Explore Need To Do - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
19 days ago

Just hiked this trail. Great trail.. The last 1.7 miles is pretty steep climb. Go slow if out shape and you’ll make it to the top of the summit. Slow will take about 2 hours if you do long trail. Coming down very slippery. Bring poles if inexperienced hiker.

backpacking
22 days ago

Parked at the Big Falls Trail. Recommend a truck as the water crossings to get there would be too much for a sedan/ car. From the parking lot to Sulphur Pots Camp site is just over 4 miles, crossing the stream about 30 times. Your feet will get wet so take extra shoes/ socks. The trail is overgrown and we did some trimming. There is a ton of Poison Oak, but It doesn't affect me. Camp site was nice with a fire pit and picnic table (Boy Scout project). Trees worked well for hammocks. Saw 3 eagles under the tree canopy on the trail and a small bear. Great camp.

We had to climb the fence to get to the trail so we were a little hesitant at first, but the hike is a dirt road & easy to follow. It's a gradual incline with nice views of San Luis Obispo & even Morro Bay. Went in June & the smell of the wildflowers was very nice! The terrain starts off as dry grass & oak trees but at about 2 miles it changes to pine trees & more of a mountain terrain. It was a nice surprise.

hiking
28 days ago

Short hike from the parking lot but we started from the Inn at Mooro Bay to make it a little longer. Nice payoff to be able to get above the fog!

Best trail in SLO county. Or at least it’s MY favorite hike. Bottom half has lots of shade. Top half is quite a bit more exposed. The views throughout the hike are marvelous and they get better the higher you go.

I love this trail. Not too crowded ever, cool breeze most of the time- incredible views, good, moderately challenging (for someone out of shape) trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Great view from the top if there is no marine layer! Moderate seems about right. I’m pretty out of shape and it was hard, but my nephew flew up it pretty easy. Can get cold and windy at the top, so might want to have a sweatshirt handy.

hiking
1 month ago

It is gorgeous from the summit but hardwork if you start from the bottom and not the parking lot that is practically at the top.

Nice, relatively flat paved trail. Lots of foot and bike traffic wasn’t a problem. Good size parking lot at trail head. Open sections without shade were warmer than expected.

hiking
1 month ago

We hiked this trail yesterday and the wild flowers were in full bloom! It was gorgeous! The view from on top of the peak was definitely worth the climb. This trail would be pretty hot during the summer months, there is a lot of the trail that is in full sun exposure. The trail it’s self was very well maintained. There are bathrooms (non-flushing) at the parking lot at the trail head. I recommend starting the hike on the left trail head not the one to the right with the bridge. It’s longer but a less steep climb to the top. Lots of poison oak in this area so make sure your are comfortable recognizing it! Day use was $10, and the overnight fee was $25.

hiking
1 month ago

4x4 not require to access trail, but high vehicle clearance is definitely needed. In the Summer, you won't see much water, but any other time of year, the streams will be really bad. 2 weeks after a storm there were about 12 streams we crossed on the drive. Poison oak is rampant out there, as well, so be forewarned. However, the hike is fun. Far out, secluded, and has a nice payoff in the form of a rocky waterfall area where you can sit around.

hiking
2 months ago

Such a rewarding hike! Amazing view!

We did The Cerro Alto loop yesterday taking the long way up and the short path down. It is a great hike. This trek is not very technical and the trail is really good. I would rate this and Easy/Moderate. It is easy in that, there is nothing difficult to climb through. It’s moderate simply due to the amount of climb. So, go do it. If you are struggling on the climb, take your time. That’s all. You will really love it. The trip down is slippery though. With so much activity the path is broken down a bit to smaller sized pebbles etc. So if you can use some poles, that would help. Bring a lunch and enjoy the top. Really fun hike.

My least favorite hike. It’s straight up so if the sun is shining on you then you never get any relief. The view is behind you the whole time. It was worth doing once, but that was enough for me.

