A quick blog post, with some photos, to call out attention to a place I knew little about until past week. “Rancho Corral de Tierra” is a part of the GGNRA (Golden Gate National Recreation Area) near Half Moon Bay. We were quite shocked at how steep it was at the higher elevations, including many “ups and downs” that we didn’t plan on.
It’s just south of Montara Mountain, but there’s no marked trail connection around the tightly protected San Francisco Water Company land in between. (See comment below from KenZ on a route for an “obscure” connection)
We did a big CCW loop that isn’t even shown on the official map http://www.nps.gov/goga/upload/map-rcdt-4color-2013-0703.pdf but is visible on Open Street Maps. If you’re a Geocacher, there are also”navigation beacons”!
We parked at the end of “Coral Reef Avenue” and commenced our climb. The views rapidly got better as we saw some unfamiliar patches of (what I think is) Pampas Grass.
Eventually we got up to a trail junction and spotted the low green building off to the right. I believe this is the recently closed “Half Moon Bay Gun Club”, according to a geocaching acquaintance. It wasn’t totally vandalized inside yet, with cookware and some recently expired canned food inside.
We passed the gun club, circled left, and summitted at the communications tower.
After poking around and looking east to the SF Bay, we backtracked all the way back to the Gun Club.
From there we continued our CCW loop. This is where the unexpected terrain started. Up and down, up and down…
Down, down, down, we went into the sunset. What we thought would be a quick shot straight to Highway 1 as we descended was not. It was “Posted” and we had to detour a few extra miles to get back to highway 1. We then walked on the shoulder of the highway for about 2 miles and back to the car! Study the route on the Strava link and allow plenty of time and water!
Strava link. 14 miles and 2600 feet, but it seemed much more! https://www.strava.com/activities/437703884