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

Gorgeous views of Pirate's Cove and the coastline, north and south. It's steep going up and down no matter which way you go, but well worth it.

We went the bottom half, got lost in residential area and then the last part was coming down the hill from the top of the map. I recommend going this way. The hills are steep, bring good hiking shoes and stretch.

First trail I've ever done. I had a ton of fun, met some great strangers along the way and have some fantastic photos! I started at the parking lot by Pirates Cove. Getting to the tip-top from there was a challenge but it was smooth sailing after that. There are two swings along the way if you can find them!

This was a beautiful trail even outside of butterfly season, we saw probably 10, but enjoyed the hike to the beach that was easy enough for kids:)

Didn’t see previous entry. No parking at trailhead and could find one in the residential area next to trailhead. For someone new to area need trailhead parking directions with basic trail info.

This is a beautiful area; especially when the monarch butterflies have arrived. Well worth checking out and walking. The trail goes all along the beach for some beautiful scenery and fresh air.

Not too many butterflies in April! We saw maybe 10, so be aware this is their winter spot not spring!

If you follow these directions, you will be lead to a cul de sac with little to no parking. Instead take Avila Beach Road to Cave Landing Road. There’s a nice parking lot there. Also if you do the whole loop, it is not an easy hike. In fact it’s very strenuous at times. However, the views are amazing and worth the hike.

Great hike even for my 11 year old dog and family that don’t hike on a regular basis. Absolutely gorgeous. We began around 10:00am on a Sunday which was perfect before the crowd and heat.

This will be our new regular family day hike.

Beautiful! 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.

Love the thousands of butterflies. I have now done this trail in February and also in January. January seemed to have more butterflies.

This is an easy paved walkway. You can continue the trail up the hill and over to the Pirates Cove parking area.

Easy enough for my 3 & 5 year old, but my husband and I also really enjoyed it. Can’t beat the constant view of the beautiful ocean! My boys loved searching for Pirates treasure :) Just outside the cave to the left you can go down the rocks a bit and you will see a ring in the side of the mountain. We were told this is where the Pirates used to hook their ships. That made it even more fun for my kiddos!

great views of the beach

The description on this hike is misleading. Ontario ridge trail (El portal & Shell beach road) is not stroller friendly since it starts with an incline with shale. The majority of the trail is shale lined & it’s mainly uphill. If you take the trail behind the homes, it’s maintained & a different terrain. Scenic ocean views & cute swing for selfies.

Nice hike, especially with the cool, cloudy day. Some steep areas. My kids hiked it easily, though my dog was too fat to easily get down the rocks to the beach. Great views. Lots of trash, and too many people didn't pick up after their dogs.

Pirates cove gets the kewl points but super chill walk

Worked my butt

We love this one! It’s so fun to see all of the butterflies!

Nice hike! Took my kids (5 and 11) and they were able to easily make it. We loved the cave!

Very cool app! I can’t wait to use this wherever I travel!

Loved this hike. Starts very steep and ends even steeper as you go down toward the ocean, but most of it is rolling up and down along the ridge with incredible views and a couple rope swings along the way.

very steep hill on the cave road side, but the views are phenomenal and well worth the climb. find the swing overlooking the water for a picturesque break.

Beautiful place. Some litter at a Pirates Cove and graffiti. Fantastic views and pleasant walk. Not steep.

hiking
8 months ago

Giving it a 4+ because of the awesome views of coast. Hike is not hard. Pretty short but some pretty steep sections. Take a camera

Didn't read the other review. Entry is gated and chained.

11 months ago

Shorter than expected. Perfect for a dog walk, not great for exercise. One small hill, flat enough for a jogger stroller, but easy enough to have baby in a carrier.

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