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.