San Bruno Mountain: Summit Loop Trail

San Francisco

City skyline views from an ecologically diverse mountain in the metro area.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
5.4 km
Ascent
209 m
Descent
209 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
162 m
High Point
365 m
Gradient
San Bruno Mountain: Summit Loop Trail Map

San Bruno Mountain is the pronounced ridgeline rising from the metro area near South San Francisco. Its summit and signal towers on top are visible from all around. Despite the development, this mountain is still a great hiking destination because of the sweeping views, intact ecosystem on its slopes, and convenient access from the city.

Description

San Bruno Mountain State & County Park preserves the mountain as a uniquely large open space and maintains trails within it. Of the three main trails in the park, Summit Loop is the longest and most rewarding. On the winding climb to the summit and rambling route back down, views point to all directions of the compass, and you'll gain many different vantages over the city. On a clear day, you’ll get one of the best views anywhere of the San Francisco skyline. You can see the ocean on both sides of the Peninsula and the Santa Cruz Mountains unfolding to the south.

On the trails, you will experience multiple vegetation communities that are characteristic of the Bay Area’s environment. These include coastal scrub, savannah grassland, upland chaparral, and riparian forest. Plant diversity is surprisingly superb on this urban island of green, and in spring it is further colored by wildflowers. To enjoy more scenery, you can make a longer loop with Diary Ravine or Eucalyptus Trails.

Sources: https://parks.smcgov.org/san-bruno-mountain-state-county-park https://parks.smcgov.org/summit-loop-trail

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area