway.
  • Continue on the road until you reach a small parking area, then turn left onto the trailhead.
  • Shortly, at the next intersection, turn right on the Summit Loop Trail. (Left takes you the other way around the loop.)
  • Shortly, you cross Radio Road and continue on the trail.
  • Continue on the Summit Loop Trail as it parallels Guadalupe Canyon Parkway on your right for awhile and then veers left and away from the road.
  • Continue hiking as the trail switchbacks towards the summit.
  • As the trail nears the summit, it passes some park buildings and then parallels an access road.
  • When the trail meets the access road, cross the road and continue on the trail
  • At the summit, you meet up with Radio Road again.
  • After spending time at the summit, cross Radio Road to continue on the Summit Loop Trail.
  • Pass the Ridge Trail on your right and continue on the Summit Loop Trail
  • Pass the Dairy Ravine Trail on your right, and continue on the Summit Loop Trail.
  • Pass the Eucalyptus Trail on your right, and continue on the Summit Loop Trail.
  • Continue straight when you reach the point where you started the Summit Loop.
  • At the small parking area, turn right and walk along the road.
  • Cross under Guadalupe Canyon Parkway.
  • Turn into the main parking area, and walk left through the parking lot.
  • Take the Old Guadalupe Trail, which heads to the right of the Bog Trail.
  • Stay left on the Old Guadalupe Trail when you reach the trail intersection.
  • Pass the trailhead for the Bog Trail on your left.
  • Pass the Saddle Loop Trail on your right.
  • At the trailhead, turn right onto Crocker and make an immediate left onto Southhill Blvd.
  • Pass Alta Vista Way on your right.
  • Turn left at Bellevue, past an elementary school on the corner.
  • Right at the next block, Waverly Way.
  • Left at the next block, Polaris Way.
  • Right at the next block, Pope Street.
  • Veer slightly left to stay on Pope Street.
  • Continue straight on Pope until it ends at Mission Street. Turn right at Mission.
  • Shortly, turn left at Geneva Ave., a major intersection.
  • Continue on Geneva Ave. until you reach the Balboa Park BART station. Congratulations, you made it!

Getting from the end point to the start point:

  • Balboa Park BART is one station north from Daly City BART (the start point) along the San Francisco line. To return to Daly City and to return to the Peninsula and South Bay, take a Daly City/SFO/Millbrae train. For the North Bay, take any East Bay train (Pittsburg/Bay Point, Richmond, Fremont, or Dublin/Pleasanton), and get off at Civic Center. For the East Bay, board the appropriate East Bay train at Balboa Park BART.
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