Treadmill Rating (out of 10):
Distance: 2.5 miles (total)
Max Elevation: 1,500 feet
Map Of Lookout Hill in San Luis Obispo
Lookout Hill is also known as High School Hill, Murray Hill, and it is part of the Reservoir Canyon Trail in San Luis Obispo and is by far one of the best training hikes in San Luis Obispo County. It is relatively short, but it has a steep incline that will really give you a powerful cardio workout. I highly recommend this hike to anyone who is preparing a high mountain adventure. Lookout Hill will get the blood flowing and offers up some of the best views of the San Luis Obispo area. At the top you will make a left hand turn and follow the ridge line until you reach the orange lookout tower.
If you make a slight detour at the top of the mountain (take a right instead of a left), you will be treated to a custom built thrown that a father built to honor his son. It is a beautiful tribute to someone who loved the outdoors. I highly recommend the detour.
The trail head is well hidden from the beaten path. But, once you are there, you are in for a treat. The trail head was recently rennovated and offers a nice strole through some beautiful cactus fields (don’t worry there is a small fence to keep them from sticking you). The trail head is just off of Lizzie Street (crossing Johnson) in San Luis Obispo. If you are familiar with the area you will notice it is right behind the old junior high school. There is always plenty of parking and ususally the weather is fantastic year round.
Make sure you bring enough water as your body will need the fluid at the top. You will be sweating.
HOW TECHNICAL IS THE HIKE?
This hike does not offer any technical difficulties. So, it is safe for the novice (or young) hiker. I have taken my youngest son on the hike (7 years old) and he did great. Just make sure you have a good gauge on your cardio and know when to stop and take a break. The trail is farily well maintained, but make sure you are wearing proper boots or shoes.
WHO CAN DO THIS HIKE?
As I mentioned, I have taken my 7 year old son on this hike and he had a great time so it is suitable for all ages and technical levels. Just make sure you are prepared for the cardio work out you will be getting from the steep incline of the trail. It isn’t dangerous, just steep enough to get a good workout.
WHEN SHOULD I GO?
One of the best parts about this hike is its availability year round. The absolute best time to go is during the late fall or early spring. There are some tremendous photo opportunities at the top. But, you can take this trail at any time of the year (weather permitting). I would not recommend doing this hike during the rain. The best time of the day for this hike is in the early morning or late afternoon. The only problem with the morning is in the event of thick fog (which is frequent in the summer). You will be amazed at the different temperate zones on this hike.
This is a nice uphill hike. I would recommend getting on the old tredmill or eliptical and using them at a higher level of difficulty. You want to make sure your legs and lungs are prepared for the hike.