Gray Whale Cove Trail

An easy hike with ocean views just off Highway 1.

3 miles; 1 hour; 259 ft of climbing; easy

The Gray Whale Cove Trail starts back at the beach parking lot, where you'll find a nondescript dirt path that promises nothing. Once on it, however, you'll find the most pleasant 3-mile hike around. Perfectly paced to bring you parallel to the ocean, this hike becomes more scenic with every step. Dogs are encouraged to be on the leash, and there are plenty to be found, with the popularity of this trail resulting in plenty of friendly hellos, if not a lot of extended privacy.

The trail ends (or begins, depending on where you start it) by McNee Ranch, at Montara State Beach. Turning around to head back to your car is a beautiful reminder of all of the breaking waves and ocean breezes you enjoyed on the way over, and just as incredible the second time around.

—Juliette Spirson

Back to Gray Whale Cove State Beach.