Ah, what could be finer than a night beneath the pines and oaks at a cozy campground in Los Padres National Forest? A peaceful camping experience awaits at Cerro Alto Campground, located just off Route 41 between Morro Bay and Atascadero in San Luis Obispo County. The year-round campground has 22 sites spread out along a mile-long road in an oak-shaded canyon below Cerro Alto.
Sites at Cerro Alto Campground are fairly private and perfect for tent camping. Campsites may be reserved online or in person for 25 per night. Fire rings, charcoal grills, and picnic tables are at each site, and pit toilets and potable water spigots located throughout the campground. Some sites are situated atop stone retaining walls along the side of the road, adding extra privacy. The campground is set in a partially shaded canyon carved by the East Fork of Morro Creek. Lush vegetation enhances the feeling of isolation at Cerro Alto Campground in the Santa Lucia Ranger District of Los Padres National Forest.
The campground sits at 1,000 feet above sea level at the base of the 2,624-foot Cerro Alto, one of the highest points in San Luis Obispo County. Trails depart from the campground for the summit for a strenuous but scenic day hike. To venture beyond Cerro Alto Campground, take the short drive down to Morro Bay. Hit the beach or check out one of the great trails in Morro Bay State Park. There are plenty of great hikes around San Luis Obispo to explore.
To get to the campground: From Morro Bay, 13 miles northwest of San Luis Obispo on Highway One, take Route 41 northeast for 7.2 miles to the turnoff for Cerro Alto Campground on the right. From Atascadero, 16 miles north of San Luis Obispo on Highway 101, take Route 41 southwest for 9 miles to the turnoff for the campground on the left. Bathrooms and campsites are spread out along both sides of the road. Proceed one mile to the campground registration area at the end of the road. The trails to Cerro Alto begin from the end of the road.
Campground address: 13741 Cerro Alto Road, Los Padres National Forest, Morro Bay, CA 93442
Campground coordinates: 35.426966, -120.749323 (35° 25′ 37.07″N 120° 44′ 57.56″W)
Use the map below to view the campground and get directions:
This semi-loop bags the 2,624-foot summit of Cerro Alto, plus a scenic ridge south of the peak, for a 5.35-mile hike with 1,600 feet of elevation gain.
This 2.5-mile out and back hike summits the highest mountain in Morro Bay State Park, a 911-foot member of the Nine Sisters.
This 2-mile loop explores a short hill just east of Morro Estuary in Morro Bay State Park.
|Eagle Rock Nature Trail|
This 2.4-mile hike in El Chorro Regional Park climbs 450 feet to Eagle Rock Viewpoint for an overview of the valley between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay.
|More hikes in San Luis Obispo|
Explore other trails around San Luis Obispo including Morro Bay State Park and Montaña de Oro State Park.