Discover California’s Central Coast: Hit the Trail

 


 

San Luis Obispo County’s (SLO CAL) stunning scenery is best taken in slowly. Whether you prefer to take in the sights on foot or in the saddle, SLO CAL has no shortage of opportunities for every experience level.

 

SLO CAL’s abun­dant hik­ing trails pro­vide end­less oppor­tu­ni­ty for expe­ri­enc­ing the land­scape up close. The rolling hills are a vibrant green in spring, and turn to gold in the sum­mer. A chain of vol­canic peaks, known as the 9 sis­ters, tran­sect SLO CAL’s most promi­nent val­ley and paint a strik­ing land­scape from San Luis Obis­po to Mor­ro Bay. Many of them have well-kept trails and we high­ly rec­om­mend you take advan­tage of the bird’s eye view!

For south-coun­ty hik­ers that want to gain some ele­va­tion and ocean views, you can’t beat the Avi­la Ridge trail or the new­ly-opened Pis­mo Pre­serve. Avi­la Ridge starts in Shell Beach and climbs the tow­er­ing oak-filled hill­side that sep­a­rates the small beach towns. For those will­ing to make the trip to the peak, the tree swing at the top will make you feel like you’re swing­ing on the edge of the world. The Pis­mo Pre­serve to the south offers hikes that will take you through some of the most pris­tine coastal hill­sides. While it’s cur­rent­ly only acces­si­ble with a guide, the expe­ri­ence  is well worth it and expect­ed to be open-access in the near future.

If moun­tain bik­ing is more your style, you’re in luck. SLO CAL is home of some of the most awe-inspir­ing sea-side moun­tain bik­ing trails in the coun­try. Take a dri­ve just south of Los Osos & Bay­wood Park to Mon­taña de Oro State Park and you’ll find your­self climb­ing hills of sage and descend­ing with sweep­ing views of dra­mat­ic seas. The mel­low bluff-top trails pro­vide great options for begin­ners and those seek­ing an up-close view of the crash­ing tides below. Pack a lunch, you’ll have a hard time tear­ing your­self away from this dreamy sin­gle-track.

Adja­cent to Mon­taña de Oro is Mor­ro Bay’s South Jet­ty. The long sand­spit is home to oth­er-world­ly dunes and is a must-see if you’ve nev­er had the expe­ri­ence. Sev­er­al trails wind between the bay and the sea and are acces­si­ble only by foot or kayak. This human-pow­ered expe­ri­ence is one you won’t for­get any­time soon.

Of course there are more than enough impromp­tu-oppor­tu­ni­ties to stretch your legs and enjoy the SLO CAL beau­ty. The north coast of High­way One is flush with all-access board­walks. Pull off near the famous Piedra Blan­cas Light Sta­tion and take a walk around the 19th cen­tu­ry grounds, or make a stop just north of Cam­bria at the Fis­call­i­ni Ranch Pre­serve. The untouched bluffs and drift­wood sculp­tures offer a unique view of the entire coast­line.

Wher­ev­er the trail takes you, from the hill­tops to the sea, we’re sure you’ll find what you’re look­ing for.

 

G e t t i n g    T h e r e
Now with direct flights from Den­ver, San Fran­cis­co, Seat­tle, Los Ange­les and Phoenix, get­ting to SLO CAL is eas­i­er than ever. Come stay and hang out, we dare you to get bored in this explorer’s par­adise.