Rest and Wild

Cerro Alto Trail

December 29, 2018

  • Elevation Change: 1607 ft
  • Landscape: rolling hills
  • Difficulty: 2/5
  • Distance: 4.5 mi

Cerro Alto Campground is nine miles east of Morro Bay, in the thin arm of Los Padres National Forest that extends that way. It has a paved road to the drive-up campsites, which are well-maintained, far apart, and include picnic tables and fire rings. There are pit toilets and drinking water is available. Fees were $25/night at a self-service pay station (cash) and temperatures were down to -4°C when we were there in December.

Cerro Alto trail is accessible past the campsites at the end of Cerro Alto Road. There is parking there for day use, but it fills quickly and cars also park at the entrance where the road meets Route 41. The trail is well-used, mostly shaded, and soon brings views of the surrounding valleys. The loop is 2.7 mi with a spur that adds 1.8 mi out and back to get to the summit. Nori was getting agitated so we only did the loop.