Swell Dwellings

Devil’s Slide Trail – Pacifica, California

Devil’s Slide Trail – Pacifica, California

One of the best things about living in California is the unbelievable hiking and exploring available all-year-round.

Devil’s Slide Trail is a short and easy hike in Pacifica, California about 12 miles north of Half Moon Bay.

We were very lucky and got a perfectly clear day. It is often cloudy in the area, but beautiful nonetheless!

Some deets:

  • Parking: This trail is just off the freeway and there is limited parking found on either side of the Tom Lantos Tunnel. These parking lots are accessible from both north and south bound Highway 1. Parking can be tough especially on weekends, so schedule a little extra time to find a spot!
  • Trail length: 3.1 miles
  • Bikers: there is a bike path
  • Dogs: allowed, on leash
  • Water: water fountains are available on the trail, but it is an easy trek, so don’t shy away from packing a few things!
  • Time: I would schedule a couple hours to do the whole thing, mainly because you will probably want to stop and take in the views. Time will vary dramatically by pace and person, of course!

Some highlights:

The entire trail is paved.

devil's slide; hiking; norcal; easy hike

We were there in late spring when the wild flowers were in all their glory. Pink, orange, red, and yellow flowers against the blue of the sky and the sea was really something.

california poppies; devil's slide; hiking
I love, love, love, love poppies and had to run back to get a quick pic of these.

devil's slide; california wild flowers; hiking

devil's slide; pacifica, ca; hike; norcal; easy hike

From the beginning of the trail, you see a building perched on the top of a cliff on the top of a mound of rock in the far off distance and, if you are like me, you wonder what it is.

Turns out, the building is an old military bunker that was built more than 70 years ago as a lookout. It was one of five similar control stations built during the era. I’m sure it didn’t start out with the tags, but I think they are a nice touch.

devil's slide trail; military lookout

devil's slide trail; military lookout

There is also some fun wildlife viewing on this hike. We were not there at the right time, but from January to mid April, you might be able to see whales.

devil's slide trail; bird watching


All-in-all, this is truly an amazing hike and memorable experience. It’s super easy and paved, so it’s a leisurely way to spend a morning or afternoon with children and/or your parents. The most challenging part of this hike is probably trying to score parking on weekends, and the city no longer (at time of this post) provides transportation to the location. Maybe schedule a little extra time for parking, but we have always been lucky and found a spot pretty quickly.




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