What could be better than hiking with your dog on the gorgeous Sweeney Ridge? This pawsome trail is about a half hour drive from San Francisco and is a great way to escape the chaos of big city living. So leash up your pup and get hiking!
Sweeney Ridge has three parking options and access points. Skyline College parking lot is on the northern end. Notch Trail connects this parking lot to Sweeney Ridge. However, dogs and horses are not allowed on Notch Trail, so you and your pup need to use one of the other parking areas. Sneath Lane is on the east side of the trail. If you park here, follow the spur trail up to Sweeney Ridge. Perhaps the most common parking area and access point is to the west of the Ridge at Shelldance Orchid Gardens. From here, Mori Ridge Trail takes you up to Sweeney Ridge.
Once you’ve huffed and puffed your way to the ridge, enjoy pawsome views of the surrounding area. As long as the skies are clear, you and your pup can see Montara Mountain, the Pacific Ocean, and the San Francisco Watershed Area. Around the trail’s midpoint sits the San Francisco Bay Discovery Site. In 1769, Captain Portola and his fellow Spanish explorers saw the San Francisco Bay for the first time. Your furry friend can check out the stone monument that commemorates their expedition.
While hiking this trail, your dog won’t be the only
critter in the area. Mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, mice, and rabbits all
call this place home. A beautiful variety of wildflowers and shrubbery adorns
the trail. Look for lupine, monkeyflower, elderberry, California poppy, and
many more native flowers.
Restrooms are available on Sweeney Ridge. Make sure to
pack plenty of water, there’s not much shade so your pup may get hot while
hiking. Also, bring clean up bags and pick up after your doggo. No doubt about
it, your pal will give this trail four paws up!