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Organization Title

Montara State Beach

Contact Information

(650) 726-8819

Park Hours

Day use area 8:00am to Sunset

* Camping is not available at this park.

Driving Directions to Montara SB

About 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.

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Camping and Lodging

Online reservations are not available for this park.

Brochures and Campground Maps

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

This beach is a popular location for visitors who can explore the beach tide pools or go surf fishing. The beach is bounded by low hills both to the north and south. Restaurants and grocery stores are nearby.

Point Montara has a lighthouse that offers overnight accommodations. It is operated by Hostelling International, a non-profit group.

Montara mountain (also called McNee Ranch) is part of Montara State Beach. The mountain is a northern spur of the Santa Cruz Mountains and features the only undisturbed Coastal Mountain Habitat found over 100 miles of coastline.

On the San Francisco Peninsula in San Mateo County, approx. 20 miles south of San Francisco. The beach is located eight miles north of Half Moon Bay on Highway One.

There are two beach access points from the bluff area. One access is across from Second Street, immediately south of the Outrigger restaurant. The second access is located about a half-mile north on the ocean side of Highway 1. The paths down to the beach are steep.

Seasons/Climate/Recommended clothing
The weather can be changeable; layered clothing is recommended.


Camping 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.

Please, NO beach fires are allowed.

Please refrain from removing shells, driftwood, and other natural beach features.  Fireworks are prohibited.

Permits are required for all events and weddings.  For permit information contact: San Mateo Sector Office (650) 726-8819.

Summer Activities along the San Mateo Coast

All events & activities are free. A $10 parking fee is enforced at certain parks. For more information regarding guided hikes and group programs please contact the Park at (650) 726-8819 or email        

Events made possible by Coastside State Parks Association, California State Parks Docents, and California State Parks.

Half Moon Music in the Park - A Special Summer Event!

Thursday, July 14 at 6 pm
Thursday, August 11 at 6 pm
Thursday, September 8 at 6 pm
Thursday, October 13 at 6 pm

Bring a picnic blanket, beach chairs, snacks and your dancing shoes and join California State Parks in welcoming Francis Beach’s monthly outdoor concert series. Every second Thursday of the month Half Moon Bay State Beach will be featuring a local musician on the visitor center deck. This free event will run from July through October. Parking is $10; biking and walking are encouraged.

Junior Rangers at Half Moon Bay State Beach
Fridays and Saturdays at 2:30 pm
(through Saturday, September 3)
Discover the fascinating secrets of the forest! Explore, practice outdoor skills and play games as you learn about plants, animals, geology, and more. This one-hour program is designed for kids ages 7 to 12. Sorry parents, this program is for kids only! Please register your child 15 minutes before the program begins. Please be sure your child is dressed for active play in the outdoors. Meet at the Francis Beach Visitor Center at 95 Kelly Avenue in Half Moon Bay. 

Junior Rangers gather at more than 70 California State Parks, from the redwood region, to the high Sierra, to the sunny southern California beaches. At your first program you will receive a logbook and badge. For each activity you will earn a stamp in your logbook, and as you go through the program you can earn prizes.

Little Ocean Explorers at Half Moon Bay State Beach
Saturdays at 2:30 pm 
(through Saturday, September 3)
Imagine, play, learn and explore during this thirty-minute program for children ages 3-6 and their families. Youngsters will be introduced to the beach and discover the California coastline.  Meet at the Francis Beach Visitor Center at 95 Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay. The program is free, parking fee is $10; biking and walking are encouraged.         

Campfire Programs at Half Moon Bay State Beach
Fridays and Saturdays; start time vary between 7:30-8:30pm contingent on sunset 
(through Saturday, September 3)  
Join us in our campfire center for an evening of song and story. Serenade the glittering stars and learn about the plants and animals of the beach, creatures of the ocean, or stories of the park while relaxing under the night sky. Arrive 30 minutes early to learn how to build a campfire. Meet at the Half Moon Bay Campfire Center.

Guided Hike along the Gray Whale Cove Trail
Saturday, August 13 at 10 am
Saturday, September 10 at 10 am
Join us for a moderate two mile, two hour hike along the scenic Gray Whale Cove Trail at State Parks’ McNee Ranch at Montara.  Enjoy ocean views, coastal plants, and wildlife on this picturesque hike. Leftovers from the Ocean Shore Railroad and WWII era bunkers will take you back in time along this trail.  Please meet on the north side of the Gray Whale Cove State Beach parking lot on Highway 1 just south of Devil’s Slide tunnel.         

Guided Hike in Burleigh Murray State Park
Sunday, August 14 at 10 am
Sunday, September 11 at 10 am

Join us on a leisurely two and a half mile, two hour hike along Mills Creek at Burleigh H. Murray Ranch State Park. Enjoy one of our area’s hidden treasures as you learn about the lives of the first pioneers and farming families.  Please meet at the Burleigh Murray State Park parking lot, located in south east Half Moon Bay. From Highway 1 turn east on Higgins Purisima Road and you will reach the park in about 1.5 miles.    

Guided Hike through Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve  
Sunday, July 17 at 1 pm
Sunday, August 7 at 10 am
Sunday, August 21 at 1 pm
Sunday, September 4 at 10 am
Sunday, September 18 at 1 pm
Join us for a one mile, two hour guided walk along the Sequoia Audubon Trail in the Pescadero Marsh, an important stop along the Pacific Flyway. Learn about the fascinating human history of the Marsh from the days of the Ohlone to the present. Discover the byways of the Pescadero and Butano Creeks as they flow through this restored marsh to meet the Pacific Ocean. We suggest that you dress in layers, wear walking shoes, and bring binoculars and water. Dogs are not permitted. All walks will take place weather permitting. Please meet at the Central Pescadero State Beach parking lot on Highway 1 approximately 0.25 mile north of the junction with Pescadero Road. 

Available Activities and Facilities at Montara State Beach

Hiking Trails
Horseback Riding
Picnic Areas
Interpretive Exhibits
Beach Area
Vista Point
Nature & Wildlife Viewing