WHAT TO BRING:
- Hiking boots
- long-sleeved t
- Pants & shorts
Hiking Madonna is without a doubt one of the most undervalued hikes in all of Slo County. Depending on where you are located, the walk to the trailhead can be one of two things; a massive Bit#@ or a short stroll. If you are on the Northside of the base then you’re definitely chilling, otherwise you’re screwed.
Upon arriving at the trailhead you have been granted several different options; to set your dog free and skip through the tall off-trail grass, take a long water break (because the hill you just walked up leaves you thinking you should turn around), or to continue onward. Normally you see people doing all three, however sometimes you see some unhappy hikers turning around.
The trail weaves in and out of a Narnia styled forest scattered with beautiful wildflowers and Mother Natures children. You pop out of the forest several different times in which you always see a perfect 180 degree view of San Luis Obispo.
After a series of switchbacks and narrow trails you will find yourself at the top, with your jaw dropped to the floor.
The 360 degree view at the peak adds a new perspective to your views on San Luis Obispo. Not only do you realize how ominous the Mens Colony looks as it shines its dark orange light into the sky, but you will realize if you focus long enough you can see the Morro Bay smokestacks and the Pacific Ocean beyond.
“The view is amazing once you get halfway up the mountain and it only gets better and better,” said Austin Ralph, Cal Poly Senior.
Austin, and his friend Tyler Yee from the University of Hawaii, always hike Madonna when they find the time. Tyler’s favorite part about visiting Austin in Slo is hiking Madonna.
“It’s the most amazing hike. I feel connected with nature every step I take… So peaceful and relaxing.” Said Tyler.
The first time he made the climb he met the most beautiful view he had seen… ever.
“The more I go the more I want to come back,” Cal Poly senior Alex Erler chuckles, “So, I’m pretty much there everyday.”
Alex, an avid hiker of the greater San Luis Obispo area strongly recommends this hike to anyone looking for something to do.. even on a rainy day!
This hike should take no more than two hours even if you stop a hundred times to take photo’s and move at the pace of a snail. Get out there and enjoy the weather. Madonna is waiting for you.