Pecho Coast Trail
Enjoy panoramic views of the California coastline
The Pecho Coast Trail is located on the south end of PG&E property and accessed through Avila Beach. Choose from two guided hikes, the 3.75-mile roundtrip hike to Point San Luis Lighthouse and the 8-mile roundtrip hike to Rattlesnake Canyon.
This scenic coastal trail is a joint partnership between PG&E, the California Coastal Commission and the Port San Luis Harbor District. The hike takes visitors up to the Port’s Historic Point San Luis Lighthouse. Visitors can enjoy a short docent-led tour of the lighthouse by making a $5 donation.
Pecho Coast Trail has been open for guided hikes since 1993 and is known for its panoramic views of Avila Beach. Hikers are treated to stunning landscapes while learning interesting facts from docent naturalists. Topics include the local history of the Avila Beach area and information on the Northern Chumash tribe who once inhabited the area.
The trail is home to many native plants and animals and interesting geological formations. Wildflowers are prevalent along the trail during the spring months, and California gray whales can be seen spouting offshore.
For more information about the history of the trail, the lands and the lighthouse, visit Diablo Canyon trails history.
Know before you go
The Pecho Coast Trail has a diverse terrain and can pose risks to hikers, including changing weather conditions heat exposure and an elevation change. The trail runs along steep cliffs and coastal bluffs with narrow dirt trails, steep grades (up to 45 percent), crumbling earth and possibilities of other strenuous hiking conditions.
Pecho Coast Trail is located on a rare, undeveloped area of coastline with poison oak, thistles and other vegetation that can cause discomfort. There can be wildlife in the vicinity of the trail, as well as rattlesnakes and ticks.
This docent-led hike requires a reservation.
Want to be a Docent?
Join our team of talented docent volunteers by completing our at home training course, along with in-field training with our knowledgeable docents. Its a great way to learn more about the local history and natural beauty of the area, all while hiking in one of the most beautiful spots on the Central Coast!
Plan your visit
The trail is open year-round, except on New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Lighthouse hike:
Wednesdays and Saturdays
- Rattlesnake Canyon hike:
First Monday of the Month
To preserve and maintain its unique resources, the trail is limited to 20 hikers on Mondays, 20 hikers on Wednesdays and 40 hikers on Saturdays
Avila Beach Drive, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
(35° 10′ 26.92″N 120° 45′ 21.64″W)
All hikes start at 8:45 a.m. at the Fisherman’s Memorial in Port San Luis Harbor.
Rules and regulations
Hikers meet the docents at the trailhead, sign in and check the box verifying they have viewed the waiver. By checking the waiver box, hikers acknowledge and assume all risks and waive any claims. View complete rules and regulations in advance.
Download Pecho Trail Rules and Regulations (PDF, 6.7 MB)
Download the waiver (PDF, 63 KB)