Outdoors

Eucs trail in Stenner Creek an idyllic walk through canyons of north San Luis Obispo

A view from the Stenner Creek trail. Cerro Romauldo, one of the Seven Sisters, can be seen in the distance.
A view from the Stenner Creek trail. Cerro Romauldo, one of the Seven Sisters, can be seen in the distance. jnorris@thetribunenews.com

The trail: The Eucs trail in Stenner Creek can be reached by driving north on Highway 1 past Cal Poly’s Highland Drive entrance, and taking the first right turn onto Stenner Creek Road.

Distance: 4.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate. There’s a bit of an uphill, and it gets steep in short bursts toward the top, but half the trail is largely flat with only minor inclines.

Tips: Since this hike isn’t a loop, it can be as short or as long as desired. Water is recommended as there isn’t much shade, and a small snack such as almonds or trail mix might be appreciated if the goal is to ascend to the highest point of the trail.

Dogs: Canines are allowed, but the smaller dogs might have a harder time toward the top. Medium and bigger dogs will love all the hike’s new smells and its multitude of wooden bridges.

Parking: As you drive down Stenner Creek Road, you may see cars that have parked farther from the trail than needed, but don’t stop until the road ends. You’ll need to drive for three to five minutes before you reach the actual trailhead, and there will be a large locked gate you can’t drive past and a larger dirt lot for parking when you’ve arrived at the right spot.

Facilities: Most of the Stenner Creek trail is shared with a dedicated bicycle trail system known as the Eucs Project, though the walking trail and biking trails are separate and there are warning signs where the paths cross. At the top of the trail, there are wooden riding surfaces and jumps built for cycling skills development.

Description: As you start the Eucs hike, you’ll pass by a house and barn at the very end of Stenner Creek Road. The beginning of the trail runs parallel to the shallow, lightly flowing creek, until the path is dissected by the railroad. When you pass the tracks, you might be lucky enough to see the train winding through the canyon. After this, it’s all a winding uphill trail with several wooden bridges over steep parts of the creek. You’ll know you reached the end of the hike when you see the wooden cycling area. The trail then goes onward into Poly Canyon, but unless hikers have another car parked at that trailhead, this is the time to head back down the Stenner Creek trail.

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