Bay Area Hike – McNee Ranch State Park

Final Stats:

Gain: 2500 ft
Distance: 7.5 miles

Got poison oak?

GPS track here

KML Google Earth file

This was supposed to be a simple hike, but yet I had to go and make it interesting. We decided to take a relatively easy hike up just north of Half Moon Bay in the Bay area. We started off the PCH in Montara, and headed up a fire road for about a mile. I had looked at the area on Google Earth, and it looked like there was a nice ridge adjacent to us that would head straight to the peak. It appeared that there was some semblance of a use trail.

In order to get over to this ridge, we had to descend down a small ridge for about 0.3 miles to a point around where the other ridge began. At this junction, there was a small creek (Martini Creek) winding and bisecting the ridges. Up to meeting the creek there had been a use trail, but there was no clear way to cross the creek which is covered in brush. I scanned around and just decided on the section which seemed to lead to open land on the other side with the least distance, and headed down and across. Quite slow moving, but fun.

After reaching the beginning of the ridge, the area became really brushy. There was maybe a use trail from time to time, but not really. I guess it really was just a small gully from water eroding a portion of the ridge. There was plenty of buckthorn (I think) and apparently poison oak (I guess I thought I knew the variations of it, but I guess not!). None of this would have been a problem if I was smart and actually wore pants, but live and learn I guess!

We ascended the lower portion of the ridge very slowly, but gaining speed as we got higher and the brush got less thick. The video below shows an easier section where there is brush but one can easily walk through / around it.

Eventually it just became a steep ridge, which is what I wanted.

The weather varied with sun / rain / clouds / wind all mixed in, but we got some nice views of the Pacific ocean.

So we didn’t get to traverse that many miles, but definitely had some adventure. The area has some nice views, including the ocean just to the west and San Francisco to the north. I would not suggest taking the route we took up unless you are really into bushwhacking and dealing with poison oak!

Related posts:

Cow Canyon Saddle to Bighorn Ridge
Attacking Baldy via the Bowl
Triplet Rocks

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 16th, 2009 at 12:09 pm and is filed under Trip Report. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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