Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sweeney Ridge Hike

Last Friday Anil and I went hiking to the top of Sweeney Ridge. From there, in 1769, a group of Spaniards became the first Europeans to see the San Francisco Bay. The specific location from where they saw SF Bay is called Portola Discovery Site and is commemorated by a rock monument.

Hiking up Sweeney Ridge was really great. The views were amazing into all directions, the trail was well maintained (for the most part it was even paved), it was extremely peaceful and relaxing (over the period of 3-4h we only met 5 other people), and also the trail was very green, full of diverse shrubs.

There are no loop trails leading to the top of the ridge, so you will end up backtracing your steps. We parked at the gate at the end of Sneath Lane (that can be reached directly from Hwy 280, 20-minute drive from SF). From the gate we followed the paved trail (Sneath Lane Trail) climbing up along the edge of a coastal shrub-covered hillside. At the top of the hill (after 1.66 miles) Sneath Lane Trail meets Sweeney Ridge Trail. From there, you can either go to the left (south) or the right (north). The Portola Discovery Site is located to the south, and Nike Missle site is to the north. All along your way up you will have great views to the SF Bay and from the top of the ridge you will be also able to see the ocean.

To the south-east you get great views of San Mateo bridge:

You can also watch planes taking off and landing at SFO airport:

To the south you can see San Mateo and Redwood City:

To the north you can see part of San Francisco:

Resting on the bench, enjoying the view:

At the top of the Sweeney Ridge there is Portola Discovery Site:

There is another monument there as well that commemorates a person that made Sweeney Ridge and Portola Discovery Site popular:

Another view to the south-east:

SF Peninsula, ocean to the west, bay to the east:

San Francisco, in the north: