Green marks the spot. A green gate, that is. Hidden off Highway 1, just north of Pacifica’s Devil’s Slide Tunnel, this unassuming entrance leads to a 2.2-mile (round-trip) hike with spectacular views of the rugged Peninsula shoreline at Pedro Point. The trail’s crown jewel? Pedro Summit, a bluffside vantage where hikers can gaze 600 feet downwards to treacherous crashing waves. Underneath, on the ocean’s floor, are remnants of two shipwrecks, the Drumburton and the James Rolph (the wrecks are accessible to advanced divers only). To reach Pedro Summit, begin a gentle climb along the exposed South Ridge Trail. After 0.6 mile, this well-maintained dirt path turns into Bluff Trail. California golden poppies dot the next 0.5-mile ascent through a resplendent mix of fluorescent fuchsia and yellow ice plant blooms before giving way to an unobstructed seascape punctuated by Pedro Rock, a photogenic and jagged knife-like edge jutting into the ocean with strata dramatically upended. One final push and victory is yours! Views stretch from Point Reyes to San Francisco’s Cliff House and the Golden Gate Bridge. You can often see all the way out to the Farallon Islands. Return the way you came.
TIP: Add an hour to your hike by continuing onto the Devil’s Slide segment of the Coastal Trail, an easy 1.3-mile (one-way) out-and-back asphalt path whose well-marked northern trailhead is adjacent to the green gate. This popular multi-use trail offers more cliff-hugging coastal views of Pedro Rock.
NOTE: We don’t recommend hiking this trail after heavy rains. Wait a few days because its location can make it more slick and unpredictable after heavy rain. Park at the Devil’s Slide trailhead parking lot, off Hwy. 1 just before the Devil’s Slide Tunnel, heading southbound. The green gate is a two-minute walk around the corner, where very limited additional free parking is available. Check out a map of trails. Make sure to arrive early on weekends; the lot fills up quickly. Additionally, the City of Pacifica operates a free weekend shuttle that arrives at the northern trailhead. Dog-friendly!