61-Week Hiking Challenge (Week 10) – Stenner Creek Trail

By Shannon Gurnee
In California
February 4, 2014

Stenner Creek Trail

I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with this past week’s hike.  Arleena chose for us to hike the Stenner Creek Trail; I think mostly due to being one of the closer and shorter trails on our list.

Stenner Creek Trail

In the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains near Cal Poly, the Stenner Creek Trail is a 3.7-mile trail (round trip) that goes through grasslands, Oak groves, and a small waterfall (it’s more like a trickle).  The trail takes you up to what they call The Eucs where some very crafty mountain bikers built a playground for themselves in a Eucalyptus grove.  These bike runs are full of banked dirt and wooden turns, jumps, berms, and other fun creations.  I believe I read somewhere that this area was created and maintained by CCCMB (Central Coast Concerned Mountain Bikers).  Their mission –

“to expand the network of sustainable and enjoyable trails in SLO County and to maintain the trails currently in use. Since 1987, we have worked with California State Parks, the National Forest Service, San Luis Obispo City, and San Luis Obispo County in designing and building new trails and in maintaining existing ones.

Help us keep the trails of SLO County open and fun to ride by joining us for trail work. Also, for good karma, be cool with others on the trail: always ride in control and don’t run over people, animals or plants.”

Stenner Creek Trail

Stenner Creek Trail

Stenner Creek Trail

I love finding new and hidden spots like this.  This is an interesting hike.  We had to go through several cattle gates, across railroad tracks, and a maze of switchbacks.  On the website the directions seem so complicated; however, once you simplify it by saying follow the creek up to the top…it then seems pretty simple.

Stenner Creek Trail - Version 2

Stenner Creek Trail

Arleena and I liked the trail even though it was super windy in the beginning.  It wasn’t difficult, but there were times we were winded.  Then we jogged down back to our car.  I think we’d do this one again.  Maybe next time we’ll bring the kids.

Stenner Creek Trail

My thoughts:

Difficulty:  4 (out of 10)

Beauty:  4 (out of 10)

Distance:  3.51 Miles

Time:  2:29

Worth It?  Yes

Rating: 3.5 Stars (out of 5)

To get to the trailhead: From the 101 Freeway in San Luis Obispo, take Highway One northwest for 1.75 miles and turn left onto Stenner Creek Road. Drive 2.25 miles to the trailhead parking area, which will be on the left, just in front of a gate blocking the road. Stenner Creek Road is only paved for the first 0.8 miles, and passes beneath a railroad bridge shortly after becoming unpaved.

Trailhead address: Stenner Creek Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

Note: Mountain bikers looking for a larger and more adventurous ride can start from Cuesta Grade along the 101 Freeway, bike down Shooters Trail through Los Padres National Forest to The Eucs, and loop down Stenner Creek Canyon to San Luis Obispo.

Stenner Creek Trail



About Has 2213 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

7 Responses to “61-Week Hiking Challenge (Week 10) – Stenner Creek Trail”

  1. How beautiful! I’m ready for warmer weather again….

    • Caroline Hileman-Schaffer says:

      Thanks Liza. What’s the weather like where you are? Are you stuck in this horrible snow storm I keep hearing about?

  2. VegThisWay says:

    Thanks Caroline for sharing your hiking experience. We here at VegThisWay are always up for discovering new trails to tackle as part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We’ll definitely have to try this one out!

  3. Chelsea says:

    Thank you for the simplified directions! I also looked at the directions on hikerspeak and felt a wave of anxiety sweep over me when I read the step by step details!

    • caroline schaffer says:

      Hi Chelsea.

      Don’t let the directions ever intimidate you because once you’re there it’s usually obvious, but in the written word it’s complicated. Happy hiking!

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