Walkabout California

Hiking Inn to Inn

Lodging for San Francisco to Half Moon Bay

Hi everyone, I'm walking SF to Half Moon Bay May 13-16th. I'm wondering if anyone can share experiences regarding reserving hotels vs. booking when you arrive. I like the idea of a little bit of flexibility in the trip by booking a room wherever we happen to be and what suits us when we arrive. But, I wonder if these hotels/inns might be fully booked during this season. Does anyone have any insights before I start calling hotels? Thanks!!

Views: 1140

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Greetings Lydia!

Thank you for your post! We are planning to hike this Mid October.  So you didn't have an issue with the Devils Slide area? 

Hey JAM! I'm so jealous. I wish I was doing this hike again in October!

We skirted Devil's Slide - took the Old San Pedro Mtn Road per the book. I'm sure Devil's Slide would be beautiful, but I really loved the path we took. That was one of my favorite parts of the hike (it's all awesome). It was a shady forest trail - a nice change from the beachy cliffs.

Let me know if you end up doing Devil's Slide and how you like it. I may do that next time :)

Thank you for your reply Lydia!  I am a forest girl so we will take that path. It sounds delightful from my research. Reviewing the book and am getting more excited.  I just booked airfare and looking at lodging now. I don't think that time of year will be real populated that we have to book ahead. Hoping to find place close to the trail for arrival day. Is the trail well marked?


I also stayed at Park Motel, but caught #30 bus to end next morning, then did short walk down hill (Pt Lobos Ave) to Louis Cafe for a basic breakfast & first view of ocean. The one place I'd make a reservation for is the Montara Lighthouse hostile. Outstanding setting and only $70+ per night. I'd also suggest you line up the other nights remembering you are walking. If you arrive at first place w/o reservation then you'll need to walk to next, which can seem like a drag after u have been already been walking 6+ hours. This is especially true of first long day (12 to 14 miles, as I recall). See my other posts on walk, which I did a couple of years ago.
Jam - hopefully you see this message. I can't reply directly to your post for some reason. The road/trail is easy to get to following the book. The only hesitation we had was when we got to the top - the trail diverges into many side trails where people were on bikes and horses. If you keep heading to the left you will be on the right track. If you need to ask anyone, just tell them you are trying to get to Montara. We went off in the wrong direction for a short distance until some locals pointed us toward Montara. It's hard to pick a favorite but I really enjoyed this day of the trip.

I assumed you were asking whether the trail was well marked at the San Pedro Mtn Road and that's what I was speaking to in the previous paragraph. But now I'm wondering, were you meaning for the entirety of the walkabout? If so, following the book it is quite easy. We only ever backtracked once or twice. I'm not great at map reading and directional sense but even I found it all to be pretty straightforward. I used google maps on my phone a little bit and asked locals to confirm where we were a couple times.

As for lodging at the start, we flew in the night before and stayed at the Geary Parkway Motel which is a mile or two from the beginning of the trail. We walked from there but next time I would bus or uber to the trail to get into it early.

Thank you for the info   I was questioning whether the trail is marked  with arrows or signs. But we will just ask if we are headed to the next destination. It's always a bit confusing when researching.  Need to book our lodging now!

Ok I see. I bought both and they are the same. In the PDF, look on page 17 to see "The Route" that Tom is referring to. It's a good quick reference. The walkabout takes you through mountain trails, beaches, city streets, neighborhoods, etc. It is pretty easy to find where you're going, even if you don't always take Tom's exact path either. The only part where I struggled a little was at the top of the San Pedro Mtn Road/trail that I mentioned previously.

I would recommend booking your lodging in advance. I wasn't going to book in advance but then was glad that I did - there was a big race the weekend we were there and everything nearby was booked. We stayed that first night (before starting) at Geary Parkway Motel. We walked by a place called Seal Rock Inn that was really close to the start of the walkabout and looked neat, might have to stay there next time. The second night we stayed at the Pacifica Motor Inn. And the third night, Point Montara Hostel. Good luck with your planning! Keep us posted!

This forum is so helpful!  I am waiting to hear from Seal Rock as Tom said the hike started right there.  Booked our stay in Pacifica and also Montara.  Will decide on stay in Pillar Point Harbor when we get there or continue to Half Moon Bay.  We are not in a hurry. Where did you stay 4th night?

Oh derp, I just realized that Tom already mentioned about Seal Rock : ) It does look like a cool place, nice view of the ocean from there. We combined the last 2 days of the route so it was only 3 nights of hotels. It wasn't strenuous to do so and I think we were in Half Moon Bay around lunchtime. 


I am excited for you to be taking this wonderful hike.  October should be a great time.  Most of the hike is not on formal named trails, but I wrote "The Route" section (page 139) to hopefully be easy to follow.  The hike starts with a 9 mile hike on the beach.  The hours before and after low tide are the best for a firm hiking surface.  Then follow The Route to walk the residential streets and paths through Pacifica.  There are a couple of short sections on named trails.  Day two starts with a walk on the back streets of Pacifica, but most of the hike is spent on Old San Pedro Mountain Road until you reach Montara State Beach.  The Route will guide you down the beach and through the hamlet of Montara.  I have heard Farallone Inn B&B is closed.  Try to book a private room at the Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel.  It is a great place to stay.  Day 3 is mostly on paths along the coastal bluffs and back streets.  The final day is a stroll along the beach or the bluff trail.

I don't believe there are any other inns besides the Seal Rock near the start of the hike.  That should not be a problem.  In fact, it may be an opportunity.  San Francisco is a small town.  You could stay downtown, enjoy the urban ramble, and take a bus to the Cliff House.  It should take about 15 minutes.  Check out www.511.org for the best bus.

I hope this is helpful.  Have a great journey.

HI Tom

The more I read here the more I'm looking forward to it!  You mention The Route page 139.....I do not have a book. When I ordered it was just digital format and it is only 24 pages. I assume it is same info as in 'the book'

We did get reservations at Seal Rock, Best Western Lighthouse and the Montara Light House Hostel.  We love to hike and just did the Costa Brava area in Spain. Should we do this in 3 days or 4? Is the Pillar Point area great to hang in for the day or should we continue onto Half Moon Bay and spend the night? or a night in both places? We are not in a hurry.....


The Walkabout Books

© 2021   Created by Emily Courtney.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service