Explore the most popular forest trails in Los Padres National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
1 day 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.

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

a good healthy hike that is beautiful

Beautiful views and great weather in April. Grass was high, and the trail is almost exclusively single-track.

Some sections of trail were encroached or overgrown with poison oak throughout the hike.

We stayed to the right on the way out, to do the loop counterclockwise. After the last really steep section, the trail just disappeared into heavy brush. It wasn’t as steep, but we essentially had to break brush for the rest of the climb to the top of the hill. After cresting the hill, we were able to pick the trail back up. Heading back to the trail junction, we came across a relatively recent tree fall that blocks the trail. We were able to work through the branches (it wasn’t that big a tree). The rest of the looks section of trail had considerable overgrowth across the trail again.

Easy hike and family friendly. Like the cave!

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...)

l would recommend to go all the way to reyes peak for the amazing view.Take enough water and go very early in the morning it may take you almost a whole day round trip. It gets hard at times because of the uphill, but it is very walkable don't get discouraged. battery on my phone died very quickly up there.But it was worth it.

Beautiful especially when you get into the big trees with interspersed boulders. Hike is about 10 miles round trip when you go all the way to Pine Mountain Ridge road.

4-21-18, Another CaCoHP for San Luis Obispo County, at 5,106 feet. Great spring day with flowers, but nowhere near as many in a super Bloom that can happen in the Carrizo Plain. After driving the narrow dirt road up from near Selby campground, I parked at the trailhead. I biked in about 5 miles and stashed the bike and hiked the rest of the way. Great views along the ridge of Carrizo, Soda lake, the San Andreas fault, all lead to a very interesting trip. Summitting was easy, and return trip was just as enjoyable. I was the only one on the trail, granting for reflection of solitude.

hiking
1 month ago

It was my first time hiking in the Santa Barbara area and I really liked this hike. I think it could have been a 5 star hike if I had hiked it on a clear day.

Parking- we easily found parking along the side of the road on the right side near the trailhead...which is on the left side of the road

Trail- the sign at the start states that the trail is 4.2 miles with 641 ft of elevation gain...not sure what that is based on, but if you are like me and wish to take this trail to Inspiration Point and back it was 7.1 miles for me with an elevation gain of 1,600 ft...so quite a bit of difference there; the trail is easy to follow and the first 1.5 goes north and sticks close to the creek and the water was running with some recent rain; the trail then leaves the trees and heads in a NE direction through a more open sort of grassland area and you will cross a road and some private property nearby and then the incline kicks in for the final mile or so with some switchbacks up to Inspiration Point...which I didn't see any signs but I had my app to verify we had made it there and there were some other hikers there already but sadly there was no view to enjoy since it was an extremely overcast and foggy morning (4/2/18) and visibility was maybe 200 yards so there was no view of the ocean or island sadly; the hike was green, with the sound of running water for most of the time, and great views of the mountains to the northeast...I just wished we could have seen the ocean...FYI dogs are allowed on this trail off leash which doesn't bother me but might bother some

*the second half of the hike we really worked up a sweat not only because it was steeper but it was very humid and there was a light mist/drizzle

Of course bring plenty of water and hiking shoes or shoes with good traction, trekking poles are not needed for this hike. Plan on this hike taking about 3-4 hours. I would rate this as moderately difficult.

Epic bucket list hike.... went out with a bang! Always wanted to do an overnight hiking trip before my big 5-0 .... trail was no easy task (for me) but with the help of my daughter it was a success..... Not so much for one of our team mates who fell about 30ft down a revine and had to be airlifted out after my daughter was able to rescue her enough to get her back on the trail. Hats off #calfire #chp and the medical team.
I will definitely be back.

Came back to see the Punch Bowls. We were unaware of a sign saying it was closed, but we were allowed in. Lots of groups and families were out on the trail. It was sad to see all the damages the Thomas Fire left on and in the surrounding areas of the Punch Bowls. Despite that the Punch Bowls was still there alive and beautiful as before. A lot of scrambling on the hike due to the fire. If you’re familiar with the trail then it shouldn’t be difficult to get to the falls. The green arrows on the rocks should lead you there. Otherwise, you can follow the creek.

