San Pedro Mountain is an 1100′ tall summit in San Rafael, Marin County, California. Take Hwy 101 to N. San Pedro Drive and go east. About 0.5 miles past a 7-11 (good place to stop for snacks/water) turn right onto Sunny Oaks, and follow Sunny Oaks until it turns into Bay Hill. Stay on Bay Hill until you get to the locked gate. There is room to park one vehicle (maybe two if they are small).
There is room to turn your car around so it is facing downhill and if you get very close to the fence your car can be all the way off the road.
The trail is the paved fire road and goes to within 20′ of the summit. The last 20′ is a dirt road. Plenty of room to set up at the summit – bring friends!
Along the trail/fire road there are views of several local SOTA summits.
Including, Big Rock Ridge – W6/NC-304 – note the tower in the AZ
Including Burdell Mountain – W6/NC-353 – note the large white building below the summit is the Buck Institute (I think they do research on aging – an appropriate topic for many SOTA activators and chasers) – access is thru Olompoli Park or a better route is from San Marin Drive!
Including Mount Tamalpais W6/CC-063 – note the peak that appears tallest is not the actual summit – suggest you check the summit reports – mostly a drive up with a bit a final scramble thru Manzinita.
Including, several others including Loma Alta W6/NC-350, not pictured but the trail head is shared with the Big Rock Ridge trailhead – take Lucas Valley Road to the big rock. One trail goes south, the other goes north!
You could get to San Pedro Mountain from China Camp – and at least two other ways. I prefer the paved fire road but I have tried another trail – longer but mostly a single track.
You get to the second gate at 1000′ this was the first time I found it unlocked. From here there is about 0.25 miles relatively flat and you go past a Cold War era missile site. A good number of the local summits are at sites where missiles protected San Francisco. After the flat stretch you descend about 100′ then make the final climb to the summit.
The final 20′ of elevation is up the dirt road 100 yards to a clearing. Trees all around and low brush in the center. You can find a view of San Francisco from the summit but most of the good views are along the trail.
This was my 4th activation of this summit. It is just the right distance from home and just the right size. I have never had good luck with VHF/UHF but I see no reason why this could not be activated with an HT and a roll-up j-pole. I used a packtenna pole with a 30 foot wire and my KX3 – worked New Hampshire and the Solomon Islands! This might be a good summit to take a new activator. I had AT&T service at the top and along the trail so I was able to spot using SOTA Goat. I used GAIA for tracks.