“Ken’s Favorite Silicon Valley Hikes” covers familiar ground, plus some new suggestions:

Montara Mountain

Summary: a 10 mile round trip from the Pacific coast to the 1800 foot summit of Montara Mountain

Parking: McNee Ranch State Park on Highway 1, north of Half Moon Bay and south of Devils Slide. There are several small parking lots on the west (ocean) side of Highway 1, but these are often filled by surfers. I usually park at the large parking lot east of Highway 1, near the north end of the park.

This trail is beautiful in its own right, but is even more interesting because of the area’s politics. Montara Mountain is in McNee Ranch State Park. This is not your average state park. The state of California bought the land specifically to move Highway 1 inland, away from the current (and not very stable) route through Devil’s Slide. As you may know, Devil’s Slide is regularly closed during the winter due to land slides (sometimes portions of the hills fall on to the road, sometimes portions of the road fall into the ocean). This is also a dangerous section of road; more than a few drivers have wound up swimming (with their cars). Environmentalists and many local residents, however, are strongly opposed to carving into Montara Mountain to build a new highway. Various lawsuits and voter propositions have delayed construction for years. If you haven’t yet, you might want to do this hike while it is still there.

Actually the tunnel’s now being dug to replace that section of Highway 1 at Devils Slide. But this one sounds like it’s worth checking out.