SLO Docent Blog

Seth takes Cub Scouts and their parents for a Hike at Reservoir Canyon

Smiles all Day, and beautiful blue skies! Great start to our hike, everyone was there before me, an early group always makes me smile. We started off with introductions and a few safety rules, we then walked down to the waterfall to clean up the trash and admire the views. Finished with a few minutes of stretches and we were off up the trail. Progressing up the trail with a group of 14 people, many trash bags and 1 dog, saying hello to all who passed us. We were privileged to see so many types and colors of wildflowers along the trails and green hillsides. There were lots of people on the trail, for the most part the dog owners had the dogs on leash.  We did have to educate a few people as to why they need to stay on leash. Swinging underneath the old shaded trees among the iron artwork and green rolling hills was a great chance to tell some history and pick up lots of broken glass. Some people used that as the turn around point and the rest of us headed up to the top of the Mountain. We made it it there and sat in the awesome stone circle, eating snacks, admiring views of the various valleys and Morro’s surrounding us. We made it down in great time, the Cub Scouts were running down the hills with me dodging the low trees. We picked up every piece of trash we could see along the way. We stopped at the waterfall to check out the view and history and then departed to enjoy the...
Reservoir Canyon – February 13th

Reservoir Canyon – February 13th

  What an absolutely stunning day to take a great group of 22 out for a hike and one of my favorite open space areas of San Luis Obispo. The morning started off great, as we got to the parking lot and had enough spots for our group. We had 4 kids under the age of 9 with 2 dogs, a couple grandparents and some new people who had never been on the trail before. We also had a few Docents-in-training in the mix, which was nice as this was my biggest group by myself on a 6 mile hike with various skill levels . We even had a ranger with us which I absolutely loved as he informed the people who have their dogs off leash that they cannot do that. As we started we ended up in different groups, some going really quick and others going at a decent pace and then the last group checking out all of the flowers popping up as well as any wildlife. I was running between all the groups making sure everybody was good. We all took a good break at the awesome big tree with amazing views and some tin teepees, while taking turns on the swing it was at this point that a family of 9 decided that they were going to go enjoy the day and come back and tackle this another day. The rest of us headed up to the top to check out the amazing views of all the valleys and Morros, unfortunately there was fog or a fire going on to the north which was creating...
Stenner Springs November 14th

Stenner Springs November 14th

Such a beautiful day to take People for a hike, there was not a cloud in the sky , the air temperature was a little warm… we got to see a lot of woodpeckers and a few red tailed hawk and lots of cows..no flowers. Lots of history of water.. We hiked little over 3.5 miles, had great conversations about life, wildlife, history and the landscape. We had a 4 year old and a 87 year old, always great to see all walks of life. No trash out there at all, I loved that, the trails were maintained and we even had a mountain lion warning by Poly. Great group...

Reservoir Canyon October 17

Arriving at the parking lot for Reservoir Canyon there were many cars, as the weather was perfect for such a hike. Nice and cool breeze, lots of fog and no sunshine. We started off seven people strong and a very handsome blue nose pitbull (lap dog) Half of the group had not been to the top of the Canyon, proving to be a great day ahead of adventure. The trail looks like it had been freshly maintained, whatever trash there was our group picked it up as I always carry a trash bag. We picked up 17 cigarette butts, 2 glass bottles, 3 cans, lots of cord, toilet paper and misc. wrappers along the trail. I was shocked by the amount of people who have their dog off leash; and the attitude they presented was negative each time. I do not own any animals myself and seeing one of the people in our group having to deal with ignorant people, yelling she was a horrible person because she chose to own a pitbull (rescue shelter dog) Luckily 2 other groups up there had their dogs on leash, and were all smiles playing together. Conversation helped the time pass going up the 1,300 feet to the top, where it was truly fogged out, visibility maybe 500 feet. I informed the group of where the other peaks, Morros and valleys were. Some small purple and white flowers were the only colors out there on the trail, no wildlife seen unfortunately, some birds were heard chirping away above us. On the way down we had some slippery encounters; the trail was loose...

Irish Hills – Mariposa Trail Head September 19th 2015

Our group started off on a warm sunny sky morning, determined to make it up to Morro View Trail. We started with four people and one dog strong on our journey up. The start of the path started off relatively flat and in the shade, and then started to work its way up to the paved road. We came across dried up sticky monkey-flowers, sage plants, a California fuchsia and a few other colorful blooms. From the road we went up 1.7 miles to Morro View at 1,031 feet above sea level we had a great view. We took different trails up, like Quickshot and then taking a detour to the Mine Trail to imagine what once was. The trail system at Irish Hills is phenomenal; they are marked very well with names and logos for each trail. The elevation gains are your choice, as there are many options, do you want a quick lunch hike, a training hike or do you just want to check out the mines (four of them out here) There are also a few ways to get out there; you can start from the end of Madonna rd and park at the Trail head, you can go up Sterling Lane, or you can park at Perfumo Canyon and work your way up the Bog Thistle trail to Mariposa. To make an even longer hike you can start at Irish Hills and hike the Connector trail to Johnson Ranch and back. Our group finished strong and we had a great time out on the trails, hope to see you out there next...
July 11th, 2015 – Bishop Peak from Patricia TH

