On Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 20th), Sam, Allison, Chris and I traveled to Pacifica for a fog-filled hike.

A brief moment of sun.

Pacifica is a city in San Mateo County, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay. Pacifica is well known as a popular surfing destination – it’s home to Mavericks; an invitation-only surfing contest that occurs after a strong winter storm, waves can routinely crest at over 25 feet and top out at over 80 feet. In addition to it’s usual underwater rock formations (that cause such high surf breaks), Pacific has an abundance of unusual land rock formations that are extremely fun to hike, full of plant-life and beautiful vistas. None of which we saw…

Pacifica. Photo by Allison.

… just kidding! We started our hike on the Gray Whale Cove Trail on Montara Mountain.

Like I said, foggy. What it actually looked like.

What it looked like through rose-colored glasses. Photo by Allison.

Photo by Allison.

Once we finished the mountain part of our hike, we ran across traffic going around a curve (only slightly frightening), down to Gray Whale Cove Beach. Unfortunately we didn’t see any grey whales, but we did see a cute black dog.

Pretty Path Down. Photo by Allison.

We didn’t realize, until we were already on the beach, that there were hidden stairs.

Sam and the Sea. Photo by Allison.

Rocky Perch. Photo by Allison.

Frustrated by the lack of visible vistas (we could hear them), we hiked back to our starting point and drove down to Rockaway Beach; home of the fancy Taco Bell.

Rockaway Beach

I was shocked by the amount of children (and some adults) braving the bone-chilling water. We were all bundled up because of the fog-produced wind alone. From the fancy Taco Bell on the beach we spotted a trail going up the side of the nearby hill / cliff that jutted out at northern end of the beach. We lumbered through the sand until we hit the trail.

Pacifica Coastal Trail

Pacifica Coastal Trail

We hiked off of the paved trail for a bit, around the top of the giant cliff/hill, until we decided it was time to go home. Similar to our Marin Headlands hike, I would love to return to Pacifica on a less foggy day. Thank you Allison for planning such a sun trip regardless of the weather – it was a great way to spend MLK day!

If you’d like to see all of our photos, check out Allison’s Grey Whale Cove and my Pacifica flickr sets.


The End. Holding hands next to the fancy Taco Bell.