61-Week Hiking Challenge (Week 10) – 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.
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.”
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.
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.
Difficulty: 4 (out of 10)
Beauty: 4 (out of 10)
Distance: 3.51 Miles
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.