Ontario Ridge Trail

Hiked the Ontario Ridge Trail that divides Shell Beach and Avila Beach today, just to give you inlanders a chance to see the ocean. It is 2.8 miles in length, which as a rule is pretty easy. This one, though, has a some rather steep inclines. I started on the Sycamore Crest Trail that begins on the grounds of the Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort, a great place to go to soak in a secluded hillside hot tub heated with water from a volcanic hotspot below. Note: the sign at the trailhead said “Sea Crest Trail”. A few pics.

Looking to the right is Avila Beach. Just love those clouds.

Avila from the top

Avila from the top

On the other end you’ll find Shell Beach.

Shell Beach

Shell Beach

In between is the clothing optional “Pirate’s Cove”. Many a gawker has met their demise here trying to get a peek from the bluffs above.

Pirates Cove

Pirates Cove

Along the way are the fragrant chaparral herbage Artemisia and California Sage.

Artemisia

Artemisia

Sage

Sage

I also discovered an early blooming Lupine!

Lupine

Lupine

And made a hiking friend, Theodore, who zoomed right on by me on that steep slope! He was amazing!

Theodore

Theodore

Did I mention the rattler? How could I forget? As we were heading downtrail there was a bit of a kerfuffle ahead. Then someone obviously agitated approached warning of a big rattlesnake just off the trail. Others did the same. By the time we got there about 5 – 10 minutes later there was no snake to be seen. Dang! I wanted a picture. I do hope no one hurt it.

I usually avoid this trail because at the top is a complex of radio and wifi towers covered in warnings about getting too close. Yet the trail goes right through them. Really, couldn’t they have put those towers somewhere else? Here is a small part of it.

Tower

Tower

But anyway, for today, for you, Enjoy.

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8 thoughts on “Ontario Ridge Trail

  1. Wow, great pictures! I lived in SLO while attending Cal Poly and never hiked this trail. I’m feeling the need to drive up for a weekend trip to do this one!

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  2. Shell Beach has always been my favorite stop whenever I drive North. If only I was closer I’d probably explore and hike nearby areas. Thanks for taking me on your hike.

    Like

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