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Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

Sierra Club Outings and Events

[Outings]Chapter Outings are open to all members and the general public. Outings range in difficulty from easy to very strenuous. If you are not sure, please contact the leader to see if the hike is appropriate for you.

Transportation - The Sierra Club encourages the use of carpools to all events. However, the Sierra Club Outings Leader cannot assign riders or arrange carpools. Each individual is responsible for his/her own transportation to and from the trailhead or other event area.

Suggestions - If you have suggestions for hikes or outdoor activities, questions about the Chapter's outing policies or would like to be an outings leader, call or email Joe Morris (805-549-0355), or the Chapter Office at 805-543-8717. Outings Leaders please get your hikes in by the 10th of each month for the next month's Santa Lucian.

To add another group's activities to this list, contact Joe Morris.



December 2014


Sat., Dec. 6th, 8 a.m. Fernandez Semiloop Hike on a remote trail northeast of Pozo maintained by the Central Coast Concerned Mountain Bikers. This is a moderately strenuous 11-mile, 1400 ft. gain, outing with some off-trail walking to follow a creek. Poison oak may be present along trail. Bring lunch and water. Meet in front of Pacific Beverage Co. in Santa Margarita. Rain cancels or postpones. Information: Leader, Carlos Diaz-Saavedra, 546-0317

Sat., Dec. 6th, 9 a.m. Cerro Alto Hike. Join us on our 7th anniversary, seven-mile hike, moderate difficulty and 1700 ft. gain, to Cerro Alto summit, leaving from Cerro Alto campground, descending past the old Sweetwater mine via the Boy Scout trail. Great views of morros and coastline from peak. Reach the campground via Hwy 41, 8 miles east of Morro Bay and 12 miles west of Atascadero. Day Use fee of $5 at campground parking area, unless you have Adventure or Golden Age Pass. We will probably go for eats at Taco Temple afterwards. Rain cancels. Info: Leader, Chuck Tribbey, 441-7597

Sun., Dec. 7th, 10 a.m. Valley and Islay Creek Hike. Two-mile, 300 ft. gain, loop hike, with mountain and creek views in Montana de Oro State Park. Meet near Spooner Ranch House, about 2.5 miles past park entrance. Information: Leader, Vicki Marchenko, 528-5567 or

Fri., Dec. 12th, 7 p.m. Victorian Christmas City Walk in San Luis Obispo Easy, guided stroll past 15 holiday-lit houses in the Old Town Historic District to learn of the festive Christmas customs, events, and locales of the 1890s. Duration about 1 1/2 hrs. Meet in front of St. Stephen's Church, corner of Nipomo and Pismo Sts. Leader: Joe Morris, 549-0355

Sat., Dec. 13th, 9 a.m. Gibraltar Reservoir and Canyon Hike Moderate six-mile rt hike from Paradise Rd. to Gibraltar Dam in loop to see fall colors, with option to continue to Sunbird Quicksilver Mines for another 6 miles. See Los Padres mt. vistas, river pools, and rock formations. Creek crossings possible if previous rainfall. Bring hat, water, sunscreen, and dress in layers for changing weather. From Hwy 101, take Rt. 154., left on Paradise Rd. for 10 miles to end. Meet in restroom area near parking lot entrance. $5 Los Padres Day Use fee. Leader: Andrea Ortiz, 934-2792, 264-4527, or

Sat., Dec. 20th, 8:30 a.m. Montana de Oro SP Plant Walk Moderately strenuous, nine-mile, 1,000 ft. gain, hike to explore some of the hidden beauty of this park. We will see diverse plant communities: riparian, oak woodland, and coastal sage scrub. Meeting at the Visitor's Center, we will walk to Spooner's Cove, hike along Islay Canyon, up the Barranca trail, then take the Hazard Peak trail to the top and back to Visitor's Center. Duration about 4 hrs. Bring water, snacks, sturdy shoes, sunscreen, hat, and jacket. Rain or threat of rain cancels. Leader: Bill Waycott, 459-2103 or

Sun., Dec. 21st, 5 p.m. Victorian Christmas City Walk in San Luis Obispo Easy, guided stroll past 15 holiday-lit houses in the Old Town Historic District to learn of the festive Christmas customs, events, and locales of the 1890s. Duration about 1 1/2 hrs. Meet in front of St. Stephen's Church, corner of Nipomo and Pismo Sts. Leader: Joe Morris, 549-0355

