Hiking Challenge – Lopez Lake Duna Vista

By Shannon Gurnee
In Beauty
September 17, 2014




Week 21 - Lopez Lake Hike


It’s been a while since I’ve written about my hiking adventures, and my hikes have been few and far between over the last 4 months. I plan on catching you all up in the coming weeks with the handful of hikes I did go on over the summer; however I thought I’d tell you why I had to adjust my hiking challenge. For those of you who follow my posts, and know me then you’d know that I am living with Multiple Sclerosis. I’ve been lucky to have been pretty healthy since my diagnosis in 2006. I am currently on the tail end of what they call a flare up. Back in May I went numb from the neck down and almost lost the full use of my hands. I was instructed not to get hot or workout, and to rest. I could only sit still for so long, but by the grace of God – I am almost back to normal. If you wish to read more about my experiences with MS, you can read them here

Week 21 - Lopez Lake Hike

Week 21 - Lopez Lake Hike

This hike that I’m currently writing about was back in May. Arleena and I got several recommendations to go out to Lopez Lake and check out the abundance of hiking trails they have out there. Be aware that there is a $10 entrance fee for Lopez Lake (I have since heard of a way to hike into the park to avoid fees) for a day pass, but there is camping there as well as the Mustang Waterpark so you can make your time there into an all day adventure.

Week 21 - Lopez Lake Hike

Week 21 - Lopez Lake Hike

We chose the Duna Vista Loop thinking we might be able to see the Grover Beach Sand Dunes and ocean from the top. If only we were so lucky to have completed the trek. One thing about being out by the lake is that you will encounter wild animals…many wild animals. We saw wild turkeys, cute little bunnies, and a ton of large bear tracks. We are not talking about one or two footprints, there were so many going every which way that we couldn’t tell if the bears were coming or going. Now, these trails out at the lake are pretty empty. We didn’t see anyone once we left the paved street and we weren’t carrying any form of protection or bear repellant. After we saw the sign of a recent (like within days) bear signings and the trail wanted to lead us into think brush, we decided to double back. We were not going to be bear food today.

Week 21 - Lopez Lake Hike

Week 21 - Lopez Lake Hike

Week 21 - Lopez Lake Hike

Week 21 - Lopez Lake Hike

Week 21 - Lopez Lake Hike

Along our short trip we camp across Camp French, a delightful area founded and operated by the Los Padres Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Week 21 - Lopez Lake Hike

Week 21 - Lopez Lake Hike

Week 21 - Lopez Lake Hike

Maybe during the winter when the bears are hibernating will we adventure back out to these trails?

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 10.29.36 PM

My thoughts:

Difficulty: 2 (out of 10)

Beauty:  6 (out of 10)

Distance: 3.63 Miles

Time: 1:13:48

Elevation Gain: 80’

Worth It? Depends if you’re willing to possibly encounter a bear

Rating:   2 Stars (out of 5)

About Has 1342 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of RedheadMom 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.

4 Responses to “Hiking Challenge – Lopez Lake Duna Vista”

  1. Cynthia R says:

    I haven’t done much hiking but it looks like from the pictures, you got to see a variety of landscapes between the tress, lake, mountain views, and sandy areas. cool day trip!

    • Caroline Hileman-Schaffer says:

      Thanks, Cynthia! There’s so much diverse landscape especially out here in CA – really enjoying exploring it all.

  2. Julie Wood says:

    Really looks like a great place to take a Hike. The scenery is pretty and the trail looks long and winding. I could walk a couple of miles, but not 7 miles. That is a good hike though!

    • caroline schaffer says:

      We didn’t do the 7 miles either! But you’d be surprised when you’re not walking a constant incline how fast the miles add up when you’re walking with a friend.

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