Archive for the ‘Los Padres National Forest’ Category

After a few hours on the rugged coastline, I decided on an afternoon hike with views of the inland valleys and morros.  The Day Hikes Around San Luis Obispo book mentioned a peak with 360-degree views of San Luis Obispo County, so I ventured to the Cerro Alto campground in Atascadero.  Atascadero is about 30 minutes north of San Luis Obispo and the campground is off highway 41, the highway which leads to Morro Bay.  I parked in the parking lot, paid the $5 fee, and displayed my Adventure Pass, (the campground is in the Los Padres National Forest) which I was fortunate to bring along.  The beginning of the trail is near campsite 19.  The first mile ascends up through live oaks, ferns, and a flowing river.  A very shady trail compared to the hikes in Montana de Oro.  I reached the junction with the At&T cable trail and headed west.  For a good portion of the hike I had to consult the guidebook because I kept wondering if I was on the right trail.  (I would recommend xeroxing a copy of the maps rather than bringing along a hefty book).  The trails are well marked, though.  I caught myself stopping every 20 minutes to take in the views of the rolling green hills.  About 1 mile before reaching the summit, the winds picked up and I put on my windbreaker.  At the last junction, I met a couple of hikers with their dog.  One hiker was wearing a Sierra Nevada T-shirt and I was hoping he had some cold brews on hand!  We chatted for a while and then I pushed on.  Wow!  The views from the summit are spectacular!  I ate my mini Green and Black’s dark chocolate bar to warm up and get a caffeine kick, took plenty of pictures and thanked the mountain gods for the views of Morro Bay, Cambria, Chorro Valley and the Santa Lucia range.  I highly recommend this hike.

From Cerro Alto Peak, 2,624'

Morro Bay

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