It’s not that often a new, jaw-dropping cliff-side trail is opened. After much controversy and many years of debate, the Devil’s Slide Coastal Trail and companion tunnels are now in full swing and if you haven’t had a chance to walk, roll or run on the path it is certainly a great quick getaway for Bay Area folks. If you are planning a trip to San Francisco and want a manageable walk with Pacific Oceans views, make the trek just a 20-minute drive from the city.
The trail opened this Spring and the tunnels have been open for a while longer. The trail is where Highway 1 used to treacherously wind around the mountain. I used to try to catch a glimpse of the view while driving but with my hands stuck to the steering wheel and eyes glued to the road the most important task was to negotiate the twists and turns as the drop-off was and is steep and impressive.
The short one-plus mile trail, with restrooms and parking lots on either side, is a delicious hiking appetizer for strollers, amblers, scooters and all levels of hikers. I’m taking my mom who is visiting from NYC this week. She loves to walk, but some of the hiking I enjoy might not be her speed. The path is newly paved, benches are strategically placed and viewing stations are at the best spots.
These Seuss-like plants were in bloom last time and the flora and fauna make it a magical journey. Bring a thermos, pack a lunch or just tack it on at the beginning or end of a coastal adventure. Bring wind wear, hats and even gloves in summer—just in case! Parking is limited on weekends and holidays and crossing the highway (if the parking lots are full) is a dangerous undertaking, so be careful. There is a free weekend shuttle bus from Pacifica and a Samtrans bus #17. It is not a get away from it all, back to nature Bay Area hike, but a very do-able walk with arresting views of the ocean and cliffs.