Sweeney Ridge is a hilly hiking area of ridges and ravines between San Bruno and Pacifica, about a 25-minute drive south from San Francisco. The ridge's 1,200-foot-high summit, covered with coastal scrub and grassland, slopes down to the bay on one side and to the Pacific on the other.
Wildlife at Sweeney Ridge includes hawks, deer, and a plethora of both native and introduced spring wildflowers. The sandy coastline and adjacent wind-protected valley of Thornton State Beach are good venues for picnicking, beach walking, surf fishing, and flying remote-control gliders.
The entrance to the beach is just south of Fort Funston. Park on Highway 35 (Skyline Boulevard) at the gate across from John Daly Boulevard.
Tips and Highlights
Did You Know?
Megafossils (fossils that can be observed with the unaided eye) are rare in Franciscan Complex rocks, but the rocks of “The Rock,” Alcatraz, have yielded significant examples.