Hike the Cerro Alto Trail
Los Angeles › Cerro Alto Trailhead
Added by Drew Robinson
Distance: 4 miles roundtrip (out-and-back). Elevation gain: 1600 ft. Incredible ocean views of Morro Bay. Starts at the Cerro Alto Campground. Beautiful views of the Central Coast. Well-groomed trail starting in shade.
Cerro Alto Peak is a great, dog friendly hike that offers amazing views of Morro Bay. There is a less steep variation of this hike that tacks on some extra distance, but this description looks at the more direct route. The trailhead can be reached at the end of Cerro Alto Road, which is the road for the Cerro Alto Campground, as well. It takes about 15 minutes to reach the parking lot for the trailhead from Morro Bay.
The first mile of this hike is absolutely gorgeous, with lots of tree cover and leaves underfoot. One thing that’s near impossible to write about is the way it smells. The combination of sage, ocean air, and other olfactory stimuli are heavenly here.
After about a mile of hiking you will catch your first glimpse of the Cerro Alto summit. As you continue to climb and approach the summit, you will see Morro Bay and Montana de Oro. You will also see the Ridge Trail that breaks away from the Cerro Alto Trail just shy of the summit. After two miles of steady uphill hiking, you will see the summit of Cerro Alto and can enjoy a 360 degree view of the Central Coast.
- Hiking essentials
- Hiking shoes
- Sun protection
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Camping, Hiking, Photography
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
Hands down the most beautiful hike! You can see for miles in every direction. I would suggest going mid-day; we went in the afternoon and (1) it gets dark fast, and (2) it get extremely windy. I would highly recommend this hike to anyone 👍🏼
More Adventures Nearby
Hike the PCT and Foot Trail Loop through Vasquez Rocks
Los Angeles / Vasquez Rocks
The Pacific Crest Trail and foot trail hike is a 5-mile loop with a quick PCT branch-off that leads under the 14 freeway through a long, well-maintained (but very dark) tunnel.
Hike East Anacapa Island of the Channel Islands
Los Angeles / Island Packers Cruises
Leaving from either Ventura or Oxnard via Island Packers, this full-day hike is in the middle of the Santa Barbara Channel on a small island, about one hour from Los Angeles by car and one additional.