Los Osos Hike to Swings and Morro Rock Overlook
Most swing sets are found in a playground, but this set of swings is found in a grove of large eucalyptus trees overlooking one of San Luis Obispo’s iconic formations: Morro Rock, the northernmost of the ancient volcanoes dubbed Nine Sisters and the only one that emerges from the ocean. Head out for a 2.5-mile (round-trip) hike featuring the swings and continuing on to Broderson Peak Trail for a premier vantage of Morro Bay. The trail starts in Los Osos and travels through Baywood Ecological Reserve up towards Broderson Peak. Hike for about a quarter of a mile before reaching the tree swings tucked in the grove. The view from the swings looks out over the long sand-spit that separates Morro Bay from the Pacific and offers a fantastic vantage of Morro Rock rising from the sea. Continue along the sandy singletrack for about half a mile before turning right up the hill that takes you to Broderson Peak. Hike up through sand dunes and across a brief section of Monterey shale rock. Along the way you’ll pass more eucalyptus groves and views of Black Hill, Cabrillo Peak, and Hollister Peak, all part of the Nine Sisters chain. At the top there are two benches: one looking out over Morro Rock and the other facing the ocean and the back side of Montaña de Oro State Park. Two cool!
TIP: Nearby Montaña de Oro State Park gets spectacular golden wildflowers in spring, but it’s also the Pacific-hugging bluffs and utterly pristine coastline that make this place a standout. Find solitude, secluded sands, wild waves, and tranquil tide pools on the 4-mile (out-and-back) Bluff Trail.
From Hwy. 101, take Los Osos Valley Rd. west until it becomes Pecho Valley Rd. in Los Osos. Continue on Pecho Valley Rd. and take the second left, onto Rodman Dr. Drive up the hill and park at the end of the street. The trail begins after a “Dead End” sign and gate. The trail meets up with what is known as Broderson Peak Trail (coming up from Los Osos). The trail you’ll take is unnamed; however, it is a clearly defined singletrack trail that is well maintained and easy to follow. Dog-friendly!
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