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.

Pack List

  • Hiking essentials
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Hiking shoes
  • Sun protection
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Camping, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round



Dog Friendly
Easy Parking

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How to Get There

3 months ago

Great Workout With A Rewarding View

This trail is pretty relentlessly steep but the end view is so worth it. One of my favorite hikes to date!

3 months ago

4 months ago

Major Workout But Worth It

All up hill from the trail we took. Good luck!👍🏻

4 months ago

9 months ago


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 👍🏼

9 months ago

Added by Drew Robinson

trailtopeak.com // Instagram: @trailtopeak

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