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  • San Luis Obispo County
  • San Luis Obispo County, California

    San Luis Obispo County, California, offers some of the best trails and outdoor activities. The popular Bishop Peak Trail is a top choice for a challenging hike. This 3.5-mile round trip trail takes you to the county's highest peak, offering panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Nine Sisters, a chain of ancient volcanic mountains. For a more leisurely walk, head to the Bob Jones City to Sea Trail, a paved path that winds through vineyards and along the scenic San Luis Obispo Creek. If you're up for a bit of adventure, try kayaking in Morro Bay or surfing at Pismo Beach. Don't miss a visit to the outstanding Elephant Seal Rookery at Piedras Blancas. These must-visit outdoor adventures make San Luis Obispo County a top destination for active travelers.

    Top Spots in and near San Luis Obispo County

    • Santa Margarita, California

      Rinconada Mineral Mines

      1.32 mi / 472 ft gain
      My friends and I recently visited this abandoned mercury mine. The site was cleaned-up by the EPA many years ago, but much of the old equipment remains. Up the hill from the equipment are several deep cuts in the earth and a humongous hole in the ground. The sediment at edges of this hole are VER...
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    • San Luis Obispo, California

      Mountain Bike Cuesta Ridge

      5.0
      7 mi / -1600 ft gain
      Start at the parking lot directly off of Highway 101, head up TV tower Road for 2.8 Miles and a 900' climb from 1500' to 2400'. The trail is an old fire road that has degraded over the years and is full of potholes. Starting October 2015, the road has been closed to vehicles as its being repaved ...
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    • San Luis Obispo, California

      Bowden Ranch Trail

      4.0
      3.34 mi / 1286 ft gain
      This short but intense hike on the north east side of San Luis Obispo, offers an amazing view of the town. This hike is roughly 3 miles with 1300 ft of elevation gain. It provides a great cardio workout!  It is also a very popular spot to hike but is less crowded than Bishop Peak. It's a dog frie...
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    • San Luis Obispo, California

      Bishop's Peak Trail

      4.8
      3.17 mi / 928 ft gain
      Bishop's Peak is one of the most frequented hikes of the San Luis Obispo Area. With a 950ft elevation gain in an estimated 3 mile trek, the summit's peak rests at 1,559 feet. The hike is both demanding and rewarding - the panoramic views at the top of the nearby volcanic morros and San Luis Obisp...
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    • San Luis Obispo, California

      Eagle Rock Nature Trail

      4.0
      1.66 mi / 430 ft gain
      Eagle Rock Nature Trail is an out-and-back trail where you may see beautiful wildflowers located near San Luis Obispo, California.
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    • Pismo Beach, California

      Surf Shell Beach

      5.0
      Shell Beach is north of downtown Pismo Beach. This is a fun wave that works best during the fall and winter months. It's a beach break with both lefts and rights. The wave is rippable and is less popular than waves at the pier or at Morro Bay. However, the wave is much less consistent than the ot...
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    • Oceano, California

      Camp at Pismo State Beach

      4.7
      Hiking along nature trails, swimming, and surf fishing are all possible here, including wheelchair accessible fishing at Ocean Lagoon. Facilities consist of fire rings, restrooms, and showers. Restaurants are not far from the campground, as well. Make your reservation here.
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    • Oceano, California

      Catch a sunset at the Oceano Dunes

      Driving on the beach is fun, and there are few places in California where you can legally do it. Just south of Pismo Beach you'll find Oceano Dunes. Pay the $4.00 entrance fee and drive your car right onto the beach. Keep an eye on tides and watch out for deep sand and sneaker waves! You won't be...
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    • San Luis Obispo, California

      Ontario Ridge to Shell Beach Bluff Trail Loop

      4.0
      2.79 mi / 679 ft gain
      Ontario Ridge to Shell Beach Bluff Trail Loop is a loop trail where you may see beautiful wildflowers located near Avila Beach, California.
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    • San Luis Obispo, California

      Catch the Sunset at the Avila Sea Caves

      4.0
      When I attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I would come out to this place to watch the sunset. It was my favorite spot to sit on a rock and take in the beautiful scenery as the sun went down. You don't really have to hike to get a nice view, you can park the car and walk out to the rock cliffs and...
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    • San Luis Obispo, California

      Bike or Run the Bob Jones Trail

      5 mi
      The Bob Jones Trail provides a variety of activities -- running, walking, biking, skateboarding/rollerblading, and some exploring by the creek. You can choose where you would like to start, across the street from the Central Coast Aquarium off Avila Beach Dr. or from the parking lot off Ontario R...
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    • San Luis Obispo, California

      Point San Luis Lighthouse via Pecho Coast Trail

      3.4 mi / 879 ft gain
      This guided roundtrip hike to Point San Luis Lighthouse has one of the best views of the central coast coastline. You will get a chance to see the Avila Beach, Avila Pier, Call Poly Pier, and Harford Pier from a high point.  The trail crosses through a land owned by PG&E; therefore, the hike...
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    • Arroyo Grande, California

      Explore the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes

      The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes and nearby Lake Oso Flaco are home to many endangered and threatened species of plants and animals. A beautiful, short boardwalk takes you from the parking lot, over Lake Oso Flaco, and through the dunes before arriving at the ocean. Enjoy the local wildlife and abundan...
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    • Morro Bay, California

      Quarry and Park Ridge Trail Loop

      4.0
      3.04 mi / 961 ft gain
      Park Ridge is a double peaked ridge, elevated at 911ft, which stands next to Cerro Cabrillo, one of the Nine Sisters. The stunning 360* degree views at the top of Morro bay, Los Osos and San Luis Obispo, make this hike worth exploring. There are two ways to access the top. Park Ridge Trail takes...
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    • Baywood-Los Osos, California

      Baywood Park & Pier

      5.0
      A quiet little beach front, with a raised boardwalk and beautiful views all around. A great place to walk the dog or take small children. Amazing sunsets and A+ for bird watching. Excellent spot to launch a kayak, canoe, or SUP. But watch the tides before you do. The water is usually glassy when ...
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    • Morro Bay, California

      Photograph the Rock at Morro Bay

      4.8
      Morro Bay is located west about 13 miles of San Luis Obispo. Typically Pismo Beach and San Luis are the go to spots when traveling to that area, but after spending the day there I would highly recommend giving it a visit! The first thing you'll see when pulling into downtown Morro Bay is the mas...
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    Camping and Lodging in San Luis Obispo County

    Santa Margarita KOA Holiday
    Santa Margarita, California

    Santa Margarita KOA Holiday

    Avila / Pismo Beach KOA
    San Luis Obispo, California

    Avila / Pismo Beach KOA

    Guides, Insights and Stories from San Luis Obispo County

    A Solo Woman's Escape to Santa Maria Valley

    A Solo Woman's Escape to Santa Maria Valley

    Kristi Teplitz

    Velo Vino: 30 Miles of Cycling Perfection through the Santa Maria Wine Country

    Velo Vino: 30 Miles of Cycling Perfection through the Santa Maria Wine Country

    Josiah Roe

    Wine and Wanderlust: 72 Hours of Food and Fun in Paso Robles

    Wine and Wanderlust: 72 Hours of Food and Fun in Paso Robles

    Josiah Roe