Hiking Trails

Washburn Campground Trails

Highway 1 Discovery Route Hiking Trails begin at the Washburn Campground. 

Directions: Washburn Campground Trails are north of Cambria on the right just before you get to the San Simeon State Park Beach Campground. 
Start clocking your destinations here.

A 3.3 mile trail runs through parts of the San Simeon Natural Preserve and the Washburn Campground. The trail includes scenic overlooks, rest-stop benches and interpretive panels with information on wildlife and habitat. A portion of the trail along the seasonal wetland is wheelchair accessible.  The boardwalk is a good start, but an excellent trail begins at its end and continues south across the wetland and up into the pine trees. There is a side trail to an overlook above San Simeon Creek and the Park. The main trail then cuts north along the shady side of a bluff, crossing a creek or boggy area on another walk, then up a long hill to the upper State Park camping area. From here one can either cut left along the east side of the campsites and down along the road to the starting point, or to extend the walk continue through the narrow stile to a larger loop east, north and down to a eucalyptus grove, then back to the starting point.  Moderate hike.  Approximately 3 miles. 

Santa Rosa Creek Preserve is an area which includes valuable riparian forests and coastal wetlands that provide habitat for endangered Tidewater Goby.

San Simeon Natural Preserveconsists of vast wetlands, riparian areas and several undisturbed native plant communities including unique mima mound topography. The Preserve is also the wintering site for monarch butterfly populations.

The 13.7 acrePa-nu Cultural Preserve contains the most significant archeological site within San Simeon State Park. The site has been dated to 5,850 years before the present and it contains significant evidence documenting prehistoric technology, subsistence practices and social organization over the course of several centuries.

Moonstone Beach Boardwalk (North and South Entrance)

Directions: (north entrance) Return to Highway 1, turn left onto Highway 1, then right onto Moonstone Beach Drive.  Just past Leffingwell Landing State Park is the entrance to the north end of the Boardwalk.
1.1 miles from the Washburn Campground Trails

Directions: (south entrance) Follow Moonstone Beach Drive south.  The southern entrance to the Boardwalk is at the dirt parking area before El Colibri hotel.
1.5 miles from the north entrance of Moonstone Beach Boardwalk

Explore sandy beaches and rocky tide pools on a 2.85 mile round trip hike down Moonstone Beach Boardwalk, crossing a pristine beach that is preserved by Hearst San Simeon State Park. There is only 40 feet of elevation change over the level and easy trail. Explore tide pools or walk across the sand on Moonstone Beach to add variety to this beautiful oceanfront stroll.

Start at the Boardwalk from the free parking areas at either end. To discover the ocean views, start from the south end of the trail, just off Highway 1 at the Windsor Boulevard. Exit near the beginning of Moonstone Beach Drive. Hike northwest beneath pines and cypress trees along the Santa Rosa Creek. After 0.2 miles, you will spot the Santa Rosa Creek lagoon at the mouth of the creek, separated from the ocean by a line of sand during the summer and fall months. The creek flows to the ocean following first rains each year. The wood Boardwalk progresses alongside the estuary where you can spot ducks and snowy egrets and other abundant wildlife. The Boardwalk continues north approximately 1 mile to the bridge at Leffingwell Landing State Park.

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve (North Entrance – Bluff Trail)

Directions: Return to Moonstone Beach Drive going south, turn right onto Windsor Boulevard. Follow Windsor past Shamel Community Park into Seaclift Estates where it dead-ends. This is the north Bluff Trail entrance of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.
1 mile from Moonstone Beach South Entrance 

This 436 acre property has a wonderful history and is home to a number of endangered species and species of special concern. The most outstanding natural feature of the preserve is the dramatic ocean bluff that runs more than a mile along the shoreline that rests within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary where in season you can view migrating whales, elephant seals and other ocean mammals. This property was purchased by the community to preserve it from development and is open to the public for hiking and biking. There are several trails throughout the ranch property; most are easy, but some are slightly more difficult. The main entrance to the Ranch is the Bluff Trail which is a boardwalk that meanders approx. 40’ above the coastal bluff from Windsor Boulevard, north and south. There is a kiosk at each Bluff Trail entrance with brochures and maps about the Ranch.

The main trail is the Marine Terrace Trail, which is an emergency services road that crosses the Ranch. The Bluff Ridge and Santa Rosa Creek East trails are slated to accommodate disabled visitors. The Bluff Ridge trail is ADA accessible for a short way and the Santa Rosa Creek trail, though currently not ADA accessible, it will soon be. There are other trails illustrated on a map on the Fiscalini Ranch website listed below.

Several of the smaller trails crisscross the entire Ranch including through the forest. Most of the trails are hard dirt except in the rainy season when some mud and puddles need to be navigated. In the spring there is an abundance of wildflowers. There are several benches located along the trails. Each bench is a unique piece of art and offers views of the ocean. There is parking at both ends of the Bluff Trail. Other trails have parking in residential neighborhoods. Dogs on leashes and horses in small groups by permit are allowed on some trails. (Call 805-909-1234 for permission to ride).

For more detail about this Ranch and its interesting history, view the Friends of Fiscalini Ranch Preserve website at www.ffrpcambria.org. Refer to map for North, East and South entrances.

