A View Comes into Re-focus

Hike to Sweeney Ridge Between Pacifica and San Bruno on Sneath Lane

Hike Sweeney Ridge Trail Sneath Lane Discovery Site

As time marches on, our view of history becomes sharper. And while the view from Sweeney Ridge and the San Francisco Bay “Discovery Site” is quite grand, its history isn’t. Situated at 1,200 feet on a ridgeline between Pacifica and San Bruno, the scenery from the site is awe-inspiring.

On clear days you can see out to the rolling waves of the Pacific in one direction, and the tranquil bay waters and pyramid-shaped Mount Diablo in the other. You can get to Sweeney Ridge a few different ways. We recommend starting from the end of Sneath Lane in Pacifica. It’s a simple paved, winding trail uphill for 2 miles (one-way).

Way back in November 1769, Spain sent Captain Juan Gaspar de Portolá on an expedition to this part of California. Along the journey they came across several friendly Native American tribes, including the Ohlone peoples, who lived on the San Francisco Peninsula. A few years later Spanish missionaries and the military showed up, along with the start of colonization and the eradication of the people that called this their home for millennia. The information boards at the Discovery Site give a description of this time.

TIP: This place gets foggy and windy. Check the weather beforehand to visit on a clear day, preferably in the morning before the wind picks up.

Parking is limited at the Sneath Lane trailhead (map). The hike is dog-friendly.

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park waterfall hike in Sonoma Valley

    Sweet as Sugarloaf

    Right in the heart of wine country there’s plenty more than wine flowing right now, with an oft unheralded waterfall that has surged to an exuberant spectacle from all the recent rain.

    View
  2. Muiraculous Beauty

    Ready to make your non-California friends jealous? Have a bonfire at Muir Beach while watching the sunset. This is Northern California living at its most braggadocious.

    View
  3. From Town to Falls

    Mount Tam’s Cascade Falls is a bit under the radar, tucked back off a residential area in Mill Valley. Some people drive up to the tiny parking lot nearest to the falls. Do an easy 3-mile (round-trip) hike right from downtown Mill Valley, weaving through quiet streets and secret trails.

    View
  4. oak manor labyrinth

    Loma Alta's Hidden Labyrinth

    Oak Manor Labyrinth in Marin’s Loma Alta Open Space is a hidden gem with huge views. The 2-mile out-and-back hike to reach it is a bit steep in parts, but the payoff is a 360-degree joy to the wild (with a bit of cityscape).

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Sponsored

    Best in Snow

    There’s snow better destination for outdoor fun and events. Plumas County is a northern Sierra Nevada dreamland, with vast outdoor spaces, places, and races! Snowshoe Lassen Volcanic National Park, downhill ski at charming Coppervale Resort, and have a blast at the quirky Longboard Races.

    View
  2. Hike from Point Fermin Park to Angels Gate Park

    Park it Here

    Do a 2.5-mile scenic hike from Point Fermin Park to Angels Gate Park in Los Angeles. It’s got big trees, big ocean views, and a food and beer bonus!

    View
  3. Skull On!

    Temescal Canyon not only has epic views, it's got a waterfall right now, one that only shows after big rains. Head out on this 4.6-mile loop.

    View
  4. Two people walking towards Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point Orange County

    Getting Salty

    Long walks on the beach are great, but what about long walks to the beach? This 7.7-mile (round-trip) to the beautiful Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point is one of the best in Orange County.

    View