Outings: A Great Central Coast Hike

Filed in Destinations, Outings by on August 1, 2013 0 Comments

Avila Beach Pirates Cave

The best way to start this hike is from the parking lot at the end of Cave Landing Road in Avila Beach. Once you park, you will notice what looks like a fire road leading straight up the side of the hill. This is Ontario Hill; this is easiest way to start if you are unfamiliar with the area. Make your way up the trail. It is steep and very loose, but well worth it once you reach the top. Once you catch your breath, head south on the trail. It will quickly take you over the ridge giving you spectacular views of Shell Beach and Avila Beach. If it’s a clear day, you can see for a long ways. The view is pretty hard to beat and is a spectacular spot to relax for a while and take photographs.

Continue down the trail for a ways and eventually you’ll come to a fork in the trail. I suggest following it to the right. Follow the well beaten path down to a fire road. Once there, continue to the right and you will eventually end up in a neighborhood. This is where the second half of the hike begins. This is a paved trail called Shell Beach Bluff Trail. Continue north through the gated neighborhood following the paved trail. Eventually, you’ll come to a gate blocking a fire road. Make your way around the gate and continue up the trail. Eventually, you’ll make your way back to the parking lot where your journey began.

If you would like to explore some more there is a short trail towards the south end of the parking lot. The trail will take you down to a cave and a rocky area that is good for just hanging out and taking in the scenery. You will also notice a small and usually quiet beach area in this general area. If the fact that it is a clothing-optional beach does not bother you, then it is an excellent spot to spend the day and just kill some time.

Happy hiking!

Trailhead Address: Cave Landing Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Trailhead Coordinates: 35.174558, -120.707748

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