Portola Discovery Site on Sweeney Ridge

San Francisco, California 94169

Portola Discovery Site on Sweeney Ridge

Portola Discovery Site on Sweeney Ridge Professional Review and Guide

"Explorer Gaspar de Portola, charged by his country to scout settlement sites in California that would cement its status as a Spanish colony, set off from Mexico with missionary Junipero Serra in 1769. Leaving Serra behind to establish a mission in San Diego, Portola headed north, looking for Monterey Bay. But his expedition, traveling by land, didn’t recognize Monterey as the perfect colonial site described by an earlier explorer. So they kept walking. And walking. Finally, on November 4, 1769, the exhausted Portola and his companions climbed Sweeney Ridge to survey the lay of the foreign land. There they beheld the unexpected—a bay of colossal proportions destined to become one of the most important harbors on the California coast. A bay that would one day be the site of a famously cosmopolitan city surrounded by spectacular parklands."

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Trail Information

San Francisco
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
2 hours
Best in fall
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Local Contacts
USGS: Montara Mountain
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Aug 2018