The hike: San Simeon Point. From San Luis Obispo, head north on Highway 1 for 40 miles to San Simeon. Turn left on San Simeon Road to the beach parking lot.
Distance: Round trip 2.5 miles, but there are a number of alternative routes.
Difficulty: Easy, but alternate routes can take you on some cliffside trails.
Tips: This is a great hike to add a little spice to a day at the beach. Bring a picnic, swimsuit or both, and spend some time exploring the landscape. No special gear is really needed.
Dogs: Allowed on a leash.
Parking: Plenty of parking at the San Simeon Pier access lot.
Facilities: Bathrooms, outdoor showers and water fountains.
Description: Start off heading north on the beach to the trail’s outset, a dirt pathway that heads up the ridge along the water. Continue through an extremely fragrant eucalyptus grove as you gradually climb toward the point. On the day I made the hike, a steady mist came flowing in from north of the point, making for dramatic views as you weave through coastal trees that occasionally give way to ocean vistas. As you emerge to the tip of the point, you can begin to hear the rougher seas breaking on the rocky northern edge of the point. Short trails break off the main path to the cliff edges — perfect to find a solitary spot to soak in the ocean views.
Upcoming Adventures with Nature
Rain or bad weather cancels outdoor activities. 772-2694 or www.ccspa.info.
Discover Treasures of Montaña de Oro, Part 1
10 a.m. Wednesday. Tour the redone, historical Spooner Ranch House and Holloway Garden. Dress for wind annd weather. Meet at the Spooner Ranch House in Montaña de Oro. Easy walk, 0.25 miles, 1.5 hours. Rain cancels. No dogs please.
Hike Coon Creek Out and Back
9:30 a.m. Thursday. Follow the creek to the end of the trail, crossing 6 bridges along the way. Bring water and wear sturdy walking shoes. Meet in Montaña de Oro State Park at the end of Pecho Road in the Coon Creek parking lot. Active hike, chance of poison oak. 5 miles, 2.5-3 hours. Rain cancels. No dogs please.
Dune Dwellers — Chumash and Dunites
10 a.m. Sunday. Visit sites of human habitation both pre-history (Chumash) and modern times (Dunites). Walking on the Oceano Dunes is strenuous. There is a creek crossing. Dress for wind/weather, bring water, hat. Binoculars optional. Meet at the Nature Center, Oceano Campground, Pismo State Beach. This is an active hike, chance of poison oak, 3 miles, 2.5 hours. Rain cancels. No dogs please.
Los Osos Oaks Reserve
10 a.m. Sunday. Enjoy a shaded stroll through ancient forest. See native plants and evidence of Chumash habitation. Learn colorful historical background. Dress for wind and weather. Meet at Reserve entrance, 0.7 miles east of South Bay Boulevard on Los Osos Valley Road. Easy walk, chance of poison oak, 1 mile, 1.5 hours. Rain cancels. No dogs please.
Birding Adventures: Montaña de Oro
10 a.m. Monday. Explore the many habitats of the Central Coast, from grasslands to the rocky shoreline, looking for a variety of bird species. Bring binoculars, water, hat and sunscreen. Dress for wind/weather. Meet at the Bluff Trail head, about 100 yards south of Spooner Ranch House in Montaña de Oro. Slow walk, chance of poison oak, 1.7 mi, 2 hrs. Rain cancels. No dogs please.