Montara Mountain, positioned between the unincorporated community of Montara, California to the southwest and the city of Pacifica, California to the north, forms the northern spur of the Santa Cruz Mountains, a narrow mountain range running the length of the San Francisco Peninsula that separates San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. Its highest point rises to 1,898 feet above sea level. An unpaved fire road, the North Peak Access Road, accessible from the Pedro Mountain Road in McNee Ranch State Park, provides access to the summit by hikers from the south. From the north, Montara Mountain Trail, Hazelnut Trail and Brooks Creek Trail provide access to the mountain with trailheads in San Pedro Valley County Park. Due in part to its biologically isolated location near the end of a peninsula, the mountain has an extensive and unique biodiversity on the serpentine soils of the lower slopes. A number of plant endangered species are found on this mountain, including Hickman's potentilla and San Mateo thornmint, Acanthomintha duttonii.
The rare endemic manzanita Arctostaphylos montaraensis was named for this mountain. On occasions light snow has dusted the summit. On clear days the summit has views of much of the San Francisco Bay Area. Denniston Creek, Arroyo de en Medio and San Pedro Creek rise on Montara Mountain; the steelhead population in San Pedro Creek is within the Central California Coast Steelhead distinct population segment and is listed at threatened. Brooks Creek, a tributary of San Pedro Creek originates on the north face of the mountain and forms a tall thin waterfall, Brooks Falls, the tallest in San Mateo County at 207 feet. Historic Crossings of Montara Mountain include the Spanish Explorer Gaspar de Portolà in October 1769, traveling along the prehistoric Indian Trail which traverses the ridgeline between Willow Brook Estates towards Saddle Pass following the high ridgeline above Green Valley and winding down towards Martini Creek. Remnants of this trail remain visible today. During the Mexican Rancho era, a road known as Camino Pedro Cuesta traversed Saddle Pass and connected the Sanchez Adobe in Rancho San Pedro in San Pedro Valley with Rancho Corral de Tierra Palomares in Montara.
Following the Mexican–American War of 1848, this routing was known as "Road Trail" and was considered to be nearly impassable to wheeled vehicles. In 1879 this steep and rutted Road Trail crossing of Montara Mountain was replaced by the marginally improved road known as the Half Moon Bay - Colma Road, which included road grades of 24%; this road which routed closer to the ocean and Devil's Slide terminated in Shamrock Ranch and persisted until 1915. VanderWerf, Barbara. Montara Mountain. El Granada, Calif: Gum Tree Lane Books. ISBN 0-9632922-2-6. "Montara Mountain Overview". Native Plants of Montara Mountain. Retrieved 2010-05-17
Hazards of outdoor recreation
Outdoor recreation, such as hiking, canoeing, cycling, or skiing, entails risks if participants do not recklessly place themselves in harm's way. In some circumstances, such as being in remote locations or in extreme weather conditions a minor accident may create a dangerous situation that requires survival skills. However, with correct precautions fairly adventurous outdoor recreation can be enjoyable and safe; every hazard has its own safety measure, every ailment a particular remedy. A standard precaution for all back country activities is carrying the "ten essentials", a collection of tools chosen for their utility in preventing or reacting to various emergencies; the common practice of traveling in a group improves. If one person is injured, group members can seek help. A group can avoid poor decisions. If an emergency occurs, a group can pool its muscle power, brain power, body heat. Another precaution is informing people outside of the group of the itinerary and expected return time. A communication device, such as a cell phone or a satellite phone, may help in the case of an emergency.
However, with the exception of mountain tops that are in line-of-sight to populated areas, cell phone coverage in wilderness areas is quite poor. In the wilderness one should always be prepared to hike out for help. Blizzards, flash floods, dust or sandstorms and other meteorological events may or may not be predictable, may require immediate response for survival. Lightning is a serious threat in many regions. Backcountry avalanches are triggered by the immediate action of the party. Precautions include training, monitoring weather conditions to learn the history of the snow pack, digging hasty pits, modifying the route, passing one-by-one through dangerous areas, wearing avalanche beacons, carrying avalanche probes and snow shovels. Other non-avalanche snow immersions can be dangerous, including tree wells. Other mass movements include icefalls and rockfalls; when choosing a campsite care must be taken to avoid those along with dead trees, trees with large dead branches, or trees that have been through a forest fire.
Collectively, these are called "widowmakers" by experienced campers. Slips may occur: On wet rocks or logs; when crossing streams, rivers and other bodies of water, which can be dangerous due to poor visibility, uneven surfaces and algae or moss-covered rocks, strong currents. The tops of waterfalls are dangerous because of fast moving water and smooth, slanted rocks. Rubber soles grip poorly compared to felt soles, crampons, or hob-nailed boots. Precautions include being aware of the danger, using hiking poles, loosening packs straps to lower gravity and in case of becoming submerged, crossing with other people linked arm to arm or using a rope; because of loose material. Loose scree on top of smooth rock acts like ball bearings. Precautions include spotting the situation ahead, keeping knees bent and weight forward, using hiking sticks, brushing aside the gravel where possible. IceWhen travelling over glaciers, crevasses pose a grave danger; these giant cracks in the ice are not always visible, as snow can be blown and freeze over the top to make a snowbridge.
At times snowbridges can be as thin as a few inches. Climbers and hikers use ropes to protect themselves from such hazards. Basic gear for glacier travel includes crampons and ice axes, teams of two to five tie into a rope spaced. If someone begins to fall the other members of the team perform a self-arrest to stop the fall and attempt a rescue. Drownings are likely when accompanied by head injuries, in cold water, or in white water; when walking beaches or crossing estuaries, it is essential to be aware of the tides. Individuals encountered in the outdoors may not always be friendly and in some cases may pose a danger to outdoor recreationalists; these can take the case of sexual assault, or other attacks. Travelers may become lost, either if a group cannot find its way or if an individual becomes separated from the party and cannot find it again. Lost hikers who cannot find their way to their destination on time may run out of food and water, or experience a change in weather; the absence of marked trails increases the risk of losing one's way.
