First-time hike up Madonna Mountain

Today my hiking buddy and I decided to spend our beautiful, early morning hiking up Cerro San Luis, more commonly known as Madonna Mountain.

This was my first time up the mountain, so we did not know exactly which paths to take, but whichever way we went must have worked because we definitely made it to the top!

We began around 9:10 am, got to the top at 10:30, and finished the hike about 11:30. I would say it’s a little over a two-hour hike, but that is including all the times we stopped to take pictures and admire the view as we headed up. So, the total time could be shorter/ longer depending on your hiking style.

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The hike started at the Laguna Lake Dog Park off of Madonna Rd. At first we walked along a grassy, flat trail that was surrounded by these tiny yellow flowers that just blanketed the fields. The openness here was absolutely unreal, and my buddy even remarked that the beginning of the hike looked like a completely different country.

After sliding through some muddy spots and winding up a little (compared to the mountain itself) hill with a fun rock to play on halfway up, we made it to the bottom of Madonna Mountain.

We hiked up the backside of Madonna, with Laguna Lack at our backs pretty much the entire way up. It was a fairly steep hike, but the view from the top was worth it.

Along the way we passed many other hikers, got passed by a few bikers, and even had a run-in with a little snake in the middle of the path. I’m pretty sure it was a garter snake, but I’m not very knowledgeable on the topic of snakes, and it weaved its way out of sight before we could get a better look.

Anyway, at the very top of the mountain, there are some rocks you can climb on top of, and then the entirety of San Luis Obispo is in eyesight. It’s the perfect spot for getting breathtaking pictures. The sight up there is incredible, and we just sat and took it all in for a little while before heading back down the mountain.

The hike ended in the field of yellow flowers and an accompanying slight breeze, a peaceful ending to a picture-perfect hike.


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