A 2017 Must-See Activity, the Pecho Coast Trail to the Point San Luis Lighthouse is open to 20 hikers each Wednesday and 40 hikers each Saturday. Hikes depart at 9am and return at 1pm. Reservations are strongly encouraged to avoid being turned away at the trailhead and can be made two weeks in advance through the website. Hikes are cancelled in case of rain or inclement weather. The hike to the Point San Luis Lighthouse is 3.75 miles round trip and moderately strenuous with uneven terrain, steep cliffs and grades, narrow trails, and crumbling earth. Sturdy hiking shoes are required. Bring plenty of water as well.
The secluded beaches, rugged cliffs and broad coastal terraces of the Pecho Coast have been privately owned and inaccessible to the public since the Spanish Mission Period. Once known as the Rancho Canada de Los Osos y Pecho y Islay, this pristine area is situated north of the Point San Luis Lighthouse and west of the Irish Hills on California's Central Coast. It became open to the public in 1993 for guided hikes with the creation of the Pecho Coast Trail.
The wooded canyons, fertile headlands and lush shoreline tide pools have provided dependable human sustenance for at least 9,000 years. When the Spanish began exploring and settling along the Central Coast, Chumash Indians inhabited the area. Their rich and varied culture, reflecting the abundance of the land, was displaced as the Spanish introduced land ownership and ranching.
The development of Port San Luis and its important shipping industry coincided with the increasing settlement of the area during the nineteenth century. To maintain a safe port, the Point San Luis Lighthouse and breakwater were constructed in 1890. These structures and many other sites of historic interest are visible along and from the Pecho Coast Trail.