Explore the most popular trails near Avila Beach with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.


nature trips



Avila Beach, California Map

An easy hike, bike or skate trail, fully paved, with plenty of parking. Sections of the trail follow a creek, others a golf course, with lots of flora along the way. Dogs, strollers and roller blades all can navigate this trail. Highly recommend.

First of all, this was a very short hike. The cave floor is full of broken glass so don't go bare foot. The cave has some graffiti. Could not climb down due to tide. When you reach the fork roughly half way, go LEFT. Nice hike to take someone new.

Great trail with incredible views! Started on the Avila Beach side and the hike goes over to Shell Beach. Cool little surprise at the tree swings. The views and trees up here are just incredibly. The beauty is unsurpassed. The initial 1-2 miles are incredibly steep and then it evens out along the ridge. I saw many day hikers just doing this in normal athletic shoes but I wore my hiking boots and I’m glad I did. It’s a dog friendly trail as well and pretty heavily trafficked.

1 month ago

This trail is moderate probably only because of the incline. But beginner to moderate would be more accurate. The trail is clearly maintained and is more like a dirt service road. After a short but steep hike you are greeted with one of the better views I have seen on the central coast. On a good day you can see from San Luis bay to the pismo dunes. Well worth it

1 month ago

Good hike, I’m feeling the leg soreness and shin splints two days later... Incline the entire way up but didn’t seem bad if you pace yourself and take breaks. Parking sucks. Sycamore Springs is a pretty pretentious place and absolutely does monitor who parks there. They told me to go to the Bob Jones lot which added at least 30 minutes to the overall hike. I think I spent a total of a 1.5-2 hrs for the hike from the parking lot to the top of hill, and making the loop back down. I did take some breaks for my 14 yr old dog and hid a couple of geocaches as well. I did not like the part of the hike where you have to walk through the resort property... weird.

2 months ago

Fantastic hike! It is steep the entire way up, but extremely rewarding once you reach the top! Bring water!

Park in small lot for parking, don't leave valuables in plain site. This is an easy hike which you can make as difficult as you want by going uphill from Pirates Cove. Tide was high so I did not go down onto beach. People were camping inside the cave which is not legal but they did not bother me. There was no wind so it was going to get how there in afternoon. This is a great hike to start out your day.
Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFO02nxPdM4-CabegFIPlow?view_as=subscriber

Breathtaking views of the beach along the way and even better up at the cove.

It’s a great trail for all ages. I had foot surgery in Jan and this was my first time completing the trail since (now aug). Shaded in the morning and afternoon. We try to shoot for 2 pm when the weather is nice in the summer. This trail is paved and will take you all the way to Avila Beach. It’s great for walking, biking, jogging, kids, dogs and adults.

Best views in town!

An amazing trail for my two year old. I was able to run 2.5 miles as she was entertained by the scenery (bunnies, birds). She was able to play at Avila beach playground before heading back on the trail.

U have to use a rope to get down the beach and the breeze towards the cave is nice. Was about to go through the top area of the cave however we ran into a garter snake, looks full grown and decided not to go. Usually bad luck (superstitious beliefs)

Such a great feeling finally making it to the top! I did this with my mom and parked at the Avila village market to avoid towing in sycamore springs. We caught the Bob Jones trail then cut over to sycamore springs to start the trail. It was a steep trail almost the entire time but the breeze on top felt so amazing! Had some amazing views of Avila, but sad that I didn’t find the swing that has been up there normally. This was a great hike and a great leg work out!

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.

5 months ago

My boyfriend and I were out at Port SLO for kayaking, but when we got there, the kayak rentals were closing due to a high wind advisory. He and I hopped back in the car and figured we'd scope out a hiking trail nearby (this is how I found the All Trails app). Sycamore Crest came up and being that it wasn't far from where we were at all, we figured we'd give it a go. Parking is tricky because behind the Sycamore Springs resort is where the trail starts, but there were signs all over that said "Guest Parking Only" we found a spot that was more out of the way and figured we'd chance it since the trailhead says 3/4 mile and the trail is marked as moderate. Boy, we felt out of shape at first, the trail starts out steep and continues that way. Luckily, there is a shaded bench about halfway up the climb. The views are amazing and the plants and flowers that surround (this time of year at least; early June) were beautiful. When we got to the top, the ocean view is just as you'd picture. Heading back was awesome because it's all down-hill. We couldn't help but trot/jog back. My car was still there, no ticket. Woohoo! Great trail, would do again...and would also bring more water. Ha! It's a good work-out trail for leg day.

Nice, relatively flat paved trail. Lots of foot and bike traffic wasn’t a problem. Good size parking lot at trail head. Open sections without shade were warmer than expected.

Great trail, and a good view of the ocean!

6 months ago

Great hike led by PGE docents! Lighthouse tour was great as well!

had the best time and amazing views on this hike!

Good hike, I parked at Bob Jones walked about 3/4 of a mile turned at sycamore mineral springs then up to the crest. 4.5 Miles round trip if you do it that way. Good hike.

Excellent view at the top

Beautiful accessible hike!

BEAUTIFUL view but the cave has been graffitied a lot :( It was an easy hike and I had a baby in a carrier on. As far as the other reviews stated I don’t think you would see anyone from the nude beach unless you are looking, it’s in a different direction than the cave.

Easy trail. Lots of bikes on the path so be careful they don't always watch out for pedestrians. We loved the half way point there is a nice market if you get hungry.
End of the road you get to Avila beach. Altogether round trip its about 10k. Very manageable and fun!

This is a steep hike at first. There is a bench about half way up to rest. It is a great workout and it is gorgeous. I took my 6yo with me and she was able to do it carefully with my guidance. The view at the top is well worth it. I can't wait to do this trail when the whales are around. There is usually a swing or 2 at the top. They do get moved around.
We usually park in the Bob Jones and walk that trail then cross the bridge to do this one or have someone drop you off. It is not worth being towed.

I honestly don’t think this is kid friendly at all, pirates is a college kid/nude beach hang out. Don’t know if I’d want my kids around that tbh. With that being said, as a college kid it’s a great place to meet people and hang out, really pretty and it’s a nice little hike to the beach. I haven’t been in the caves yet so I can’t say much about that.

Loved the cave. I wish people would respect nature and not vandalize it. There is some graffiti on the rocks and in the cave but it was still beautiful being above the ocean on cliffs looking out.

Brought my 6 year old a long, good hike

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