Santa Rosa Creek Trail

Directions: Return on Windsor Boulevard north until you see the Cambria Water Treatment Plant on the right, pull in and park. The trail is straight ahead on the right.
.9 miles from the north entrance of Fiscalini Ranch Preserve

Before you reach the Windsor Boulevard bridge and Highway 1, there is a wide trail to the right near the Water Treatment Plant that runs along and above the west side of Santa Rosa Creek. Wet in winter with two steep portions. The trail goes up the hill to Huntington Road (between addresses 678 and 682). Distance: approximately 3/4 miles each way. Moderately difficult portions.   This trail reaches the Fiscalini Ranch near the Ridge trail.

Fern Canyon Henry Kluck Memorial Trail

Directions: Return to Highway 1 going south, turn right onto Burton Drive, right onto Fern Drive. Follow Fern Drive to the bottom of Fern Canyon and on the left is a marker for the beginning of the trail.
1 mile from the Santa Rosa Creek Trail

At the other end of the trail is Camborne PIace (off Ardath Drive, near Burton Drive).  This trail passes through Fern Canyon, crosses Fern Drive and dead ends in a chaparral near Highway 1. Distance: approximately 3/4 miles each way.  Easy hike.

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve (Marlborough Entrance)

Directions: Take Fern Drive uphill to the left onto Amherst Place, zig-zag left then right remaining on Amherst Place.  Then turn left onto Trenton Drive, right onto Warren Road, left onto Orlando Drive and a left onto Marlborough until it ends.
.9 miles from Fern Canyon Henry Kluck Memorial Trail

See Fiscalini Ranch Preserve North Entrance for details on the Ranch trails.

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve – South Entrance 

Directions: Take Marlborough back to Wedgewood, and turn right onto Wedgewood.  Take a right onto Windsor Boulevard which dead ends at the South Entrance of the Ranch. 
.2 miles from Marlborough entrance to Fiscalini Ranch Preserve

See Fiscalini Ranch Preserve North Entrance for details on the Ranch trails.

Strawberry Canyon Trail 

Directions: Take Windsor Boulevard south.  Turn left onto Drake Street, left onto Ardath Drive, right onto Burton Drive, left onto Orville Avenue, curve right at Orville Place remaining on Orville Avenue, right onto Kay Street and park at Burton Drive.  Strawberry Canyon entrance is straight ahead.
1.6 miles from the south entrance of Fiscalini Ranch Preserve

The Strawberry Canyon trail is a large loop.  It is a secluded trail where you walk among towering pines.

Berry Trail

Directions: From Kay Street turn right onto Burton Drive. Take Burton Drive across Highway 1.  After Burton curves to the right, take a left onto Patterson Place at the Cambria Pines Lodge, then left onto Yorkshire Drive, right onto Martingale Road, left onto Rogers Drive, and left onto Pine Court to the end of the road.
1.3 miles from Strawberry Canyon Trail

At the end of Pine Court there is a steep, unimproved trail connecting with Rodeo Grounds Road 100 yards west of the Burton Drive bridge over Santa Rosa Creek. Moderate hike.

Schoolhouse Lane Trail

Directions: From Pine Court return to Rogers Drive and turn right, then right again onto Martingale Road, left onto Yorkshire Drive, right onto Patterson Place and left onto Burton Drive.  At Eton Road (Burton Drive goes left, Eton Road goes right) take a right, then a left onto Schoolhouse Lane.  To the field left of Santa Lucia Middle School.  It is fenced but the gate is always open.
.6 miles from Berry Trail

To the left of the Santa Lucia Middle School on Schoolhouse Lane is a gateway to a trail that weaves its way down to the industrial “Tin City” area of Cambria.  It weaves through the pines and overlooks Burton Drive, Santa Rosa Creek and into the downtown area of Cambria.

Burton Drive Trail

Directions: Take Schoolhouse Lane back toward Eton Road, turn right onto Eton Road.  At the Cambria Nursery is the beginning of the trail.  It parallels Burton Drive on the outside of the guardrail to the left of the entrance to the nursery.
.15 miles from Schoolhouse Lane Trail

From the intersection of Burton Drive and Eton Road, there is a trail on the outside of the guard rail down Burton Drive to the bridge over Santa Rosa Creek.  Approximately 1/2 mile each way.

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve – East Entrance

Directions: The East entrance to Fiscalini Ranch Preserve is on the Rodeo Grounds. At the base of Burton Drive, turn left before the bridge and follow the dirt road to the end. There is a gate to the left which is the East Entrance.
.6 miles from Burton Drive Trail

An additional entrance to the East Ranch may be accessed from Main Street by a bridge next to the Bluebird Motel.
.8 miles from Burton Drive Trail

See Fiscalini Ranch Preserve North Entrance for details on the Ranch trails.

Highway Closures

Highway 1 Closure

If you're heading to the Central Coast, be sure to be mindful of the stretch of Highway 1, 21 miles north of Cambria. Caltrans is busy with a major construction project to make traveling along the stunning Pacific Coast Highway a safer journey.

Highway 1 Storm Repair Along the Big Sur Coast Due to multiple active slides, State Route 1 is now closed between Ragged Pt. (SLO 72.87) and just south of Nepenthe (Mon 44).

Worried about Highway 1 Road Closures? Cambria and Hearst Castle are easily accessible from Highway 46 West from 101 South of Paso Robles or from northbound Highway 1 from the city of San Luis Obispo. Travelers from the north can easily take Highway 101 as an alternate route to Highway 1, which reduces travel time to Cambria by about 25 minutes.

For the latest road closure information visit the Caltrans website.