Parking on Cal Poly Campus costs money, so make sure you buy a parking permit at the entrance, or simply bring enough quarters to feed a meter for up to () hours at () per hour.I park in the Poly Canyon parking structure, which is only about 250 yards from the trail-head (take a left along the walkway as you exit the structure).
Once you head out along the trail, you will come to a fork after about a quarter mile. It doesn't matter which way you take, but I recommend that you cross the creek here. The trail is much easier on the other side. If you want to feel like you are on a "real hike", stay to the left on the narrow trail. Hike about 1/3 of a mile, and you will approach a stone arch. This is the entrance to the architectural graveyard.
As you walk up the path, you will step into another world. Soon you wil start to see an almost post-apocalyptic landscape (thanks to the drought, as well as the student projects) open up before you. 35 years of student-design projects (in all states of ruin, so be careful exploring) lend themselves to creating this unique hiking experience.
You will see structures that exhibit the cutting edge thinking that Cal Poly promotes. There are homes that resemble Shrek's head, a bridge-to-nowhere, a stick house, and a shell house, plus many more I'l leave for you to discover. The trail loops around to guide you throughout the grounds, but it was hard to stay on the trail due to the curiosity driving my legs.
This is a dog, kid, and bicycle friendly hike. One note, some of the graffiti that tends to raze the structures can be vulgar. Other than this blight, this hike is one of the great "hidden" gems of SLO county. Low impact, and extremely unique, this trek is well-worth the parking fee.
San Luis Obispo Blog
We look to provide ideas to get folks away from the couch, and out exploring California. We aim to provide day-trips. We want to provide suggestions of things to do, in a single day. Whether you're from out-of-town, or looking to get to know the our magnificent section of California (and beyond) a little better....we want to inspire you to explore.