West Cuesta Ridge Road to Cuesta Ridge Botanical Area

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Los Padres National Forest

West Cuesta Ridge Road to Cuesta Ridge Botanical Area is a 17.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near San Luis Obispo, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. 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.

Length17.4 miElevation gain3,028 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingMountain bikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingrunningViewsWildflowersWildlife
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Reviews (95)
Photos (96)
Recordings (100)
Completed (195)
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Samantha Mickelson
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HikingGreat!
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Jeffrey Bryant
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Hiking

First time on the trail and my family really enjoyed it. The trail itself is very wide, hiked in a Sunday so didn't see any trucks, the mountain bikers were all very friendly. Because we started late in the day only did about a quarter of the trail but can't wait to go back and walk the whole thing.

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Evgenii Vlasov
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HikingGreat!
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Jordan Brock
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Hiking

This was a twenty-mile round trip out and back from the trailhead by the highway to the summit of Cerro Alto. Be prepared. Lots of water and nutrition and time...

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Grant Barrett
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Hiking

Wide trail very safe

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Justino Gomez
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Hiking

Went on a Sunday, it was quiet and plenty wide

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David Aguayo
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Running
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Sonja Savery-Orton
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Hiking
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Eiko Garner
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Hiking

Gorgeous day. We started at the very bottom off of 101 Southbound. We walked up to another parking area about a mile. The road was well packed and wide for cars to drive all the way we walked. We walked to the Botanical Area and passed a little bit and turned around. Gorgeous view all the way, could see a tip of Morro Rock peeking out from a thick blanket of marine layer. Lots of mountain bikers. Next time, we will drive up to the next parking area at a higher elevation and will start hiking from that point.

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Lauren La Grille
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HikingPrivate property

Roughly 7 miles round trip from the parking area off 101 to the towers. Signs for private property to stay on trail; there is also a locked gate that you must climb over. Uphill on the way up with some stretches of flat ground. Downhill on the way back. Plenty of shaded areas to rest if needed. Watch for animals and the occasional car. Beautiful views! I would recommend going in the morning, when its cooler.

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Laur Ren
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Hiking

Wide trail, rocky though. Watch for cars driving the trail. Started at the parking lot next to 101 and hiked up a little over 2 miles to the botanical area. Great hike, a bit steep at first.

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Kyle Carter
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Hiking

Took tv tower rd from Cerro alto to the west Cuesta ridge

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Caitlin Couture
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Hiking

The views and the botanical garden area full of cypress trees makes it a worthwhile trek. Yes you do have to share the road with vehicles but most drivers are courteous and will slow when they see you. On warm days pack lots of water and sun protection as much of the trail is exposed and without shade.

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Chris Russo
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Hiking

Beatiful views and worth the time if you don’t mind competing with the auto traffic. Most were polite, but a couple drove way too fast kicking up dirt in our faces. I’ll skip this hike as I don’t want to compete with car traffic.

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Allison Phelps
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Hiking

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.

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Adam Garcia
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Hiking

Pretty awesome hike, many trails to go to off the main fire road! Can’t wait to try all of them and has some good inclines! Fun times at the top of the grade!

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Casey Harris
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Hiking

Some of the best views in the county can be seen from up there. Not the easiest place to access, but if you can drive up to the peak, it's worth it the dirt road you can take for miles if you wanna drive and explore further. Lots and lots of mountain bikers up there. Probably more so than any other spot I've seen. Definitely worth checking out. Very quiet and peaceful. Just beware of poison oak as it's everywhere up there. Highly recommend it.

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Tammy Rubio
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Beautiful botanical forest

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Brianne Bartenetti
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Shawna Weyrich
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Kelly Simonson
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Keirh Powell
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Hiking
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Luis Magana
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Shelby Fagrell
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Hiking
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Bryce Richards
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Hiking
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Joel Delacerda
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Brandon Henley
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Felicia Maple
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Walking
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Greg Fields
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Crystal McKinney
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