Cerro San Luis, San Luis Obispo

4.9
#3 of 6 in Trails in San Luis Obispo
Cerro San Luis Obispo is a 1292ft mountain in San Luis Obispo, California. It is part of the chain of peaks called the Nine Sisters. It is colloquially referred to as "San Luis Mountain", "Mount San Luis", "Madonna Mountain" or "Mission Mountain." It is a popular spot for hiking, jogging and mountain biking, offering spectacular views and steep terrain. Right below the west side of the visible peak, there is a fairly large plateau with a large wooden stage on the east end. The large white "M" present on the east face derives from Mission Prep High School.
Some time around 1900, an American Civil War veteran, G. W. Chandler, lived on the mountain and planted lemons and oranges. The trees still overlook the city and are watered by two springs. The Lemon Grove Trail at the base of the mountain takes its name from these groves.
Around 1958, a local business owner, Alex Madonna purchased a ranch on a portion of the slopes of Cerro San Luis Obispo, and constructed the now famous Madonna Inn at its base.
There are several trails on the mountain that are good for hiking, jogging and mountain biking. The primary trail head is at the end of Marsh Street which provides access to the Open Space and Lemon Grove Loop. A dirt road accessible from Lemon Grove Loop leads to the summit. There is a second road cut to the summit which has been abandoned and eroded to a narrow rocky path giving it the name "Rock Garden" and making it a popular descent for mountain bikers. There is also a trail that encircles the mountain about one third the way up.
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Cerro San Luis Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
15 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • One of my favorite places to hike in SLO County. It’s heavily trafficked, but for a good reason. Sweeping views of the city, the distant Pacific on the horizon, calm breezes, multiple trails, and spec...  more »
  • Have been on this mountain many times, and it is always different depending on time of day and year. Many times you may have the fog or clearing skies when you are hiking the trails. Although there ar...  more »
Google
  • This is a good steady climb with a rewarding 360 vista at the top. The views are better than from the top of Bishop Peak, even though the summit is not as high.
  • Great views of San Luis valley and a range of trails to pick from.

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