Great hike for one day... moderately steep uphill, with plenty vista points to view Morro Bay from the top

hiking
2 months ago

Not bad of a hike, but a pretty view on the drive up. 4x4 not necessary but would recommend having a high clearance vehicle. Trail head very easy to find and clear trail. Started hike at 7am and saw 50+ salamanders on the trail. About 100ft from the waterfall, not very visible until you head back, is a trail that leads you to the top of the waterfall. Long pants/ sleeves recommended because there is a lot of poison oak/ivy that crosses into the trail. There’s a few water pools along the way that you could swim/wade in.

hiking
2 months ago

Trail requires 4x4 and high water clearance. During rainy season or after a decent rain storm you cross about five streams. Once at the trail head hike is somewhat easy although some moderate climbs to get to the falls. Lots of poison oak along the trail. Wear long pants and use Technu after the hike to make sure you don’t get poison oak.

Great wildflowers. Steep at times. Better than sneakers is preferable. Poles would be good idea unless you are very fit or light on your feet. Outstanding views from top but very nice views throughout the hike.

(Now I have to hike down...)

backpacking
2 months ago

Backpacked from Rinconada trail to 101 E Cuesta Grade. Camped 1 night on Big Falls Trail, second night at Sulphur Pots. Super cool area, lots of water (dried up just above Upper Lopez Camp), just SO MUCH poison oak. Definite evidence of a trail, but hours walking through with PO all around the trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice little, short trail that gave a great view of the bay. We were camping down at the campground and we decided to explore. There is some incline but not bad at all. Definitely enjoyed it!

This trail offers a spectacular view once you reach the summit. It also is a fantastic workout and an amazing alternative to stair steppers and elliptical machines!

Beautiful hike, especially after the recent rains.

Trails are a bit of a challenge because of recent rains and the creek being a bit higher and covering some trails. There is extensive poison oak. Long pants are highly recommended.

Went back a week later with the grandkids to show them the cool fall and cave at the base of the trail. They had lots of fun and didn’t have to go on a trail to get there. This was a plus because there is a ton of poison oak.

I love this trail!

I took the longer trail to the summit and the shorter one back to the campground. Both are worth seeing, but I preferred the longer route. Both trails are found inside the campground. The longer is further in than the short trail. There is a $10.00 fee that you can pay before the campground right as you turn off of hwy 41 or in the dirt lot at the back of the campground next to the trailhead.

It is a fairly steep trail, especially the last 1.2 miles to the top. Be sure to have shoes with decent tread on the way down. The loose gravel and incline combine to make it a bit slippery. This last leg is also very sunny. Bring sunscreen or a hat.

The view from the top was breathtaking and right off the start the waterfall is at the bottom. Directions were confusing. Lots of poison oak all around you and on the trees. Right above the waterfall there is a bridge it leads you up to two separate paths if you take the right it takes you to where the bench is and to the left overpassing the creek it takes you to the swing!
Easy to moderate but long loop we never completed

Easy trail. Lots of bikes on the path so be careful they don't always watch out for pedestrians. We loved the half way point there is a nice market if you get hungry.
End of the road you get to Avila beach. Altogether round trip its about 10k. Very manageable and fun!

A bit hard to find trail head....after a few jaunts passing back and forth along 101, figured it out. Previous reviews mentioning the gate were helpful, to ensure we were on right trail. Initially, I was skeptical, as freeway was right below and a car was driving in the "trail"(were we on a "road"?)....after the first mile, we enjoyed the trail much more--beautiful views indeed! Wildflowers will be great and in full bloom, I imagine , within a couple of weeks. I'd like to go back and do further mileage from trails branching out from mt Lowe.

Beautiful. Windy and cold .

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Wonderful hike. Incredible weather. A beautiful walk through the trees to get up on top of the hill. It is ALL uphill but not so exhausting that you don't enjoy the journey. I certainly enjoyed it and will be back for sure

trail running
4 months ago

We parked at the 41 entrance and ran up the boyscout trail which is quite steep. Went through the tower road where it connected to the out and back of the Cerro Alto Loop. Amazing views of Los Osos, Morro Bay and all the peaks. Diablo, Black Hills, etc....Highly recommended!

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