From Hillside to Beach Side, Hike SLO County

Pismo Beach resides within a county filled with some of the most scenic hikes in California. maps over 45 hikes in the area embracing charming Oak trees, panoramic ocean views, leisurely strolls and intense workouts. You are sure to find a hike that fits your wants and physical abilities.

Here are six hikes to get you started exploring SLO County:

1. Bluff Trail

If you enjoy beaches, a rocky coastline and tide pools, this hike is for you. It is found within the Montaña de Oro State Park and takes you on a 1 to 3.4 mile hike round trip. The 1 mile hike is an easy out and back trip stopping at Corallina Cove. The full 3.4 mile trip to Quarry Cove is a more rugged experience.

Hike Bluff Trail: Pecho Valley Road, Los Osos 93402.

2. Black Hill Trail

Perhaps the most famous hike in SLO County includes a tour across five of the Nine Sisters, or Morros, that stretch from Morro Bay to San Luis Obispo. The Nine Sisters is a sequence of volcanic peaks that resulted from volcanic activity taking place approximately fifteen million years ago.

As the last peak of the Nine Sisters, Black Hill Trail in Morro Bay provides you with a 640-foot summit, a view of the Morro Bay Estuary as well as nearby hills, eucalyptus, pines and much more.

Hike Black Hill Trail: 1 State Park Road, Morro Bay 93442.

3. Bishop’s Peak

Bishop’s Peak is the tallest of the Nine Sisters at 1,559 feet. It is one of the most famous hikes, offering beautiful views of San Luis Obispo.

Hike Bishop’s Peak: West Foothill Blvd, San Luis Obispo 93405.

4. Cerro San Luis aka “Madonna”

This hike, known to locals as Madonna Mountain, is another peak of the Nine Sisters. The chalked “M” that can be found on it actually stands for “Mission Prep School”, not Madonna. The Madonna nickname comes from its proximity to the Madonna Inn and the fact that the Madonna Family owns much of Cerro San Luis itself.

This hike can be customized by adding the Lemon Grove Loop, “M” Trail or Laguna Lake Park Trail to it.

Hike Cerro San Luis Obispo: 1183 Fernandez Road, San Luis Obispo 93405.

5. Laguna Lake Park Trail

Located just south of Cerro San Luis, this 375-acre park provides views of a 25-acre lake and access to a number of hiking trails. Simply stroll around the lake or take on a 5.7 mile, 1,150-foot of elevation gain trek round trip to Cerro San Luis.

Hike Laguna Lake Park: 504 Madonna Road, San Luis Obispo 93405.

6. Bob Jones Trail

If a flat, leisurely hike is more your style, try the Bob Jones Trail that guides you on a 5.6 total mile out and back walk to the Avila Pier. The trail follows the old Pacific Coast Railroad right-of-way alongside the San Luis Obispo Creek and views of the Avila Beach Golf Course. It is also perfect for jogging, biking and family outings.

Hike Bob Jones: 7001 Ontario Road, San Luis Obispo 93405.

The Soon to Open Pismo Preserve

Adding to the many exciting hikes in SLO County is the much anticipated Pismo Preserve in Pismo Beach. A multi-use trail system is being designed that will add almost a dozen miles of new trails to an existing ten miles of ranch roads on the 900 acre scenic property. Look for these new hikes to open in 2016. Volunteer opportunities are available. Visit The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County and Friends of Pismo Preserve for more details.

For more local hiking experiences visit

A day of hiking in SLO County is invigorating and breathtaking. It also requires post-hike recovery time for your muscles. The SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel in Pismo Beach invites you to do just that. Enjoy one of three outdoor hot tubs with ocean views to complement a room designed simply for your relaxation and rejuvenation.

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