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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.




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

February 2015

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.

Sun., Feb. 8th, 11 a.m. Canoe/Kayak on Morro Bay Group canoe or kayak trip across Morro Bay from Los Osos. We will adventure across the Bay to land at Morro Bay State Park for a one-mile walk along the dunes, with time to relax or beach comb, then head back same way. Duration about 4 hrs. BYOB (boat), snacks, water, and life jacket. To meet, park off Pasadena Dr. between Baywood Way and Santa Ysabel Ave. Confirm a few days in advance with Leader: Vicki Marchenko, 528-5567 or

Fri.-Sat, Feb. 13th-14th. S. Nevada Valentine's Day Service Trip Give our public lands a valentine by working with the BLM Las Vegas office and Friends of Nevada Wilderness on the 14th to enhance wilderness in one of the southern Nevada BLM wildernesses. Sociable campout Friday night. For more details and sign up, contact Vicky Hoover, 415-977-5527 or CA/NV Wilderness Committee.

Sat., Feb. 14th, 8:30 a.m. Salmon Creek to Ragged Point Hike. This diverse trek will take us through shaded canyons, open meadows, a ridge with coastal views, and chapparal-covered slopes. It is a strenuous 10-mile, 3000 ft. elevation gain, hike. Bring lunch, water, and sturdy hiking shoes. Poison oak will be present along the trail. A car shuttle will be used. Meet at the Washburn Day Use Area near San Simeon State Park off Hwy 1, north of Cambria. Contact Leader: Carlos Diaz-Saavedra, 546-0317, for further info or for re-scheduling if there is a chance of rain.

Sun., Feb. 15th, 10 a.m. Johnson Ranch Trekking-Pole Hike. "Polecats" is dedicated to leading local Sierra Club day hikes that model the benefits of using trekking poles effectively.  This walk is 2 miles long plus 600 ft. elevation gain.  Meet near the entrance of the Johnson Ranch trailheads at the corner of Higuera and Ontario Sts.  Need to confirm you are coming beforehand with leader: David Georgi, 458-5575 or

Sun., Feb. 22nd, 9 a.m.  Coon Creek 2 Years After the BurnTake a walk in Montana de Oro State Park (4 miles, 500 ft. elevation gain) for a rare opportunity to see chaparral and riparian plant communities rejuvenate after both a period of low rainfall and the blackened void created by the 2012 fire.  Many species expected to be in bloon.  Meet at the Coon Creek parking area at south end of the paved road at Montana de Oro SP.  Duration about 3 hrs.  Bring water, snacks, sturdy shoes, sunscreen, hat, and jacket.  Rain or threat of rain cancels.  Leader: Bill Waycott, 459-2103 or

Sun., Feb. 22nd, 2 p.m. Historic Walk of San Luis Obispo: The Post-War Rebirth Years Imagine SLO before its tree-lined streets, the Mission Plaza, and Farmers Market. How did this unremarkable little town after World War II become the dynamic and attractive place it is today? Find out and more on a guided stroll past stores, civic buildings, and San Luis Creek to follow the changes in city life from the late forties to its transformation in the seventies. Duration about 1 1/2 hrs. Meet at the corner of Santa Rosa and Pacific Sts. Leader: Joe Morris, 549-0355

Sat., Feb. 28th, 8 a.m. High Mountain Rd. to Condor Lookout Hike Moderately strenuous, out-and-back 10-mile hike past wildflower meadows, chaparral, creek, and mountain peaks with beautiful vistas to the condo lookout station atop High Mt. Peak. Option to go part way and turn back early. Bring water, sun protection, snacks, dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes and binoculars are useful to spot a condor! Directions: From Arroyo Grande, follow signs toward Lopez Lake. After crossing the dam but before entering Lopez Lake County Park, turn right on High Mountain Rd for 12.6 miles, (bearing right on Upper Lopez Rd. to stay on High Mt.). You will reach a second gate, parking area, and trailhead. High Mt. Rd. is easy on all cars until this spot---no need for a four-wheel drive. A second option is to meet at the Ridge Trail staging area, just past the upper Lopez Canyon/High Mt. Rd junction at 7:30 to carpool in. For more info, contact Leader: Andrea Lopez at 934-2792 or Rain or serious 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