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Excerpt courtesy of LA Times:

Archive for Sunday, May 13, 2001

Traversing Beaches and Bluffs Near Cayucos
By John Mckinney
May 13, 2001 in print edition L-14

Directions to the trail head: From California Highway 1 six miles north of Morro Bay (or 20 miles north of San Luis Obispo), exit on Cayucos Drive and go to its end near Cayucos Pier.

You also can start at the north end of the trail. Continue north on California 1 about three miles past Cayucos. Park in a turnout on the west side of the highway and walk toward the bluffs, meeting the coastal trail via a path that begins near a state park sign. (The northernmost access to the trail is 0.3 mile up the highway, but parking is scant there.)

The hike: From Cayucos Pier, walk up Ocean Avenue to Lucerne Road. Follow the road until it rejoins Ocean Avenue. Continue until just before it crosses the highway. You’ll be about three-quarters of a mile from the pier.

Now the hike begins. Squeeze past a fence and join the unsigned path heading northwest. You’ll pass a prominent reef and small, sea-battered rocks offshore.

After 1.75 miles the trail descends into a ravine, crosses a small beach, then rises to a stand of eucalyptus. The path soon brings you near the tip of Cayucos Point, then continues across the headlands.

More than three miles out, you’ll walk a mile across grassy bluffs. The trail crests on a low dune, then descends to a sandy beach. Walk the beach to the mouth of Villa Creek.

Your return trip will be along the same route, but down-coast panoramas include the pier, Morro Rock, Guadalupe dunes and Montana de Oro State Park.


For more of John McKinney’s hiking tips, visit http://www.thetrailmaster.com.

California Coastal Trail

* WHERE: Cayucos.

* DISTANCE: From Cayucos Pier to Villa Creek is 9 miles round trip.

* TERRAIN: Gently-sloping, grassy marine terrace; sandy beaches.

* HIGHLIGHTS: Surprisingly wild coastline, vistas of Morro Rock.


* PRECAUTIONS: Some poison oak in ravines; avoid areas marked as snowy plover nesting sites from March 1 to Sept. 15.


State parks district office, tel. (805) 549-3312

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