Ascent of Cerro Alto on 2012-12-27
|Others in Party:||Emma Lauriston|
|Date:||Thursday, December 27, 2012|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
| Elevation:||2624 ft / 799 m|
Ascent Trip ReportTen years ago when we climbed this peak, we made a mistake. We resolved never to come back.
The trail is not very interesting being surrounded and sometimes walking in a tunnel of chapparral. It basically goes straight up and back down again. We even did some exploring and decided that it would be fun on a mountain bike but was a really boring hike. Neither of us could remember but we must have come on a cloudy day because I don’t recall any views worth bragging about.
What an error! On a sunny day, when the coast is clear, this is an amazing hike. You can see most of San Luis Obispo County and into Fresno and Monterey. The coast is visible from north of Cayucos to Montana de Oro in Los Osos. Morro Rock and the Seven Sisters are all visible as well as mountains in the Santa Lucia and Diablo ranges.
We parked at the end of the campground where there is an area for day use. We did a loop leaving the campground from the east end and hiking to an old utility road. It was great to see the creeks running from the recent rains. The trail was covered by Bay Trees in the beginning and by the chaparral as we ascended. At mile 1.7 we turned onto single track for the final mile to the top. The trail wasn’t steep but was consistently uphill. On the summit, the bald top allowed amazing views in every direction. The recent storms had cleared the air and the partly cloudy conditions made the light seam unreal. The bright chartreuse green of young grasses were visible in all of the valleys on the coast side making it look like a scene out of Middle Earth, not central California. On the trail down, we stayed straight at the intersection of the utility road and proceeded a mile to the campground. We came across a bridge almost exactly below the parking area. I didn’t see any signs for this trail from the parking area but if you look for the bridge, I’m sure you will find the trailhead.
It’s not a great hike but the view is worth every bit of effort on clear day.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||1609 ft / 490 m|
| Total Elevation Loss:||1609 ft / 490 m|
| Round-Trip Distance:||4.7 mi / 7.6 km|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail|
| Weather:||Cool, Calm, Partly Cloudy|
| Gain on way in:||1609 ft / 490 m|
| Distance:||2.7 mi / 4.3 km|
| Start Trailhead:||1015 ft / 309 m|
| Loss on way out:||1609 ft / 490 m|
| Distance:||2 mi / 3.2 km|
| End Trailhead:||1015 ft / 309 m|
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
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Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Peter Robbert
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