Explore To-do SLO - 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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Absolutely love this trail. I’ve done it 4 times, and it never disappoints. Always gorgeous

hiking
9 days ago

The hike has a total of 14 river crossing to just get to the trail head. We took a non 4 wheel drive vehicle and made it. You do have to take the river crossing super slow otherwise the water will splash on the battery and you’ll have to wait to let it dry before your car will start (Found out the hard way). We only hiked to the big falls and then turned around. GPS was a little off and it is closer to 3.6 miles for the entire hike. This time of year the hike had no water from the falls but the river had a little bit of water. Overall great hike if you’re willing to drive through the crossings.

This is a long, relatively easy in / harder out hike all on a paved road. It is an, exposed trail with breathtaking panoramic views, but no protection from sun, so take plenty of water, snacks and pick a time to go when weather is cool; most likely early mornings or from Oct thru April. My lab loves these kind of leisurely long hikes and I always make her carry her own pack filled just with water! If you feel you've worked up a big enough appetite, the original famous Hitching Post Steak House in Casmalia isn't very far away!

Best views are at the very beginning then it’s not very exciting after that.

Challenging hike through lovely terrain. Offers nearly 360 degree view of San Luis Obispo at its highest point.

Long drive but no access.

trail running
1 month ago

Started the trail at the end of the road through the campground. A bit more challenging than moderate but some easy parts too. Didn’t finish the full loop since seeing a deer leg carcass and concerned of coming across a mountain lion or bear and was running alone. Ranger warned the campers that there are bears.

Did this trail today and it’s only 2 miles up and back to the top where the bell is. Elevation Gail is 1,152. It’s a mile of UP! Coming down is no joke be careful or you will end up on your a$$. But incredible views at the top.

BEST local hike for a quick, butt-kicking workout!

hiking
3 months ago

This was a great way to see the sunrise. Scenes were great and it was nice and quiet at 530 in the morning ;) will be doing it again!!

It’s a great trail for all ages. I had foot surgery in Jan and this was my first time completing the trail since (now aug). Shaded in the morning and afternoon. We try to shoot for 2 pm when the weather is nice in the summer. This trail is paved and will take you all the way to Avila Beach. It’s great for walking, biking, jogging, kids, dogs and adults.

nice trail up and down. well marked.the entire loop will take you through the campgrounds so be prepared for a great view of campers and a water park and an adventure Park with zip lines. the trail itself was mostly uninhabited with nice views of the lake and the Eastern side of the hills with vineyards. my advice: don't take the loop back by the campgrounds go up to high ridge, take in the cool views, and just turn around and head back.

Best views in town!

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike, good workout. I recommend take lots of water and be wary of the heat in the summer. Can be 10-20 degrees cooler at the top with a breeze, however. Take it slow and nature will really start to expose herself. Very enjoyable. Maybe even stop and talk to horseback riders. They have done a lot to maintain the integrity and expand these trails.

hiking
3 months ago

A long, winding trail through the hills gives way to some absolutely amazing views. Certainly a hard and difficult trail due to the elevation gain and length, but I’d say it’s on the easier side of “hard” because the climb is gradual.

As others have said, getting down to the beach is a bit tricky. When you get to the overlook point with the two signs on either side that both say “Treacherous Slope,” go to the one on the right. There’s a trail that winds down to the beach from there.

Definitely worth the 3.5-4.5 hour trek!

Great views !!

All together spent 8 hours, started at church scrambled up loose rocks to properly insert myself on trail, I'm still sore! Came down near Costco went into wholefoods had dinner. Great views, great training exercise. Used Aveenza offline map app works great.

This time I went up on the 101 side and then down to pirates back to the 101 through the fire trail and neighborhood. 2.90 miles total. Great views and a good workout.

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
5 months ago

Beautiful hike! Tons and tons of wildflowers and lots of green.. now is the perfect time to do this hike. It is a solid 10 miles if you make it down to the beach. The trail ends at the point overlook and then you have to kind of figure it out yourself how to get down.. there are various little trails but they're all rather steep and iffy. We found a way to get down by turning right at the trail end. It is a bit of a scramble but worth it to have a pristine beach all to yourself. The hike starts out at a gradual incline up for two miles, levels out, and then halfway in at the Vandenberg AFB gate it's all downhill so be prepared to walk right back up...it's never too steep though. Very gradual incline the whole hike. Great way to spend an afternoon. We saw lots of lizards but no snakes, thankfully.. heard sea lions in the distance but didn't see any.. saw hummingbirds and lots of cows as well!

hiking
5 months 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
5 months ago

Great walk even if you take the short walk. Green and cool in April and May.

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.

hiking
6 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.

Easy 5 miles down to the beach and 5 hard miles back

Trail has a moderate climb and is very rocky. Beautiful natural landscape and creek views.

hiking
6 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.

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.

Good warm up hike for anyone wanting to get out of Santa Maria/Guadalupe area for a bit. VERY EASY hike on a well maintained fire road. The beach is nice and not many ppl on it. The walk there can take up to 4 round trip, but I've ran it there and back and it's only under 1hr 30 min.
Be careful as ppl always get their cars broken into.
There's No shade and it can get hot & windy. Hike gets boring after you do it so many times. Good walk for families or small kids and pets. No water around bring your own.

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