Cerro Alto Trail Loop

HARD 319 reviews
#3 of 186 trails in

Cerro Alto Trail Loop is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Morro Bay, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,607 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

$10 daily use fee for parking at the trailhead. Annual and Adventure Passes are not accepted.

hiking
fee
18 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail, and well worth the hike. Bring tick repellent, even in the winter.

hiking
1 month ago

Straightforward hike, 1 hour to the top, stunning views. Only 4 stars because of all the clouds of flies that kept swarming me nearer the summit. Extend the hike along the ridge to the TV masts.

hiking
1 month ago

Not what we would classify as difficult, but more moderate. Great views from the summit if it’s a clear day.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. Steep. Poles aren’t necessary, but my knees would’ve appreciated them for the descent. Insane views. You can see past Nipomo to the south and up to Ragged Point to the north.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great trail for training and goes up and up and up. Not too many people on a Saturday morning. The trail head was not well marked but if you follow your all trails app it’ll show you where the trail starts. The trail is pretty well-maintained but stay on the trail because of the poison oak. Take water with you and there’s not really any available unless you have a filter on the first part. The views on the way up and at the top are great however there was smoke in the air because of the California brushfires.

hiking
3 months ago

The perfect hike for what I was looking for on my drive from SLO to the Bay Area; scenic with not many people at all (passed maybe four other groups). Did this hike on a cool Sunday in September. I can’t imagine how beautiful it must be in the spring when everything is green. I would do this hike again.

hiking
3 months ago

my husband and I rode this trail today on horseback. it was a good workout for our horses there are some low branches so if you have a tall horse you may have to get off. Definitely a trail for solid trail horse as there some narrow paths. All in all we really liked it was beautiful up at the top and rocky terrain but our horses handled it well.

4 months ago

Sweet and hard hike. Ate our tacos at the top with Sasquatch.

hiking
fee
4 months ago

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

Beautiful hike near the Central Coast. The hike is consistently uphill, but not too hard. At a brisk pace, it took me only 40 minutes. It gives spectacular views of both the coast and more inland the whole way up as you're hiking. It cost $10 to park at the bottom, and you can also camp at the bottom, which is pretty cool. I recommend going at sunrise or sunset, as it will be absolutely gorgeous colors. The trail is well kept and there are several different trails to take that will all go towards the top. A little rocky at parts, but nothing too hard. I went at 7pm and watched the sunset and left at 8pm. Amazing experience, only downside was hiking down the mountain in the dark. Hike of a lifetime.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful central coast hike on a well maintained trail. Be prepared for the spectacular view of all SLO county coast and beyond. This hike during wild flower season is great. Not for vast colorful fields but for variety of flowers.

hiking
bugs
scramble
6 months ago

Great day hike! Awesome views from the top of the summit. There was a fair amount of shade along the trail and a lot of scree that made me wish I had brought my hiking poles for the walk down. It was a little buggy at the top but there was a really nice breeze that made it worth it!

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail and not too difficult. We went at 6am and hiked out of the mist into the sun. No ocean view because of the fog, but still a great hike. I used trekking poles on the way down but you don’t need them.

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

Loved this trail but definitely recommend hiking poles. Especially going down. Lots of slippery gravel. Amazing views.

hiking
9 months ago

Absolutely beautiful! Must go back on a clear day, but the foliage this time of year is delightful. (mid-April 2019)

9 months ago

Be ready for a long incline accent. Nice trail

hiking
9 months ago

Hiked this trail on a foggy morning, and everything was lush and green. Very pretty wildflowers, and the trail was well maintained. I can see that this would be a hot difficult hike in different weather, but in the Early Spring is was perfect.

hiking
9 months ago

Started this hike at 4:25pm and started at the trailhead that leaves out near the back end of the camp. Starts flat, but pretty much uphill the rest of the way, some parts pretty steep and slippery. Would recommend this trial during the spring when the weather is nice, can imagine the top half being pretty hot and tiring during the hotter and dry months. Great views all around and of Morro Rock. Was hoping to catch a sunset with the rock, but the fog rolled. Which actually made for a more dramatic sunset. Lots of bugs, but didn't seem to be interested in me.. didn't see mosquitoes. Overall, would recommend this hike, but when its cool and green.

hiking
bridge out
bugs
rocky
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike, great views!

9 months ago

Super steep, beautiful views..

This is a stunning trail that starts easily enough, then quickly ascends. Be sure to have shoes with proper traction. The trail is shaded for the first mile and a half, and goes over a creek in a couple of areas. The final 1/2 mile is pretty rocky, and will make you work, but the view at the top is tottaly worth it!

hiking
9 months ago

Much easier terrain than Valencia Peak, but still a great hike! A whole lotta uphill. Maybe try some sunscreen next time.

hiking
9 months ago

I would highly recommend this trail for people who like to climb like us! It goes up all the way to summit, then the way back is down all the way. This gives you a great view of Morro Bay and beyond. We also took our dog and she loved it!

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike with kids 8, 11, & 13. Fantastic views. Looked like a green velvet blanket spread over SLO County.

hiking
10 months ago

we did not think the trail was very obvious. the entrance does have a small marker and two rocks. we turned around at the top because we got confused. Definitely curves straight up hill 12% grade I think. Cant wait to try again with more time and a compass.

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