Ascent of Cerro Alto on 2016-04-23

Climber: Andrew Kirmse

Others in Party:David Sanger
Shelley Shostak
Date:Saturday, April 23, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cerro Alto
    Elevation:2624 ft / 799 m

Ascent Trip Report

On our way to Ventura to attempt Devils Peak, David, Shelley and I stopped to climb Cerro Alto, a California Coastal Peak. From 101 in Atascadero we drove CA 41 west, then turned into the campground. We paid our $5 day use fee (the America the Beautiful Pass does not cover this, though an Adventure Pass does) near the entrance, and then drove the road to the campsites at the end. It was a Saturday and the parking lot was crowded.

We had intended to take the more direct trail straight up the hillside, but seeing the large “Cerro Alto Trail” sign, we followed that instead. This trail took us gradually up along a creek, then switched back, and in 1.7 miles reached the junction with the more direct trail. We passed a woman taking her two horses for a walk, and continued gradually up to the summit, which has excellent 360 degree views. On the way down we took the more direct route, which is only 1.0 miles from the junction back down to the campground. Here we saw a tiny wooden “Trail” sign attached to a speed limit sign, visible only on the drive out, which is why we had missed it on the way up.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1634 ft / 497 m
    Extra Gain:50 ft / 15 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.2 mi / 8.4 km
    Trailhead:Cerro Alto Campground  1090 ft / 332 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail

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