Loved this hike! Just started getting back into hiking as a hobby. The loop took me 2.5 hours. I started at 9:30am and was done by 12pm. Perfect morning hike! I took my time too stopping pretty frequently to take pictures of the scenery and for water breaks. You could totally complete the entire loop in way less time. Plenty other area to explore off this hike too. Next time I'll check out Little or Big Falls. Can't wait! I went on a Monday morning and had the trail all to myself. Beautiful day too. I'd recommend taking a light jacket for when you get higher on the trail. Temperature dropped a bit and wind picked up. Great hike!
Okay I have to admit, after hiking in the eastern Sierras for the past ten years, I thought there were few trails along the Central Coast that could kick my butt. I found one. This is a great trail to get the heart pumping, enjoying the landscape, see wildflowers and enjoy the Santa Lucia Wilderness.
This is an excellent trail, but it's currently CLOSED to public entry due to the Cuesta Fire. It doesn't appear that the trail itself has burned, but the Closure Order is in effect through October 1, 2015. Assuming another fire doesn't start between now and then, the closure will probably be lifted at that time, as the Cuesta Fire is currently 90% contained and well to the west of the trail. See Closure Order below:
This was a lovely hike for a spring day (in the summer it would likely be too hot!), and unfortunately the drought made for a all together missing lake.
As we were leaving a woman warned us to be mindful of the time when we came back, as mountain lions and bears were more active around dusk and were in the area. Something to keep in mind if you plan on camping out there.
Excellent views! It's pretty steep with it's 1664ft elevation gain in 3.29m - but otherwise not difficult. No obstacles or problems. This is nice in winter, will be very hot in summer. It was a beautiful day today after strong rains the past few days, so there was mud, but totally manageable. The above distance does not include going to the mine or waterfalls. Which I stayed away from only because there were guys shooting... and I don't trust folks with guns. At the trailhead there is water for horses and the parking area is large, level and shady and will accomodate horse trailers.
I didn't see anybody on the trail today and saw no fresh footprints either. But there were people at the mine and in the parking lot.
This is a beautiful trail in a lightly-used corner of the Los Padres National Forest. Easy access from a paved road makes it relatively popular. Best time of year to go is in the early spring, when the grass is green, the flowers are in bloom, and the weather is neither too hot nor too cold.