Devil’s Slide Trail is a scenic 1.3 mile paved San Mateo County coastal hiking trail between Pacifica and Half Moon Bay. The high cliff hugging trail passes though spectacular geological features that are populated with a wide variety of local and migrating birds.
Devil’s Slide Trail’s ominous name comes from its days as part of HWY 1 when it was notorious for massive landslides that frequently closed this once vital coastal artery for months at a time. These highway closures ended in 2013 with the opening of the Tom Lantos tunnels which bypasses Devil’s Slide. The mammoth northbound and southbound tunnels are the 2nd and 3rd longest road tunnels in California.
A former two lane highway, the wide Devil’s Slide Trail is divided into lanes for walking and bicycling in either direction. Along the trail visitors will find large scenic outlooks featuring seating, wildlife guides and spectacular views. The two small free parking lots at each end of the trail fill up quickly, feature public restrooms and contain helpful visitor information.
While many will be able to explore and enjoy the full length of the 1.3 mile trail, others with limited time or mobility need to choose a parking lot to explore either the northern or southern end of the trail. The parking lot at the trail’s southern end is by far the most popular and has the most parking spaces. The southern end has a short, flat and easy scenic hike to one of the trail’s best scenic overlooks. Hikers will find the trail relatively level with its steepest sections in the middle and northern sections. While the northern end suffers from limited parking and hills, its parking lot offers spectacular views of the graceful bridges leading into the northern end of the Tom Lantos Tunnels. Entering the northern end of the trail you’ll pass through a unique section featuring large cut away slices of the hill that expose incredible patterns from thousands of years of sediment.
If you’re looking for easily accessed and well maintained trail for viewing the coast along San Mateo County, you can’t do much better than the new Devil’s Slide trial. The often full parking lots are located near the entrances of the Tom Lantos Tunnels. Use our travel app for directions and more information.
Devil’s Slide Coastal Trail – Pacifica reviewed by Explore & Tour on January 15, 2017 rated 2.7 on 5.0