If a group splits up into several subgroups moving at different speeds, one of the subgroups may take a wrong turn at a trail junction. A common procedure to avoid this is for the leaders to wait for the others. Keeping the group together is important in the wilderness when visibility is blocked due to weather, rocks, or trees. Carrying a map and compass, knowing how to use them, will decrease the risk of getting lost. A Global Positioning System may prove invaluable, as it can pinpoint a traveler's location, revealing his exact position and the direction to roads and inhabited areas. Most GPS devices can be designed to mark one's path on a map, making it easy to backtrack. Family Radio Service, General Mobile Radio Service, amateur radios operating on the "2 meters" band may help maintain communication. Flashing lights, signal mirrors, whistles are low-tech emergency signals. Without a distant focal point, such as a mountain top, or the sun or moon, people who are lost can sometimes wander in circles.
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Saratoga is a city in Santa Clara County, United States. It is located on the west side of the Santa Clara Valley, directly west of San Jose, in the San Francisco Bay Area; the population was 29,926 at the 2010 census. Located on the Western edge of the Silicon Valley, Saratoga is known locally for its suburban small-town feel and high-end restaurants. Major attractions of Saratoga include Villa Montalvo, Hakone Gardens, the Mountain Winery; the 2016 Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report listed Saratoga as the most expensive housing market in the United States. In 2010 Bloomberg Businessweek named Saratoga the most expensive suburb in California. According to CNN Money 70.42% of Saratoga households have an income greater than $100,000. Saratoga was ranked by Forbes in 2009 as one of America's top 20 most-educated small towns. Bloomberg Businessweek named Saratoga's zip code 95070 the 18th richest zip code in America in 2011. In 2018, data from the American Community Survey revealed that Saratoga was the 8th wealthiest city in the United States.
This area was earlier inhabited by the Ohlone Native Americans. European settlers imposed a displacement and created a settlement of what is now Saratoga in 1847, when William Campbell, constructed a sawmill about 2.5 miles southeast of the present downtown area. An early map noted the area as Campbell's Gap. In 1851 Martin McCarthy, who had leased the mill, built a toll road down to the Santa Clara Valley, founded what is now Saratoga as McCarthysville; the toll gate was located at the present-day intersection of Big Basin Way and 3rd St. giving the town its first used name: Toll Gate. In 1867 the town received a post office under the name of McCarthysville. Saratoga in 1906 Industry soon sprang up and at its pinnacle the town had a furniture factory, grist mill, a paper factory. To commemorate this newfound productivity the town was renamed again in 1863 as Bank Mills. In the 1850s Jud Caldwell discovered springs which were called Pacific Congress Springs because the water had a mineral content similar to Congress Springs, in Saratoga Springs, New York.
In 1865 the town received its final name, after the city in New York. At the same time a resort hotel called Congress Hall was constructed at the springs, named after the famous resort Congress Hall at Saratoga Springs, New York. California's Congress Hall attracted tourists to the area until it burned down in 1903; these events would lead to Saratoga being listed as a California Historical Landmark in 1950. Saratoga became agricultural. After World War II the town became urbanized, it incorporated in 1956 to avoid being annexed to San Jose. A slogan during the campaign to incorporate the city of Saratoga was "Keep it rural," according to historian Willys I. Peck. Today the city serves. Saratoga is a general law city under California law, meaning that the organization and powers of the city are established by state law, it has a council-manager form of government. The city council is made up of five members elected by the public; the council appoints a mayor and vice-mayor from its membership, with the vice-mayor serving in the absence of the mayor.
The mayor has no veto power, but acts as chairman for council meetings, serves as a visible head of government. Council members serve four-year terms, with the election of two and three members staggered every two years; the city manager is the administrative head of the government, serves as city treasurer. The manager's duties include preparing financial reports, submitting an annual budget, managing city employees, seeing that city ordinances are enforced, supervising city property, investigating complaints against the city; the manager appoints the city clerk. In addition to the council and manager, the city has a number of commissions that serve to advise the council on various issues. Commission members are appointed by the council, serve a maximum of two four year terms; the city has commissions for finance, youth issues, heritage preservation, the library and recreation, traffic safety. In the California State Legislature, Saratoga is in the 15th Senate District, represented by Democrat Jim Beall, in the 28th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Evan Low.
In the United States House of Representatives, Saratoga is in California's 18th congressional district, represented by Democrat Anna Eshoo. Saratoga is bordered by Cupertino and San Jose to the north, a small portion of Campbell and Los Gatos to the east, Monte Sereno to the southeast. Saratoga is located at 37°16′21″N 122°01′10″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.4 square miles, all of it land. Within its borders, Saratoga includes lush redwood forests, foothills suitable for wine grapes and sunny valley floor once covered with prune and apricot orchards, now with suburban homes and churches. Neighborhoods in Saratoga include Brookview and Pride's Crossing in the north part of the city, Blue Hills and Greenbrier in the northwest area, Congress Springs in the southwestern corner of Saratoga; the Golden Triangle, a name invented by real estate agents, is an area bounded by Saratoga Avenue, Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road and Cox Avenue. The Golden Triangle consists of four-bedroom ranch homes on quarter acre lots being replaced by Mediterranean custom designs.
Northeast of the Golden Triangle is a neighborhood known as Saratoga