Most of the surfers were headed back to shore, and it was still early yet for tourists. Rodeo Beach at the Marin Headlands was quiet, especially for a Saturday. I set out back along the road, somewhat unsure of my route. I had in mind for the day a sixteen-mile run around the Headlands, a run much longer than any I’d ever done before. I had all day, though, and a cup of coffee to boot.
Montara Mountain makes a great training hill for vertically-minded Sierra hikers. It looms 1,898 feet above Pacifica, California, a mile south of Devils Slide. Trails to the top converge from three different directions, one of which is currently closed to the public. The other two trailheads, San Pedro Valley County Park and McNee Ranch State Park, climb from near sea level to the summit in about four miles, and so provide some of the steepest continuous trail in the bay area.