Review: Hiking around Bishop’s Peak in San Luis Obispo, CA

the trail

On a sunny late morning in mid September, I set off towards Bishop’s Peak in San Luis Obispo, which is a decent-sized hill/mountain/whatever featuring a number of trails up, down, and around.  Most start off pretty steeply, then either fall off or, if you’re headed to the peak, almost 1800 feet higher in elevation from the trailhead, just keep going up.

I have not done a lot of steep, sustained hikes lately so I went with a more flat route.  Starting from the Patricia Lane trailhead, I went along Felsman Loop.  This is a bit of up and down, but we’re talking mostly 30 feet from trough to crest so not too hard at all.  Due to time, I cut the loop basically in half by going across the Shady Grove trail, then back down, splitting off to the left when I reached the Cattle Pond to get back to the trailhead.  The pond, by the way, is a dry indentation in the ground.  I wonder when was the last time any cattle actually congregated there.

rock and branchIt’s an easy hike other than the inclines.  Part of the beginning of the loop is even paved, though right after you swing around the Water Tank it feels like you’re trying to circumvent security or something – you’re on a 1′ wide trail that falls off the hill quite steeply to one side, and hugs the fencing on the other.  But indeed it is the trail.

It’s a fairly exposed trail so bring sunscreen and/or a hat, though there are patches of trees that provide some shade.  Overall a nice hike, and one I wish I could have devoted more time to.  I did the loop – Felsman>Shady Grove>Felsman in about 1.5 hours, stopping for pictures along the way.

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