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Wilbur’s Watch Information

The ocean breeze coming off the Pacific makes this a perfect summer stroll.

Watch for:

The Wilbur's Watch hike is a great trail to see wildflowers in the spring months, including purple iris, purple-blue blue-eyed grass, pink checkerbloom, white yarrow, orange California poppy, yellow buttercups, red paintbrush, and blue and white lupine.

Hiking Details for Wilbur’s Watch

Distance: 2 miles

Elevation change: 260 feet

Hiking time: 1 hour

Trail surface: Packed dirt

Best Season: All year, but spring is the best time to see the wildflowers

Managing agency: Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

Parking lot location: Click here for directions

Overview: The Wilbur’s Watch hike is a one-mile out-and-back trail located on POST-protected Cloverdale Ranch. From the trailhead’s small parking lot on Pigeon Point Road, the trail leads uphill through grassland and native coastal scrub to a breathtaking lookout. The elevation gain is minimal and this beautiful hike is rated easy.

There are several switchbacks to ease the grade as you hike through a mix of grassland and shrubs, with spectacular views of the ocean and Pigeon Point Lighthouse all along the way.

From the top, relax on recycled redwood benches and peer through the telescope to take in panoramic views from Montara Mountain in the north to Año Nuevo State Reserve in the south. When you’re ready to head back, retrace your steps back to the parking lot.

Directions to Wilbur’s Watch

From Highway 92 or Highway 84, take Highway 1 south past Pescadero. Immediately across from Pigeon Point lighthouse, turn left onto Pigeon Point Road, and follow as it curves around to the right. You'll see the ramp to the parking area on your left, 0.8 miles from the Highway 1 junction. The Wilbur's Watch trailhead leads from this small parking lot.

The Wilbur's Watch Trail and the Cloverdale Ranch Property

The Wilbur’s Watch trail is dedicated to Colburn Wilbur, retired executive director of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, who worked to protect thousands of acres of open space in California. It’s located on Cloverdale Ranch, a 6,700-acre stretch of land along San Mateo County’s coastline that POST began protecting in 1997.

In 2023, after 26 years of caring for the landscape’s grasslands, creeks and farms, POST transferred a majority of Cloverdale — including the portion Wilbur’s Watch is on — to Midpen for permanent management.

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