San Luis Obispo County is known for its many beautiful morros – or mountains – with views stretching out beyond the pines and into the Pacific. Out of all of the morros, Black Hill is the most accessible to summit. Black Hill is a 661-foot volcanic peak in Morro Bay State Park. The breathtaking views can be seen on a walk as short as 0.6 miles, but the hill also has the advantage of being able to be climbed at longer distances for those seeking a lengthier or more challenging trek.
Begin at the trailhead parking area at Morro Bay State Park for the brief 0.6-mile climb, which is just up the hillside from Morro Bay Golf Course. Start on the dirt trail and you will encounter an immediate junction. From there, Black Hill Trail hugs along a water tower and then drops down the hill. That route is used for those seeking the longer hike. For those seeking the shorter hike, turn left up the Black Hill until you reach the summit. There aren’t any other junctions along the way.
For the adventure-seekers looking to pursue a longer hike, you can set out from numerous different points below Black Hill. You can begin at a lower section of Black Hill trail nearby the Morro Bay State Park campground. Or, it is possible for you to hike a combination of Exercise Trail or Grove Trail. Many opt for the 1.9 mile out-and-back trek by beginning up Grove Trail from the intersection of Park View Road and State Park Road. You will find the unmarked dirt trail on the northwest side of the intersection. Once you do, start hiking up a field and through an orchard of eucalyptus trees. Continue for just over a quarter mile, then you will find an unmarked junction with Black Hill Trail. The section of the trail leading down to Park View Road splits off to the left, looking at an even less-traveled than Grove Trail. However, straight ahead, the Black Hill Trail continues up Black Hill. Take that route past a few more unmarked junction. Hike straight though an intersection with Pipeline Trail, followed quickly by yet another junction. When you finally approach a wooden gate at a T in the trail, which will be a third of a mile from the start, turn right to continue up Black Hill Trail for the rest of your course.
Black Hill trail allows for dogs and mountain bikes, so there’s no reason not to bring either or all. Regardless of which route you choose to take, the views of the dynamic Californian landscapes – including Morro Rock and Morro Bay – are some of the greatest on the West coast.