Mon.-Fri., Dec. 29th-Jan. 2, 2015 Holiday Service in Carrizo Plains. Celebrate the year's end and offer service to the pronghorn antelope in this National Monument, lying between SLO and Bakersfield, and grassland home to also tule elk, kit fox, and a wide avian variety. Welcome hike on Dec. 29th, then 2 1/2 days of service modifying barbed wire fencing, then full day of hiking and exploring planned. Use of accommodations at one of the old ranch houses is included. $30 covers four dinners and breakfast on New Year's Eve, but limited to 12 participants. For info, contact Leader: Craig Deutsche, 310-477-6670 or


January 2015


Sat., Jan, 10th, 8:30 a.m. Reservoir Canyon/Bowden Ranch Hike. Botanist-led visit to several plant communities in coastal mountains on a moderately strenuous, five-mile hike, 1000" gain, lasting about 4 hrs. We start in the riparian corridor of Reservoir Canyon, continuing over the backbone ridge of Bowden Ranch with plants adapted to serpentine soil. Also enjoy great southern views into Santa Barbara cty. and hills of the north. Bring water and snacks, sunscreen, sturdy shoes, hats, and layered clothing for weather changes. Meet at eastern entrance to SLO High School, near corner of Johnson Ave. and San Luis Dr. A few cars will caravan hikers to the Reservoir Canyon---owners of cars at hike's end driven back to their cars. Rain or threat of rain cancels. Info: Leader, Bill Waycott, 459-2103 or

Sun., Jan. 11th, 2 p.m. City Walk: SLO's Secret Past. A guided, exploratory stroll to reveal the original site of the Mission, the 1860s stagecoach stop, home of SLO's first millionaire, the last remaining gas light , a forgotten WPA project, and other hidden landmarks in the historic core of SLO. Duration about 1 1/2 hrs. Meet at NW corner of Nipomo and Dana Sts. Leader: Joe Morris, 549-0355

Sat., Jan. 17th, 8 a.m. Blinn Ranch Rd./Falcon Loop Hike. Very strenuous, 13-mile hike, 2000 ft. gain, on north side of Santa Margarita Lake. We will access it from the River Rd. parking area. This is an out and back hike, with the option of going part way and turning around earlier. Bring lunch, water, and sturdy hiking shoes. Parking fee $3. Rain will postpone this hike. Meet in front of the Pacific Beverage Co., Santa Margarita. Leader: Carlos Diaz-Saavedra, 546-0317

Sun., Jan. 18th, 10 a.m. Sycamore Springs Trekking-Pole Hike Polecats is dedicated to leading local hikes to model the benefits of using trekking poles effectively. This hike is 2 miles and 600 ft. elevation gain. Meet near the entrance to Sycamore Springs Resort, 1215 Avila Beach Dr. Need to confirm beforehand with Leader: David Georgi, 458-5575 or

Mon., Jan 19th, 10 a.m. Montana de Oro Dune Hike. Two-mile loop hike on top of dunes with great ocean views in Montana de Oro State Park. Meet at Hazard Canyon parking area, 1.6 miles from park entrance. Leader: Vicki Marchenko, or 528-5567

Sat., Jan. 24th, 9 a.m. Adobe Trail. Mildly strenuous, 6-mile trail on grass-and oak-covered hills north of the Sierra Madre range for views of Mt. Abel and Pinos. Bring sturdy walking shoes, water, and dress for the weather. Take Hwy 101, then east on Hwy 166, north of Santa Maria, for 22 miles to trailhead on left side. Pass through unlocked gate and park your car. Trail is directly behind green gate. If you reach Rock Front Ranch, you have gone too far. Leader: Andrea Ortiz, 934-2792 or

Wed., Jan. 28th, 7-9 p.m. Bimonthly General Meeting: 6th Annual Environmentalists' Rendezvous: Protectors of Our Sea and Shore. At this year's forum of local environmental activists, leaders of the six foremost organizations protecting our ocean and coast will speak. In one evening and in one place, come for an exciting and unique opportunity to hear reps of the Center for Coastal Marine Sciences (Cal Poly), Coastkeeper, Monterey Bay Nat. Marine Sanctuary, Morro Bay Nat. Estuary, Surfrider, and, of course, the Sierra Club discuss their efforts and plans for 2015. Also---flash---learn the latest about the soon to be released proposal for the Chumash Nat. Maritime Sanctuary on the Central Coast. Meets at Steynberg Gallery, 1531 Monterey St., SLO. Info.: Joe Morris, 549-0355