July 11th, 2015 – Bishop Peak from Patricia TH

Bishop Peak is still my favorite hike in San Luis Obispo, although Reservoir Canyon is right behind it. Why do I like Bishop Peak so much, well there is so much diversity of wildlife, flowers, the view and well the trails. There are three trail heads to get up to the top of the 3 Peaks, at 1,559 feet Bishops Peak is the tallest of the nine Morros. We were rewarded with a beautiful day in SLO, blue skies, slight breeze, a little warmer than average as we left from the Patricia Trail head with 950 feet of elevation gain ahead of us. Eight brave souls showed up to do the 3.5 mile hike; we met and spoke a little bit about what the hike would entail and introductions. Than we were off to the top, which you can see as you start, but than disappears into the trees. The cow pond was dry as could be, the climbers were out in a big group soaking in the warmth of the rocks, and there were a few wildflowers still out. The coffee-berry bush was very prevalent on the trail, Milk Thistles, California Buckwheat, Sticky Monkey Flower all over, Distaff Thistles on the side, Hummingbird sage was all dried up as of now. The trail up was filled with people, we said hi to everyone and let them pass us as needed, it is always nice to see people get outside. For the most part, every dog owner was adhering to the ‘new’ leash law; I educated the few who did not have them on the leash. We made it to the...
June 28th, 2015 – Lemon Grove on Cerro San Luis

June 28th, 2015 – Lemon Grove on Cerro San Luis

Summer is here and the time to hike is earlier in the morning!  So with that in mind, four hikers joined me, Slow in SLO with Jan, at 8:00 in the morning for the loop hike to the Lemon Grove on Cerro San Luis.  It was nice and foggy and cool when we started.  Four humans and one elderly dog.  In dog-years, the dog was still the oldest of our group.  As we started up the hill we noticed two things, the Peruvian Pepper trees that were planted long ago, and bags of dog poop that we hoped were going to be picked up by the dog owners when they came back down the hill!  We stayed on the main trail and went up instead of taking the loop trail to the right.  Good thing we went that way because a fifth hiker caught up with us. We all enjoyed the views of the friendly, best, most wonderful, etc., city as we made our way uphill with about a 400 foot elevation gain.  The fog burned off as we opened a gate and walked into the old lemon grove.  The Lemon Grove was replanted with 20 young lemon trees in 2014.  They are caged to protect them from browsing critters and watered via the original spring.  We hiked up to the spring and were pleased to see the water was still flowing.  Not much, but it isn’t dry.  There are still three of the original trees left.  Two of them had fruit on them.  It’s nice to see an historical site like this being restored.  Is a gazebo in...

Reservoir Canyon with Christie

Seven enthusiastic souls met me at the trailhead of Reservoir Canyon Road Saturday morning and signed in for our hike to the top.  The weather was perfect, cool and sunny.  After a brief history talk at the bottom we cruised along the creek with a female lab on her leash, leading the way. The perennial creek trickles throughout the year.  After we reached the creek crossing three beginning hikers headed back and the rest of us traveled the steep climb (about a mile and a half) straight up the ridge.  On the way up lavender godetia still bloomed on the upper bank and further up the ridge, mariposa lilies and obispo mariposa were abundant.​ This is a steep, rocky climb and all hikers should wear proper hiking shoes, with textured soles to protect from slipping on the way down.  As long as you travel slowly and place your feet carefully, this 6 plus mile hike is a challenging climb to add to your bucket list for 2015! Christie...
Slow in SLO with Jan up Stenner Creek

Slow in SLO with Jan up Stenner Creek

A small but lively group met up for a, “Slow in SLO”, hike with Jan up Stenner Creek on Saturday May 30.  After opening and closing two gates by the ranch house we were on our way up the creek, no paddle needed!  The day was beautiful and warm and clear.  The hike from the parking area is about 1 1/2 miles of gentle uphill.  We walked through golden hills, oak and bay trees, lots of star thistle and the interesting gum flower.  Stenner Creek and most of the other small springs were flowing.  After opening more gates and crossing the railroad tracks we veered left and passed by a lovely, small waterfall.  It’s so nice to hear tumbling water in this time of drought!  Hiker Marv is an old hand at trail work up Stenner Springs.  He was able to educate us about all the new trails for recreational bike riders.  It is very impressive.  The hard work and engineering that has gone into the area will provide much fun and excitement for skilled trail riders.  We decided to go a bit further beyond the Eucs to find the beginning of on older water pipeline that was tunneled under the mountains.  Again, Marv was able to tell us about many of the water pipelines that originate on the other side of the west Cuesta ridge and provide water to the SLO and Morro Bay areas.  Back down the hill at a leisurely pace with more good conversations with a great group of people.              ...
Slow In Slo with Jan

Slow In Slo with Jan

May 2, 2015  Irish Hills out to Morro View Our hike started out at the Madonna trail head with a covering of fog overhead.  Seven humans and 2 dogs showed up for the hike.  We headed up the Mariposa trail, and it is up, through the oak and poison oak and along a currently dry creek bed.  Crossed over several well-maintained bridges.  There is still a small amount of running water under one of them.  And up we went.  The farther we went the more the fog burned off.  No spectacular plant finds, but we did come across very large tom turkey.  He crossed the trail in front of us and continued to let his presence be known with loud gobbling!  It is 2+ miles out to the bench at Morro View.  We had a short rest there and were able to just see Morro Rock through the marine layer.  Down we went, a little faster than we went up.  We didn’t see our turkey friend again, however, he made sure we knew we were in his territory once again.  A very pleasant outing with good companions.  Another great day to be...

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