Ontario Ridge Trail via Sycamore Springs

MODERATE 78 reviews

Ontario Ridge Trail via Sycamore Springs is a 4 mile out and back trail located near Avila Beach, California that offers scenic views. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.0 miles
1,332 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash


nature trips

trail running



14 days ago

Best views in town!

15 days ago

2 months ago

This time I went up on the 101 side and then down to pirates back to the 101 through the fire trail and neighborhood. 2.90 miles total. Great views and a good workout.

6 months ago

This is another option to the Sycamore Crest Trail, with a shorter, but more strenuous incline at the start of your hike up to the ridge. The breathtaking views make it all worth it!

6 months ago

Well worth the effort, especially considering how close it is to civilization.

6 months ago

Amazing views on this hike.
It was a pretty good workout too....

8 months ago

Fantastic views! Good morning hike.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Amazing views the entire hike, multiple options to reach the point with different levels of difficulty.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Love this hike. The climb from the 101 entrance is steep as heck.... used hands a few times. I counted 5-6 different hills to the top. Then took Sycamore Mineral springs back trail all the way down and across that lovely bridge and down to Bob Jones trail which is shady and serene and ends at Avila beach where my hubby picks me up. About 4.5 miles .... the initial climb is a good workout... approx 1 mile 545 ft up ... Sycamore trail is a gradual decline and so pretty and shady but not a lot of folks on that trail so as a woman all alone I am a little nervous (I love to watch forensic files too much) so I ran down. 2nd time doing this.... will definitely go again but with friends.

Friday, November 25, 2016

This trail is doubly threatened. The Sycamore Springs management threatens to tow hikers who park in the parking lot. And a Texas billionaire couple, the McArtheys, have put up barbed wire fences to keep hikers out even though their deed has a public easement on it. When the Coastal Commission ordered them to take down the fences, they complied. But now they have set a meeting with the SLO Board of Sups to rescind the trail and build another next door. Public easements are irrevocable and pressure must be put on the Sups to prevent this.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Excellent views from Ontario Ridge, serene walk thru oak forest on the way to the ridge.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Loved the hike, but the downhill part to Avila was no good. I preferred starting from Shell Beach. Really beautiful.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A nice challenging hike, especially if you are starting from/ near Avila beach side.
-wear proper hiking shoes
- start hike early in the morning

There's a nice treat once you arrive at the top!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Some tough inclines, but it's a great work out and I love the views

Monday, March 07, 2016

Ontario Ridge Trail my #11 of 52 hikes for the ‪#‎52hikechallenge‬ ‪#‎52hikechallenge2016‬. Alltrails.com lists this trail as a moderate hike. Even though it was relatively short at 4 miles, I would have to agree. There are some very steep, long, hard inclines at the beginning and at the half way point that make this a challenge and a great workout. I took my normal hiking gear, day pack, water, 10 essentials, etc. Pack today was only about 20/25 pounds.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Also known as Dino Mountain to some of us locals! Great hike, never fails to give me a great workout. It's a butt burner. Great views.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Great trail....I started on the 101 side and soon realized that it was steeper than I realized. From the other side people say it's easier. Either way some lady ran by me with a couple of dogs which made me feel like I was a turtle. The views are spectacular! I brought my camera gear and took one of my all time favorite photo's on the trail.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Steeper than you'd think, but a great walk. Great, great view from the ridge. Path down from the ridge on the ocean side is destroying the hillside - take the road down to Sycamore or the path down to 101.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Worth the view

Monday, August 25, 2014

love this trail but beware of dangerous bicyclists, they won't stop for pedestrians. They fly by with their helmet cams for internet sensation putting hikers at risk. I yelled at several of them and they stopped for nothing. Take a video camera in case someone gets hurt to report to the police to get these bicyclists.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Love this trail, fences are gone after public out cry. Its a great exercise hike and killer ocean views. Beware of racing bikes, put a log or big rocks on trial so bicyclists don't think they own trial. This trial is for families and dogs too.

trail running
Monday, January 20, 2014

One of my favorite places, very bummed about the owner who fenced the best workout hill around, I dubbed it Cardiac Hill, this place has great views all around, few off shoot trails to make hike or trail run longer. Technical trail at times, be careful of dogs off leash. Start from Cave Landing or Mineral Springs area since old parking spot is gone.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Have been walking this trail often. It is a great work out with uphills that can leave you panting at the top (depends on the quality of shape you are in.) For a longer hike, we incorporate Sycamore Mineral Springs trail. Bring lots of water and some natural, organic bug spray. Sometimes you can get a cloud of gnats around you. Bring water and if it's sunny you might also want to bring a hat. Twilight walks are incredible.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

We use this trail combined with Ontario Ridge for a loop 4.5 miles also including the cave by the parking lot going to Pirates Cove. Beautiful afternoon hike:)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My families favorite combined with the Shell Beach Bluffs for a loop of 4.5 miles. Great uphill workout starting at the Shell Beach Road entrance. If you start on the other end one big hill then down hill all the way. We prefer uphill. Beautiful views! Seen lil ones as young as 6 doing this climb but don't be fooled it is a hard one:) enjoy!

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