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!

hiking
1 month ago

I went on a very misty/foggy day so the views at the top of Inspiration point weren't that great, but the journey there and back made up for it! Lots of ravines, boulders, wooded streams, and then the winding turns making your way up the mountain made for a great walk. The last mile or two have very little shade so bring sun protection and plenty of water.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great hike if you're looking for a moderately difficult hike, nothing fancy. Parts of it are challenging enough to make you sweat, it's easy to follow, and there's a rewarding view at the top. We hiked it midday on a Friday and the trail wasn't too busy. It's very well marked. The creeks were flowing and the foliage was lush, but this is early April so I expect it will be dry as a bone later in the summer. Speaking of foliage, there's a ton of poison oak so keep an eye out if you have little ones. My 4 little guys (ages 4-9) hiked it no problem, tho we had to constantly remind them to avoid the poison oak. Parking was really easy too, just along the road opposite the filtration plant. I'd recommend starting early and packing plenty of water.

hiking
1 month ago

I traveled east on Hurricane Deck and connected with Manzana Trail near the schoolhouse and headed east. The flat terrain and ample water crossing was nice after a long hike up Potrero to the Deck. If you’re looking for a hard elevation trek this isn’t what you’re looking for. Be prepared to cross water 25+ times if you plan on going to the school house from the Sun Valley trailhead.

hiking
1 month ago

I’ve loved this trail for years. It is enough of a challenge to make you feel like you accomplished something. I love the pace of it and the carried terrain. If it has rained you might find some mud, but the creek will be flowing and provide amazing acoustics for your hike. I love to do this with friends and even the preteens like this one! Highly recommend, and start at the water treatment if you want to cut it to 6.6 miles and about 1500’ of elevation.

1 month ago

I did this hike with my boyfriend for the first time this last Sunday. I would say the hike is a challenge due to the steady incline for 4 miles straight. We got some beautiful shots on our way up but I was disappointed in the view once we reached the top. I expected more. I won’t be putting in the effort to do this hike twice.

Great place. Easy quick hike. Waterfall was roarin after the rains. Tied a line to a tree across falls at the top n zip lined to the middle. Epic view. Can also climb on the top of the boulder in middle of water. There's a lil cave under that rock as well.

We arrived March 24, 2018 after several days of heavy rain. The security guard was turning people away as the trail was closed. No idea when they will reopen.

hiking
2 months ago

kool hike friendly vibe easy access to parking✌

trail running
2 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!

I couldn’t find anywhere about the condition of this hike after the fire. So I went and checked it out. Same easy access to it gate is open and no one stopped us from going in and also no posted “area closed” signs. For the most part the trail along the river bed was untouched by the fire, lots of mud and rock slides Have happened though and saw a few times rocks come tumbling down while we were up there. The water is dingy and cold so we didn’t go in. The trail up the hill away from the river was also slightly washed out by mud slides and lots of fire damage that way, cool sight to see plus right now there is new green growth coming through the black and ash. I recommend it. Wear boots.

This trail is easy to find and has plenty of parking right off HWY 1. The trail starts off with the waterfall only 200 yds from the parking lot. Next, switch backs take you up 800' revealing wild flowers and rock outcroppings. About a mile into the hike, we were stopped dead in our tracks by a mountain lion. Luckily it wasn't looking for dinner or a fight, and just warned us with a pronounced growl. We took a hint and turned around. I am looking forward to going back to complete the hike without interruption.

Great hike for day hikers and overnight hikers. Plenty of water there, easy drive from SLO

Very sad to hear that this trail has been destroyed by the Thomas fire. This was one of the best hikes I've ever found. I hope that it will be restored within my lifetime so I can go hike this majestic trail again...

Closed due to the mud slides

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