Explore the most popular views 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
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.

off road driving
6 days ago

first time I did this trail I had a blast. second time I did this was a 10pm night run. it's long, it will take you a solid 2-3 hours depending how your rig is and how confident you are. 95% of it is easy, but the 5% will put any Toyota to its test if you choose the hard lines. I took it all with ease in my jeep wrangler. any stock jeep can do this trail easily, no lockers needed. towards the end of trail into camp ground, it looks intimidating for a first time experience, but all the rocks are solid in place and make for easy crawling through. none lifted Toyotas will have a bit of challenge but hey, get out and lay down a rock to make some stepping stones.. but try to kick them out after so the jeep guys can still enjoy the technical fun stuff :)

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.

hiking
10 days ago

Great hike. The trail gets a little hard to follow at times.

on Baron Ranch Trail

10 days ago

Overgrown

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?

Just hiked here yesterday. It’s starting to get HOT but it was still an awe inspiring experience to turn the corner and be at the base of these majestic rock formations! Definitely will be back, hope to backpack into Sespe.

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.

off road driving
20 days ago

We have a 2000 Jeep Wrangler with a 3” lift and 33” tires. No lockers. We entered from Lockwood valley and popped out at the top of hungry valley. The trail was challenging at the beginning and at the end with large rocks and steep terrain. The last 2 miles are very challenging and slow going. Tight trails with some scratches from bushes. After this trail we added lockers and will be heading back out again. Plan on a full day of wheeling and don’t do it alone.

on Potrero John Trail

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful hike that was a moderate challenge. We ended up scrambling up the river to the waterfall which was slightly more challenging but beautiful. Met some friendly hikers along the way but most of the time was quiet and serene.

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.

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...)

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

28 days ago

Good moderate hike. Some sun exposure so depending on your comfort pick an early time!

Beautiful views but it’s not a hike

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

I started from Stevens park and the trail takes you all the way to the shooting range..it was a loooooong and grueling walk I wouldn’t recommend this trail for somebody that is going by themselves (like what I did) the first hour was fine then you start having to go uphill for the next hour or so and in some parts the trail cuts off into actually wooded areas where it feels like you are going off the trail but it is the actual trail...it feels like the trail just goes on and on then you get to a point where the trail is blocked by a bunch of bushes where you have to crawl through the bush to get past it...and from that point it took me about an hour to reach the shooting range...overall it took me about 4 hours to get through it but that’s because the trail side tracked me where I had to retrace my steps...but if everything would of went smoothly the hike would take about 3 1/2 hours to complete...my phone died when I was trying to record my journey through this trail but it captured most of it...I definitely recommend this to a group that’s avid hikers this is definitely an expert trail and DO NOT GO ALONE!!!!!

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!!

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