The San Luis Obispo Classic Coastwalk

New Trails make the popular SLO Coastwalk better than ever!

The San Luis Obispo Classic

July 14-19

July 14-19

6 days/5 nights

Rating: Moderate

Max Capacity: 25

$625 Non-Member Price

$600 Member Price

Walk on rarely trod trails from Piedras Blancas Light Station to Montana de Oro. Highlights include: Following the CCT through 18 miles of Hearst Ranch, hikes on newly opened trails through the fascinating Diablo Canyon decommissioned power plant, a lighthouse tour, abundant birding & wildflowers, plus viewing sea otter families & the elephant seal sanctuary. Campsites chosen to maximize privacy and minimize setup. Gourmet dinners and home-made treats provided by our fabulous volunteer chefs.  Local expert guides, hike leaders and naturalists will be joining us daily; guest speakers in the evening for campfire programs.


Set in the shadow of Hearst Castle on newly acquired California Coastal Trail through the Hearst Ranch, the Piedras Blanca lighthouse, the elephant seal breeding grounds, San Simeon State Park, charming Cambria, spectacular pocket beaches of Montana de Oro State Park and the Point Buchon Trail to Diablo Canyon.


camping & parking fees; guided hiking; nightly dinners; shuttle transportation; gear haul; evening programs; dinners, hot water/coffee & light breakfast fixings

 FACILITIES: You will be camping out each night so you will need appropriate gear including sleeping bag, mattress or pad, and tent with rain fly. Since seating at some of the camp sites is minimal, we recommend you bring a folding chair. These items and your personal duffle will be hauled from camp site to camp site so you do not have to carry them during the day.


Nights 1 & 2: San Simeon State Park Washburn Campground

Nights 3, 4 & 5: Morro Bay State Park Group Campground


5 to 11 miles per day


Coastal bluffs on small tracks and wide trails; sandy beaches.


fairly level


There are no additional fitness requirements for this trip.


We will be meeting no later than 12:00 at the far end of the Marina Parking Lot of the Bayside Café across the road from Morro Bay State Park campground
#10 State Park Road Morro Bay, CA 93442.  All vehicles should be parked on the north east side of the lot (away from the Café and against the roadside, not the marina waterside). We will be leaving our vehicles in the lot for the duration of the trip.


The ocean is our climate control (water temperatures are in the lower 50s year around) so you can expect relatively cool temperatures with highs mainly in the mid-60s during the middle of the day and lows in the low 50s during the evening and early morning. There may be some morning fog that will burn off by about 10:00 am. Rain is not likely but is a possibility- we should have a fair handle on this at the time of the walk – a lightweight windbreaker is advised. It does get windy on the bluffs and beaches. You’ll definitely want a sweater and/ or jacket in the evenings and mornings; layering is usually best. Fleece is a warm, comfortable option. Otherwise, you can use your judgment about clothing when temperatures are in this range (the humidity can be fairly high which can affect how the air temperature affects your comfort). Bring sturdy hiking shoes that are comfortable and in good condition. A trekking pole provides excellent stability while crossing tricky terrain and rocks and can offer good support while tide pooling.


Due to the draught conditions on the Central Coast, water may be a problem. There are no showers or flush at San Simeon State Beach. I strongly suggest that each camper bring a solar shower bag. We will fill these and leave them in the sunniest areas.

There will be flush toilets and showers at Morro Bay State Park. Chemical toilets have been set up in the other camping spots. Hygiene is a priority for Coastwalk- be assured that we will handle the situation. We will be setting up an outdoor shower for use with your solar water bag.


Your camp gear will be transported from camp site to camp site. We may shuttle our vehicles if necessary. Otherwise, transportation to our parking area and home again will be your responsibility. Please contact your Walk Leader if you will be taking public transportation, and perhaps we can help get you to where you need to be. Please bring some change for the occasional public bus and shower facilities (where available).


Coffee, juice, and milk will be available each morning, as well as a variety of breakfast foods. We brew a large pot of coffee- decaf will only be available in the evening. You should plan to bring other food items for lunches. Wine, beer, or soft drinks will be available each day to refresh you contingent on donations to the food kitty. Dinners are provided each evening. You will only need to carry lunch items and water while hiking. See attached food provision note.


cash for public bus transportation and quarters for camp showers.


Day 1:
Cambria to San Simeon State Park- Beach and nature trail walk.

Day 2:
Old Piedras Blancas Motel to San Simeon State Beach- Beach, bluffs, forest; lighthouse tour and elephant seals.

Day 3:
Estero Bluffs, Cayucas and Morro beach walk (10+ miles). Morro Rock and otter families.

Day 4:
Morro Bay Esplanade; war canoe row across bay to sand spit; sandspit and beach walk (6+ miles) to Hazard Canyon.

Day 5:
Montano De Oro Bluffs to Windy Point (Diablo Canyon)

Day 6:
Port San Luis to Point St Luis Lighthouse on Pecho Coast Trail


  • sturdy walking shoes
  • spare walking shoes
  • camp shoes (Crocs are great)
  • hat for sun protection
  • sunglasses with UV protection
  • sunscreen (minimum 15 spf)
  • bug repellant (most likely not necessary)
  • personal first aid kit (band aids, blister pads)
  • day pack and plate, cup, bowl, and eating utensils
  • personal medicines
  • flashlight with new batteries
  • folding chair
  • A roll of quarters for bus fare and showers
  • Solar shower
  • Tent, Sleeping bag, Ground Cloth
  • Water Bottle
  • Lunch foods
  • cash for public bus transportation and quarters for camp showers.

NOTE:  Our Camp Coordinators & Walk Leaders will need to know every participant’s medical conditions, insurance information, medications, and doses. We ask that you provide that information when you register for the Walk and notify both the Coastwalk office and Walk leaders of any changes or new medical conditions prior to the Walk


Mike MinkyMike Minky

2018 will be the 7th year that Mike Minky leads the SLO Coastwalk. A CPA by day, Mike owns several record companies specializing in a wide range of classics from Cambodian psychedelic surf bands to Calypso to ‘60’s East L.A. garage bands. Mike’s first Coastwalk was joining the 2003 Border to Border walkers for 3 weeks on the San Simeon to Carpinteria leg. As land acquisitions have opened up new trails on the Central Coast, Mike has been bushwhacking and marking for the future route of the California Coastal Trail.


Volunteer Support Staff- Bob Adams, Mel and Diana Savage, Susie Schneider