It sounds like we are missing some cold, snowy weather in Utah while visiting family in California. It hasn't been all that warm out here either, but at least it's not single digits! We found out about this trail while visiting an art store, and it sounded like a great hike so we tried it the very next day. Our favorite hike in San Luis Obispo area is Bishops peak, but at only 3 miles round trip it's a little short sometimes.
The Cerro Alto trail is a little further north near Morro Bay. There are multiple ways of getting to the summit, some of them steeper than others...and many other trails branching off. I would recommend a map or GPS to not get lost. It's about 5-6 miles round trip to this summit from the campground ($5 Day Pass). Much of the trail follows a buried fiber line, which means the trail is well groomed and framed on both sides with thick scrub oak.
We were happy to stay within the shelter of the trees, which helped block the rather brisk wind. It occasionally howled around the corners with enough force to whip my hat off, but even worse, it was quite chilly. Puppy Spot was on a leash, more to keep him from getting covered in poison oak and pass it on to us, than any need to keep up with the leash law. There were a few other people out, including a couple of dogs, but we had the summit all to ourselves. It was spectacularly clear, and we had nice views of Morro Rock, the ocean, and the convoluted hills around us. In the other direction, we saw a great little valley, with nice pastures, a stream and a little pond. It looked like a lovely secluded place to put a cabin.
We chose to take the less steep option both up and down, which added a little distance but made the walking more pleasant. All in all, it was a nice little hike, with about 1700 feet of elevation gain!
|This valley looked like a great place to put a cottage!|