Magical Hikes Along the Highway 1 Discovery Route

Magical Hikes and Exceptional Guided Walking Tours Await Visitors Along the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route

Enjoy Views of The Sparkling Pacific Ocean, Pristine Forests, State Parks and Participate in Special Stewardship Travel Guided Walks and Hikes



Magical hikes and fascinating guided walking tours await visitors along the CA’s Highway 1 Discovery Route on California’s beautiful Central Coast of San Luis Obispo County. This stretch of Highway 1 is part of the US Dep. Of Transportation National Scenic Byways Program, located mid-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The entire route offers breathtaking natural beauty, a preeminent wine region and extraordinary choices for accommodations. From lush farmland to the sparkling Pacific Ocean, the area boasts vast stretches of white sandy beaches and picturesque rugged coastline, renowned wineries, the world famous Hearst Castle, bucolic farmland, wildlife, pristine forests, beautiful state parks and untouched natural beauty as far as the eye can see. There are 10 diverse artisan towns and seaside villages to explore, from Ragged Point & San SimeonCambria, Cayucos, and Los Osos/Baywood Park, toAvila Beach & ValleyEdna ValleyArroyo Grande ValleyOceano andNipomo.

Magical Hikes
Magical hikes are full of wonder, enchantment, and excitement on the central coast. Central coast magic is to be found exploring beyond the main streets by hiking the less traveled areas of the Highway 1 Discovery Route. Those wanting to learn more about the area, and experience its magic, can participate in docent-led guided walks and hikes as well.

Arroyo Grande Valley:
Lopez Lake: Enjoy Ranger-led interpretive day and evening hikes throughout the oak woodland forest of Lopez Lake.  Experience some of the most breathtaking views of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range and Pacific Ocean.
Cougar Trail – The trail is close to three miles and is open to hikers, dogs and mountain bikes.
Big Falls 4WD Trail – Tucked away behind Lopez Lake is one of the most scenic spots on the Central Coast, Big Falls. The two waterfalls along Big Falls Creek are some of the best around and worth the trek.

Avila Beach:
 Bob Jones Trail – The Bob Jones Trail is the “City to the Sea” bike trail. Used for hiking, jogging and biking, the paved trail winds through the forested valley alongside San Luis Obispo Creek towards Avila Beach.
Pecho Coast Trail Docent Hikes to Point San Luis Lighthouse – The Pecho Coast Trail to the Point San Luis Lighthouse is open to 20 hikers each Wednesday and 40 hikers each Saturday.
Ontario Ridge Trail – Ontario Ridge Trail is a rugged, sometimes-steep track crossing a 700-foot hill above the Shell Beach bluff, with spectacular ocean views.

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve Docent Nature Walk – The Ranch is far from the largest of coastal ecosystems, but packs more biological diversity into a confined area than many larger properties.
 Moonstone Beach Trail – Moonstone Beach is one of Cambria’s and the Central Coast’s most scenic spots.
Elephant Seals Docent Talks – The docents are available to answer questions, show photos and share information about the seals.

 Cayucos Land Conservancy Bluffs Nature Walk – The “Bluff Walks” and nature walks program offers guided hikes on the Bluffs and other ecosystems on the coast.
 Cayucos Horseback Riding – Come join us at Outback Trail Rides for a premier horseback riding experience on California’s Central Coast.

Edna Valley:
Cerro San Luis Obispo Trail – Cerro San Luis Obispo is the large Morro looming over San Luis Obispo with the big “M.”
Old Edna Self-Guided Tour & Wine Tasting Option – Free, self-guided tours are available on the last Wednesday and Thursday of each month, from 11am to 2pm.
Horizon Hike Over Edna Valley – Enjoy a mild hike, learn about the vines as you walk through them and take in a 360-degree view of the valley.

Los Osos & Baywood Park:
El Moro Elfin Forest Docent-Led Nature Walks – The El Moro Elfin Forest in Los Osos, adjacent to the Morro Bay Estuary, is a 90-acre natural area belonging to San Luis Obispo County Parks and California State Parks.
 Quarry Trail – The Quarry Trail skirts the southern flank of Cerro Cabrillo, past the rubble piles of an abandoned quarry site used for road construction in the 1950s.
Bluff Trail – Bluff Trail, located within Montaña de Oro State Park, is a 3.4 mile round-trip hike that takes you along the coastal bluffs, passing tide pools, beaches and a scenic rocky coastline.

Oso Flaco Lake Trail – Just west of Nipomo lies one of the most scenic natural areas all along California’s coast, Oso Flaco Lake.
Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center Docent-Led Walks – The Dunes Center hosts a wide variety of events and activities for members, students, volunteers, and the general public.

Oceano Park Campground & Lagoon – Oceano Park and Campground was once a favorite hunting and fishing ground of the Chumash Indians.
Monarch Butterfly Grove – From late October to February, thousands of black and gold Monarch butterflies cluster in the limbs of a Eucalyptus grove at Pismo State Beach, providing us with a breathtaking glimpse of nature in all her vibrant glory.  Docent on site.
Oceano Horseback Riding – Whether you’re a seasoned rider or have never seen a saddle in your life, there is nothing to match the experience of riding horseback on the beach.

San Simeon & Ragged Point:
San Simeon State Park – The coastal bluffs and promontories of the scenic park offer unobstructed views of the ocean and rocky shore.
Elephant Seals Docent Talks – These events will include a 90-minute presentation with question and answer period, followed by a Rookery tour to observe the behaviors discussed during the exploratory.
 San Simeon Cove – The trail leading out to the point is a magical walk along a wooded path on the bluffs above the beach. Lacy moss dangles from the eucalyptus, pines, cedars, and cypress that flank the trail.

Stewardship Travel Hikes and Guided Tours
Stewardship Travel is about adding a bit of “doing good and feeling good” to your vacation. As you plan your trip along the California Highway 1 Discovery Route, add an hour or two of fun volunteer time to your day, or schedule a travel adventure to a natural, cultural or historic site. Plant seedlings in a native garden, contribute to a historic lighthouse, make new friends at a beach cleanup or become a “citizen scientist” at a nature center. Your stewardship benefits and helps you connect to the Central Coast in a real way.  There are more than 70 Stewardship activities that provide opportunities to stay, play, connect and care. Many hotels, motels, bed and breakfast, and vacation rentals offer Stewardship Traveler activity maps covering all 10 regions of the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route. Here are some of the magical hikes and guided tours offered to visitors who want to make a difference while on vacation:

Los Osos/Baywood Park:
Avila Beach:
Edna Valley/Arroyo Grande Valley:

Area Maps
Visitors can also find local loop detail within the main route with maps on each town’s Destination Visitor Guide Pages of the website, which include points of interest and interesting things to experience along the way. Just click on the area detail map and a special page will pop up, perfect for printing or sending to your mobile device during your trip though:  Ragged Point/San Simeon,CambriaLos Osos/Baywood ParkAvila Beach & Valley,Edna ValleyArroyo Grande Valley, and Oceano/Nipomo.