Th.-Sat., Jan. 29th-31st. Death Valley Wilderness Restoration. Join us in restoring wilderness in this remote, beautiful National Park, cleaning up a marijuana grow site. We will gather early Thursday afternoon work on a project to be announced and then work on the grow site on Friday and possibly Saturday. Group size limited. Leader: Kate Allen, or 661-944-4056 CNRCC Desert Committee

Sat., Jan. 31st, 8 a.m. Vicente Flat/Big Sur Hike. Moderate, ten-mile, 1800 ft. gain hike in Ventana Wilderness of northern Los Padres Nat. Forest past redwood groves to great views of the Big Sur coast. There is a possibility of ticks and poison oak on the trail. Bring water, lunch, and dress for the weather. Meet at the Washburn Day Use area of San Simeon State Park, on Hwy 1, 1.7 miles north of fourth stop light (Main and Windsor) in Cambria. Rain or possibility of rain cancels. Leader: Chuck Tribbey, 441-7597


Sun., Feb. 1st, 9 a.m. Lopez Lake Bird and Plant Walk. Four-mile hike, 200 ft. gain, co-led by Audubon and Calif. Native Plant Society leaders, to view waterfowl and early spring wildflowers. Option to continue hike to top of Duna Vista lookout. Bring water, snacks, hat, sunscreen, sturdy shoes, and dress in layers for changing weather. From Arroyo Grande, follow signs toward Lopez Lake. After crossing the dam, but before entering Lopez Lake County Park, turn right on Hi Mountain Rd, continuing for .8 mile and turning left on Upper Lopez Canyon Rd. Then proceed 3.6 miles to the old entrance of the Boy Scout Camp (now closed) and park on road side. Restrooms available; no fee area. Leader: Bill Waycott, 459-2103 or Rain or threat of rain cancels.


Ventana Wilderness Alliance Trail Crew Opportunities

Trail Crew Volunteers are needed for work in the Ventana and Silverpeak Wilderness Areas. If interested or to get more information contact Dave Knapp, Trail Crew Leader at



Hiking With Other Organizations

In addition to outings sponsored by the Santa Lucia Chapter, you may want to contact other organizations who offer outings which complement those listed here.

The Central Coast Natural History Association (772-2694) offers docent-led walks in Montana de Oro and Morro Bay State Parks.

PGE's "Pecho Coast Trail" and "Point Buchon Trail Information" offer hikes to the Port San Luis Lighthouse and other areas around Diablo Canyon. Check the PGE website for more details

The Morro Coast Audubon Society offers many bird watching outings.

The Ventana Chapter of the Sierra Club regularly leads outings in the Los Padres National Forest, Big Sur, Arroyo Seco and Big Basin Area.

The Los Padres Chapter of the Sierra Club leads outings in Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara County and Ventura County.

The Ventana Wilderness Alliance hosts service trips and outings in the Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness Areas.

The City of San Luis Obispo hosts ranger-led walks around the City of San Luis Obispo.

Central Coast Concerned Mountain Bikers build trails around the County. For more information, log onto their website.

The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo offers guided walks on Conservancy properties.

Car Camping - The Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club has coordinated events with the SOLO Sierrans.

Desert Outings: Trips to the deserts of California and Nevada.

Sierra Nevada Trips - Contact the Tehipite Chapter of the Sierra Club. They lead many outings including backpacking, cross-country skiing, hikes, and more.

Sierra Club Lodges and Huts - The Sierra Club has several lodges throughout California, open at different times during the year. This is a great chance to make new friends within the Club. Rates are lower than conventional lodging. For more information check the Sierra Club Lodges Homepage.

Exploring On Your Own - If you would like to strike out on your own, be sure to check out the Sierra Club Trail Guides for San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Monterey Counties.

E-mail List. The Santa Lucia Chapter maintains an email list to announce upcoming outings. If you would like to add your name, send an e-mail to Gary Felsman.

Adding Groups: To add another group's activities/trips to this list, contact Joe Morris.



Seller of travel registration information: CST 2087766-40.
Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Keeping Our Trails in Good Condition

The Sierra Club is working to create a list of Trail Watch Volunteers to maintain and report on trail conditions throughout our area. For more information contact Gary Felsman at 805-473-3694.

Photographs and Material on this Website are:
Copyrighted© 1994 -2010 by Gary Felsman and the Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club

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Explore, Enjoy and Protect - Santa Lucia Chapter hike in Machesna Wilderness
Machesna Wilderness hike
April 2002
Photo by Gary Felsman