Explore the most popular 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.


kid friendly



Pismo Beach, California Map

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.

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.

4 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

The last hike of my SLO County days and offers a pretty scenic view. The trail itself isn't maintained and is really steep and loose in some spots initially but improves once you get up to the top. From what I saw it goes all the way down to pirates cove. Parking isn't available so you have to find a spot in the nearby neighborhood.

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

7 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.

A little steep on each end for hobbits, an easy trek for elves. But very scenic.

A bit hot today and the cave was filled with broken glass. The ropes with knots helped the kids get down to the beach with was fun and an adventure for all. The smokers and nudist on the beach were a little traumatic for the kids but offered some valuable teaching moments.

8 months ago

Quick fun trail

Short hike with great view of beach activities. Some of the hike is paved, but most is dirt access road and finally beach access trail.

Great views of the coast, but some inclines were more than moderate. Footing was loose on some very steep downhill portions.

Best views on the coast!

Trail is now more like a road, a semi truck was driving down it and we had to wait off the road as it passed. Ends early at a locked chain link fence.

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