Explore the most popular trail running 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

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

hiking
2 days 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

healthy hike, beautiful views overlooking Pine Mountain Club and the valley. beautiful view of mountains.

I went last Sunday and the gate leading to the trail was closed and it was 9 miles from the gate to where the hike started. Does anyone know if it is open yet?

Nice view water pool and river

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.

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

Nice trail, but overrun with poison oak almost the entire way. Shaded, which is nice in the heat, but unfortunately there is almost no view of any mountains, landscape, etc because the entire hike follows a creek down between two large mountains. Only saw two other people the whole way so it was quite peaceful. The only animals I saw were birds. The lower part of the trail, near the Davy Brown Campground, is very lush and green. A bit late for wildflowers seemed like (late April) but still lots of tall green grass. The drive up Fig Mountain to the actual trail head is stunning, a windy, one lane road, with lush green meadows and oak trees the entire way. (PS) Don't park your car in the loose gravel at the trail head, stay as close to the metal fence as you can. It can and will get stuck.

Hike is definitely advanced as far as fitness is concerned. Lots of loose footing on the way down, steep, and uphill the whole way back. (I'm not kidding. I trail run several miles everyday and I found this difficult) I used Strava to track myself: 2,244 feet of climbing, took me just under 3 hours to make it down to the Campground and back up to my car.

If you start from the Figueroa Mountain Road trail head (which the app gives great directions to) the trail goes through a grassy meadow and then down into a ravine. When you reach a river crossing, the trail forks into three. Be sure to stay AWAY from the left trail, this is Willow Pond trail, which I took by accident on the way down and it is nearly impassable. I am covered in ticks. Keep to the center trail at the fork to stay on the Davy Brown Trail. Not sure where the right trail goes. Once you take the center trail, you will almost immediately come to another crossing, this time again, KEEP RIGHT. Don't go up the left trail, this is Willow Pond. Keep right and follow Davy Brown Trail downhill. (SEE PHOTO WITH GREEN ARROW) On the way back up, remember these crossings. Take pictures if it helps. Can get confusing. Stay away from Willow Pond Trail it is overgrown and infested with ticks.

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...)

Connect with Snyder to get great views back down to the campground!!

Beautiful views but it’s not a hike

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.

This trail while difficult was beautiful today. Poppies and lupine were alive. Nice to be so close to water too.

This trail has amazing views of the “9 sisters” or volcanic plugs of San Luis Obispo County and other coastal areas. On a clear day you can see the Five Cities area down south. The parking lot is at the top of the Cuesta Grade and can be easy to miss. When coming from Atascadero, it is on the right just after you reach the top of “the grade” (turn into the brake check area). We always park at the bottom and hike from there, but many people drive further up the road, which results in some light traffic. There is a system of other trails connected to the main trail/road that I have not tried yet, but that look intriguing.

Went two days ago for a 21st anniversary hike. I hike on average 25 miles a week and am in good shape, and it's no joke that the last mile to the top is tough! The views are incredible though. Went around 11am, and the poppies weren't open. They seemed to be opening a bit more as we were leaving. I've lived in the SB/Ventura area most of my life and had never done this hike. It was on my bucket list. Definitely is beautiful this time of year and worth the tough climb. Celebrated with wine at Sunstone afterward!

We saw snow in the morning. How luck we are!

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.

Went just after sunrise, so the poppies were closed still for the most part but I assume if you go in the afternoon they open up. Lots of poppies and lupines blooming right now! Pretty hard last bit but doable it if you are in okay shape. Cheers to Sean Kelly for the dank review 5 days ago saying to go now!!

Steeper than you think

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.

hiking
1 month ago

As of 14 April, the mountain is in full bloom! Go now!!!

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.

This is a great trail if you're looking for quick elevation gain across ~1.5 miles with beautiful views and little-to-no people. This dirt road segment of the trail is a wide path that only some trucks and ATVs can climb, making it perfect to hike up with large groups. HOWEVER, like others have said, the De Angulo Trail segment was very overgrown with Poison Oak, so I would recommend to be aware and avoid that area until it has been cleared out. We ended up hiking up just the dirt road segment and turning around just a little past the trailhead marker up the hill.

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.

Great views. Too many people and unleashed dogs for my liking though.

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