8am to Sunset
Camping is not available at this park.
Montara State Beach
8am to Sunset
Driving Directions to Montara SBAbout 20 miles south of San Francisco, the beach is located 8 miles north of Half Moon Bay on Hwy 1.
There are two beach access points from the bluff area:
One access point is across from Second St; the other access point is about 1/2 mile north, west of Hwy 1.
Online reservations are not available for this park.
Upcoming Park Events
No events scheduled at this moment.
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Looking for your next adventure?
California State Parks Backpacking Adventures offers naturalist-led backpacking trips through the Santa Cruz Mountains each summer. Online registration opens March 1 at 9am.
Artists, we have a special backpacking trip option for you: the Big Basin Artabout! Ten artists will be chosen to particpate in the first backpacking trip in Big Basin since the CZU Lightning Complex Fire on June 3-4, 2023. Artists will recieve a $2500 stipend and will create an artistic piece in the medium of their choice inspired by the trip to be displayed in the park! The deadline to apply is April 28, 2023. For more information, visit the Big Basin Artabout website.
Visiting Montara State Beach
Montara State Beach is a popular spot for sunbathing, strolling, nature study, surfing, and more. The beach, west of Highway 1, has high bluffs and a sandy shore nestled between bounding low hills. To the east, Montara Mountain (also known as McNee Ranch) looms above. The mountain is a northern spur of the Santa Cruz Mountain range and features the only undisturbed coastal mountain habitat found on over 100 miles of coastline.
Restaurants and grocery stores are located nearby in the towns of Montara and Moss Beach. Point Montara Lighthouse offers overnight accommodations through Hosteling International, a non-profit group.
McNee Ranch encompasses coastal mountain habitat with winding trails and sweeping coastal views. The ranch’s two-mile Pedro Mountain Trail connects to trails leading to Montara Beach and Gray Whale Cove State Beach.
Basic Park Information
WATER is not available at this park.
DOGS are permitted provided they are controlled with a leash of no more than six feet at all times.
BEACH FIRES are not allowed.
COLLECTING is prohibited. Please refrain from removing shells, driftwood, and other natural beach features.
FIREWORKS are prohibited.
DRONES are not allowed in the park. To protect wildlife and cultural resources, and for the safety and welfare of visitors and staff, the park is closed to the use of Model Aircraft, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and Gliders in flight.
CAMPING is not available at this park. Nearby state park campgrounds include Half Moon Bay State Beach and Butano State Park.
OCEAN SAFETY - Always use caution when you are in or near the ocean. The ocean water is very cold year-round. Even a short swim can cause cramps or hypothermia (a life-threatening condition which occurs when your body temperature drops before normal). In addition, strong rip currents can pull even the most experienced swimmers offshore.
PERMITS: are required for all events and weddings. A photography permit is required for all commercial photography.
- Wedding & Special Events Permits:
- Film & Photography Permits: