kid friendly


Pismo State Beach offers all kinds of attractions: hiking, swimming, surf fishing, and digging for the famous Pismo clam. There are tree-lined dunes and the beach is popular with bird watchers. The park has the largest over-wintering colony of monarch butterflies in the U.S. Ocean Lagoon has a wheelchair-accessible fishing overhang. Several restaurants are within 2 blocks of the campground. ATV rentals are available within 2 blocks of the park. A trolly service provides access to the surrounding community.

Beautiful views from this trail. Seeing the monarch butterflies was a plus!

We walked from the north end of Pismo Beach to the dunes south of the Monarch preserve for a total of 6.2 miles round trip. The beach wasn’t crowded and it’s beautiful—cliffs, rocks, a few tide pool areas, surfers, waves, birds and dunes. Just skip the trek into Pismo and stay on the beach. It’s really a beautiful beach area.

The Monarchs were starting to arrive when we visited but this is a beautiful place to walk through trees, sand dunes, and the beach. Loved watching the Monarchs. Don’t miss this if you are around during Monarch season—Late October until February or so.

Lots of little beauty to behold if you take your time to look around and witness it. Nice easy trail perfect for a pleasure stroll with family, friends, or solo.

trail running
4 months ago

Part dirt trail, part boardwalk along the beach. Beautiful and scenic! Some homeless folks here and there.

Parts of it are nice. Other parts are overgrown including a tree branch blocking the path (you have to go over and under it). Consider bringing bug spray (and pruning shears).

This was a beautiful trail even outside of butterfly season, we saw probably 10, but enjoyed the hike to the beach that was easy enough for kids:)

9 months ago

A must do! Beautiful walk along the coast. Well maintained walkway. Dogs are ok in a leash. Goes all the way to the butterfly grove. Awesome walk.

This is a beautiful area; especially when the monarch butterflies have arrived. Well worth checking out and walking. The trail goes all along the beach for some beautiful scenery and fresh air.

Not too many butterflies in April! We saw maybe 10, so be aware this is their winter spot not spring!

It was a nice, easy walk along the trail and then on a He way back along the beach.

Love the thousands of butterflies. I have now done this trail in February and also in January. January seemed to have more butterflies.

11 months ago

Reading other reviews, it sounds like folks are not hiking the trail, but are starting from the Dunes entrance and simply walking along the open sands with all the vehicle traffic. If you look carefully at the map AllTrails provides, you'll see dotted trail lines above the bold red line... This is the actual trail which follows the contours of the rolling dunes! Park at Fins Seafood restaurant just before the vehicle paying dunes entrance, cross the street at the driveway into the parking lot and look for the sandy trailhead wooden marker directly across from Fins' parking lot entrance. This is where you want to do the hike!

This trail is a great choice on a warm day where you can enjoy the cool ocean air, mist and views. Horse riders also use this trail - often in the mornings - so be on the lookout for their fresh (large!) droppings on the sandy path! Unfortunately the trail (and the area around the dunes in general) is host to a number of homeless camps where I see more trash than almost elsewhere in the 5 Cities area. When I remember, I bring along a plastic bag to collect and dispose of whatever garbage I can carry out. Nevertheless, this still a beautiful, accessible trail choice for an easy hike, especially at sunset!

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

We love this one! It’s so fun to see all of the butterflies!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Definitely fun

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The southern half of the trail has beautiful coastal dunes. The northern half of the trail is crowded boardwalk which can be skipped.

nature trips
Friday, August 11, 2017

Nice scenery spliced with back and forth between forest and ocean/beach. Very nice trail indeed.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Wow not sure how so many people rated this low. This is a beautiful trail especially at night with a full moon. I have walked this trail lots of times and it has never gotten old or boring.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

beautiful walk, takes you into Pismo.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Hard to get to and most of the area is restricted access

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

So everyone knows before you arrive, Pismo Beach is a recreational vehicle beach area. If you're looking for any type of peace and quite along a beach, this is not the trail for you. My group was very dissapointed

Thursday, April 13, 2017

April 2017. Be prepared for bugs and more bugs, mosquitos and ticks as you go through the marshy areas.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Nothing to see. Unless you are camping here and are just doing a a walk, not worth it. The path is not maintained, small portion of it is paved, and rest of it is ugly, full of weeds and partially blocked with tree branches. Also portion of it It is not accessible as it is gated off. To top it off it borders a merky and dirty lagoon. Do not do it alone. But in my opinion, do not bother. Not worthy of even being on this list of trails to do.

Friday, November 11, 2016

I have walked this path so many times

its a nice walk on a beautiful day.

Nice little walk with the boyfriend and dog. Enjoyed seeing butterflies.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

This was a wonderful day walk. The ranger was kind and helpful and the beach was amazing!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

beautiful view!!

Load More