A vast area embracing the middle and south forks of San Pedro Creek, which are Steelhead spawning grounds, this park is nestled amongst the Santa Cruz Mountain range and the foothills of Pacifica. The park offers group picnic areas, family picnic sites with barbecue pits, a self-guiding nature trail, hiking trails, a visitor center, and views of a seasonal water fall.
In 1769, Spanish explorer Captain Gaspar de Portola was in search of Monterey Bay. He found his way to the ocean shore of beautiful San Pedro Valley, which now is a part of the city of Pacifica. San Pedro Valley soon became an important link in the Spanish Mission System, for it offered valuable resources, which could not be produced in San Francisco at Mission Dolores. The valley became a Mission Outpost, which offered good soil, cattle-grazing land, sunshine, and Indians as a work force. Important crops such as wheat, fruits, and vegetables could be grown without problems.
More recently, the Middle Valley was used for grazing on its hillsides and commercial farming in the meadows, with crops of pumpkins and artichokes. The south fork of San Pedro Creek became a trout farm, operated by John Gay, until 1962, when storm rains washed out the entire operation. The south fork is a seasonal water source for the City of Pacifica.
San Pedro Valley Park contains seven trails offering a variety of habitats, lengths and levels of difficulty. One of the most scenic, Montara Mountain Trail, offers views of Pacific Ocean, the Farallon Islands and the exterior of Pacifica. Brooks Creek Trail offers views of Brooks Falls as it drops 175 feet in three tiers during the rainy months of winter and spring.
Observe all trail signs and posted speed limits. Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not allowed off designated paved areas. Please respect your fellow trail users and follow the trail etiquette guidelines for safe and courteous trail use.
The facilities at San Pedro Valley are primary day use only. The park offers drop-in family picnic areas along with jogging and hiking trails. Two picnic areas are available by reservation, the North Walnut Grove (accommodates 100) and the South Walnut Grove (accommodates 200). A third smaller site, Creekside Group Picnic Site (accomodates 35), is available by reservation or, if no reservations have been booked, drop-in. Day Youth Camping is available by reservation only.
A visitor center near the park entrance has exhibits about the ecosystem of San Pedro Valley and its plant and animal species. Some are live exhibits. Adjacent to the exhibits at the Visitor Center is a small park library and bookstore containing many trail guides and books about the local area. The center is open weekends and holidays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Jumpers are allowed in select Reservation Sites only at San Pedro Valley Park. An additional fee of $90.00 is required and jumpers are allowed only after payment is accepted, and permit issued from the Reservation Office. All paper work, and payments must be submitted a minimum of one week prior to the date of your reservation. Please call the reservations desk for details @ 650.363.4021.
San Pedro Valley Park offers 1,150 acres of coastal mountain environment for a variety of activities. Many miles of trails offer even the experienced hiker many hours of pleasure. Some of the trails are open to equestrian use and many offer spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the coastline. The park's coastside location makes this a popular retreat in summer from hot weather on the bay side of the peninsula.
Days and Hours of Operation
San Pedro Valley Park opens at 8:00 A.M every day throughout the year (holidays included). The closing time varies by time of year. The closing times are:
December - February 5:00 P.M.
March 6:00 P.M. (before Daylight Savings Time starts)
March 7:00 P.M. (after Daylight Savings Time starts)
April - August 8:00 P.M.
September 8:00 P.M. (through Labor Day)
September 7:00 P.M. (beginning the day after Labor Day)
October 7:00 P.M. (first week[s] of October)
October 6:00 P.M. (last three weeks of October)
November 6:00 P.M. (before Daylight Saving Time ends)
November 5:00 P.M. (after Daylight Saving Time ends)
Entry into the park for overnight camping reservations is restricted after the park closing time.
This 1,150-acre park has three fresh-water creeks, which flow year round through lush valleys, the south and middle forks of the San Pedro Creek and Brooks Creek. They are of particular significance because they provide some of the few remaining spawning areas for migratory Steelhead in the county. The Steelhead spawning season is normally from December to February. During the rainy, winter months, a special attraction is the beautiful Brooks Falls, which has a drop of 175 feet in three tiers.
Among this sensitive streamside habitat thrive common plants such as Coast and Giant Trillium, Creek Dogwood, Arroyo Willow, Watercress, and several species of ferns. In the springtime, the meadows of the Middle Valley show off an array of wildflowers: California Popies, Suncups, Buttercups, Wild Radish and Wild Mustard. The thick Coastal Scrub protects some rare plants: Giant Golden Chinaquapin, Montara Manzanita, Fetid Adders-tongue, and California Hazelnut.
Wildlife is abundant at San Pedro Valley. Park inhabitants often seen are red-tailed Hawks, Turkey Vultures, Quail, Scrub Jays, and Garter Snakes. Those observed less frequently include Deer, Bobcats, Grey Fox, Raccoons, Rabbits and Gopher Snakes.
Prepare for a safe and enjoyable visit to San Pedro Valley Park and other San Mateo County Parks by being aware of your natural environment.
Directions to the Park
When coming to San Pedro Valley Park from the north (San Francisco) or the south (San Jose), use Highway 280 to Highway 1. Take Highway 1 south to the City of Pacifica. Turn east onto Linda Mar Boulevard. Follow Linda Mar Boulevard unit it ends at Oddstad Boulevard. Turn right on Oddstad Boulevard. Proceed on Oddstad Boulevard one block to the park entrance.
SamTrans buses provide service to key destinations throughout San Mateo County and San Francisco, such as work, schools, malls, civic centers and parks. Please visit SamTrans website to find out how you can take one of their buses to this park.
Please note, parking is limited at San Pedro Valley County Park and may fill up on certain weekends and holidays.
San Pedro Valley Park has two group picnic sites available for reservation, the North Walnut Area and the South Walnut Area.
The San Pedro Youth Day Area accommodates up to 30 youth and leaders and is available by reservation.
The San Pedro Park Visitor's Center also has a space for conferences, which is available by reservation.
The above areas are booked for the entire day. Fees are charged for using these areas. Payment in full is required at the time you make the reservation. Reservations are not required for general drop-in use. Vehicle entry fees are also charged at the gatehouse.
San Pedro Valley County Park is also supported by an active volunteer group known as the Friends of San Pedro Valley Park. These volunteers staff the park's visitor center and provide various programs and activities that help Park Rangers maintain the facilities and the environment of this County Park.
A large and varied number of volunteer activities take place all year long at San Pedro Valley Park as part of the Parks Department's Volunteer Program. Individuals, groups, families and organizations can take part in trail construction, exotic plant removal, habitat restoration, trail patrol and other beneficial and rewarding projects.
If you are an individual or an organization interested in getting involved please contact the San Mateo County Parks Volunteer Program.
To preserve the natural environment of San Pedro Valley Park, all plants, animals and natural features are protected.
Picking or removing wildflowers or other natural material is prohibited.
Fires are permitted in park barbecue pits only - no ground fires.
Cutting and gathering of wood is prohibited.
Dogs and other pets are not allowed.
Picnicking and camping are permitted only in designated areas.
Horses are permitted only on designated trails.
Motor vehicles and bicycles are permitted only on paved roadways and in established parking areas.
Firearms and other weapons are prohibited.
Loud radios and the playing of amplified musical instruments are not permitted.
Park opens at 8:00 A.M. and closes at the preset time prior to sunset.
Use only designated trails at all times.
Beer and wine only are allowed in certain areas, no hard liquor.
Smoking is prohibited.
Feeding of wildlife is prohibited.
Fishing and hunting are not permitted per California State Fish and Game Regulations.