Mori Point is located south of San Francisco in Pacifica along the coast, and is managed by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area under the National Park Service.
The park itself consists of a few trails, and stunning coastal views, on both sides, atop the Mori Point. Trails closer to sea-level take hikers through a small wetlands area surrounded by cypress trees. One trail connects with the Sharp Park Promenade, which leads to a pier on the Pacific Ocean. Weather can vary drastically, so dress in layers, and be sure to bring water and food if needed.
General Info and Access Details
- See access criteria for definitions.
- Accessible Trails: Yes–Old Mori Trail, Lishumsha Trail, Mori Headlands Trail, Coastal Trail, and the Promenade are detailed below.
- Accessible Parking: Yes–Two accessible spots are near the foot of the pier and two are at the end of Beach Blvd. Two designated accessible spots are located at the trailhead for Old Mori Trail off Bradford Way. At Fairway Drive trailhead, parking is on-street only, with no designated accessible spots.
- Accessible Restroom: Yes–One accessible restroom along with a portable toilet is at the Old Mori trailhead on Bradford Way. Another bathroom is at the pier, but there is a very tight turn at the entry and the sinks are only 28″ high.
- Accessible Picnic Tables: Yes–Only one of the several picnic tables along the paved promenade is reachable via a concrete pathway; the rest are surrounded by grass.
- Hours: Trails: Always open. Pier: Daily, 4 am-10 pm, except when surf is high.
- Map: See here.
- Fee: None
- Dogs: On leash
- Public Transportation: samstrans
- Mori Point Trail Map
- Trailheads: Bradford Way, Beach Blvd., and Santa Rosa Ave.
- Length: Over 4 total miles
- Typical Width: 4 ft. & above
- Typical Grade: Mostly level or gentle, besides the climb up to Mori Point on the Mori Headlands Trail.
- Terrain: Firm–The route described here is a combination of pavement, boardwalk, and hard-packed dirt and gravel. Some sections may be sandy, while others may be muddy and rutted, with pools of standing water. For a smoother ride, take the Old Mori Road Trail and bypass the rough levee trail that runs between the beach and Sharp Park Golf Course.
Description of Routes
If you are a California Bay Area fisher, you probably already know about Pacifica Municipal Pier, a 1,140-foot open-ocean pier (41-inch railings). In season, people catch king salmon, surf perch, striped bass, and halibut. You can go out on the pier even if you don’t fish. On the lawn near the pier are picnic tables and grills.
A wide, paved promenade runs along the waterfront. North of the pier you can travel only a few blocks before the promenade ends, but the route is right at the ocean’s edge, with waves crashing on rocks just below you in places. It can be a very dramatic—and wet—spot when the surf is high. Traveling south from the pier, you can extend your hike along a levee trail between Sharp Park Golf Course and the beach, then travel through wetlands on an elevated boardwalk.
From the pier, head south on the paved promenade that travels along Beach Boulevard for a few blocks, to Clarendon Road. From there, if you can manage a short but steep and sometimes sandy slope, you can access a hard-packed dirt and rock levee trail and continue south for another .5 miles to the end of the beach at Mori Point. The promenade can be a difficult ride because of windblown sand, standing rainwater, and bird droppings. The levee trail runs between the beach and Sharp Park Golf Course. From this elevated vantage point you may spot pelicans skimming the ocean’s surface, shorebirds probing the sand, and occasionally sea lions and whales swimming close to shore. You’re almost certain to meet dogs and energetic walkers on this trail.
As you approach the point you will see the Bootlegger Steps Trail heading straight up the bluff. Before you reach them, the berm trail branches and rhe Lishumsha Trail continues to the right, toward the hills, while the left-hand trail (Old Mori Road) curves inland towards a parking lot. If you’re really adventurous, consider making a side trip along the stretch of Coastal Trail that takes off immediately past the trail to Bootlegger Steps, also on the right, and turns into the Mori Headlands Trail. The Mori Headlands Trail climbs steeply for a few hundred yards to the blufftop known as Mori Point, where the ocean views are spectacular. In spring, the Mori Point bluff is often awash in wildflowers. The last twenty feet or so to the top of Mori Point is the steepest section, so choose routes carefully and go slow; use assistance if needed. This
Back on Old Mori Road trail, continue to an elevated wooden boardwalk that travels through wetlands south of Laguna Salada, the lake inside the golf course grounds. The wetlands provide habitat for the endangered red-legged frog and San Francisco garter snake. Wood benches and interpretive signs are here and there along the boardwalk. Past the wetlands, the boardwalk ends and a broad, hard-packed dirt and gravel trail continues along the old roadway. A tall wood fence fronts the northern side of the trail, blocking it from the houses along the route. The level path travels through trees and past a marshy creek; standing water and mud can be a problem here during the rainy season.
The trail ends at Bradford Way and Mori Point Road, but if you want to extend your hike, you can follow Mori Point Road to the right (you must travel in the roadway a short distance, but traffic is typically light and slow-moving) to connect to the Pacifica Coastal Trail, which travels south along Highway One through the Calera Creek wetlands and on to Rockaway Beach and Pacifica State Beach (about three miles). The entire stretch from Sharp Park to Pacifica State Beach is about seven miles one way.