Mileage - 8.17
Time - 2:23
AEG - 1,970 ft
Rising nearly 2,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean and through the dense coastal fog is a collection of peaks known as Montara Mountain. North Peak is the highest, so of course you know where I headed. I strategically timed the opportunity to visit another new place in the bay area, because if there is one guarantee in life its that there will be loads of traffic on a holiday weekend in California (or any other time for that matter). I left home at 6:30 am and on the trail by 7:30.
Finding parking was my first priority. Being unfamiliar with an area always fuels those anxious feelings of exploration, though today was simple. Not so simple for those arriving at 10:00 am when I had finished my trek. What a mess. Once you determine where to begin (I chose the North Peak access road, start to finish), all trails eventually end up on this fire road and lead to the top. Exactly one hour and twenty minutes of very enjoyable climbing, I had reached the summit. Yes, the view was spectacular, 360 panorama! What more could you ask for? The coastline was nice, the bay area was another story. The haze prevented me from seeing any of the Easy side and it was even a bit difficult to make out the actual San Francisco Bay. Regardless, it was nice to get up there!
Hiking down was a breeze, almost effortless. The steady climb made for a quick decent. As the fog disappeared and the sunlight intensified, the deep ocean blue waters looked better and better. Finally back at the trailhead, I ditched my shoes and ran down the beach toward the water. Knowing how cold the Pacific would be, it somehow came as a surprise. I hung out for a while, caught a live crab that washed up on shore and enjoyed the complete opposite view I had an hour ago.