Once a stretch of Highway 1 that made drivers white-knuckle their steering wheels and passengers close their eyes, Devil’s Slide was closed when the Tom Lantos Tunnels were opened in March of 2013. After a year’s hiatus, Devil’s Slide has made its triumphant return and has transitioned from terrifying motorists to offering a peaceful, 1.3-mile hike overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Devil’s Slide Trail starts at the southern tip of Pacifica with parking lots on either end and is just a few miles north of Half Moon Bay. Take this chance to get out from behind your desk and spend time overlooking the ocean surf and mountain ridgelines by hiking the new Devil’s Slide Trail.
The process of transforming the highway to a hiking trail cost $2 million, and it now provides a passage for hikers and bikers alike. The Devil’s Slide Trail officially opened to the public on March 27th, and is part of the much larger California Coastal Trail, which, once completed, will span all the way from the Oregon to Mexico borders.
You don’t need to be a hiking expert or be in top-notch shape in order to enjoy the trail. Plenty of resting benches and observation decks are placed along the way, allowing visitors to take in the views of the ocean that sits hundreds of feet below. From December to May be sure to keep a keen eye on the horizon as you may catch a glimpse of the spout of a migrating gray whale – or on a really lucky day, see it breach. The trail is also a bird watcher’s paradise. Bird Rock, just offshore, is the site where the common murre population has been restored and you’ll also see local pelicans, hawks, song-sparrows and one resident Peregrine Falcon – among many other species of birds.
Devil’s Slide Trail is open to all non-motorized uses — horses, pedestrians, bikers – and dogs on leash are permitted. Parking lots are open 8 a.m. to sunset but both lots can only accommodate a limited number of vehicles – 44 in total – so plan accordingly. SamTrans riders can take Route 17 to new bus stops at the trail’s head, located at the south end of the tunnel. Check www.samtrans.com for the latest information. A great option to avoid parking difficulties is the City of Pacifica Shuttle that makes 16 stops around the city and runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekend. For schedules, check the city website.
Devil’s Slide Trail is conveniently located to some other beautiful places along the Northern California Coast as well. Just to the north of the trail is Pedro Point Headlands – a 246-acre park with approximately two miles of trails – and just to the south is Gray Whale Cove State Beach a beautiful protected cove perfect for sun bathing and Montara State Beach – another popular spot for tide pooling and surf fishing.
Although you may have driven the harrowing route hundreds of times, Devil’s Slide Trail now offers a completely different, and much more enjoyable, experience. Head to the coast soon to take the walk and capture the grandeur of the coast.
After your scenic hike along the picturesque Pacific Ocean, you can continue to be amazed by the Northern California coastal beauty with a stay at the Seal Cove Inn. The Inn’s proximity to the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and stunning ocean bluff vistas make it the natural choice for a coastside getaway. A sophisticated boutique hotel in located in Moss Beach, CA, the Seal Cove Inn features 10 guest rooms, each with a California king bed, a wood-burning fireplace, private bath, and a balcony or terrace. This upscale inn fills up quickly, so be sure to book your stay today.