Poly Places: Valencia Peak

San Luis Obispo is a magnet for nature lovers everywhere. The beautiful coastline and extending mountain peaks make the Central Coast stand out from a batch of many other naturally beautiful places around the globe. Montaña de Oro State Park, located just 30 minutes west of SLO, is home to the magnificent hike to Valencia Peak. The hike, starting right above the beach, winds through the hills of the park.

The deep, blue Pacific Ocean can be seen from every point on the trail. The hike extends two miles from the trailhead to the peak. The breathtaking 360-degree view at the top exhibits the mountainous terrain flowing directly into the coastline. The infamous Morro Rock is visible up the coast from the top. Nearly 1,400 feet in elevation, the peak sets the achieved hiker over fourth of a mile above the beaches below. It feels like being on top of the world. But similar to most of the hikes in SLO, the way up is steep and exhausting. The company and friends and the ocean breeze make it easier to get to the peak. The way down is quick and smooth, following the switchbacks back down the mountain. The views and coastal location set this hike apart from other great options in the area. Valencia Peak is a hike that should be on every SLO hiker’s list.