Approximately 1.5 hours north of San Luis Obispo, lies a granite playground to explore. By going across the Fort Hunter Liggett training grounds, you will access some pristine swatches of the Los Padres National Forest.
At one time, shortly after 9/11/01, you had to pass through a security checkpoint to access this natural wonder. These days they've done away with the pat-downs, allowing you to pass by tanks firing, troops organizing, even a mini Baghdad (with flipped over cars, like a movie set) unimpeded by security forces. While you're passing through the Army base, you'll also have the opportunity to see Mission San Antonio de Padua, but that's for another article.
Upon entering the Los Padres National Forest, you are immediately greeted by your first creek crossing. Mid-summer (or unfortunately all year during this drought) you can drive across the Arroyo Seco river, without getting your tires wet sometimes. After a rain, (we were there a week after our last storm, and it was fine) it can become anywhere from dicey, to impassible. They will barricade the road, if it poses a danger.
You will start to notice the landscape gradually change from rolling hills with oaks, to pine trees, and then back again. As gradually as the flora ebbs, so does the terrain.
Eventually, you round a bend to be greeted by granite monoliths. Parking can be sketchy between the first trail head and Indians campground. If you can find a safe point to pull over, take advantage of it. The angle of the granite allows you to get up high enough an amazing view. In no time at all, you will find yourself up so high, it will make your knees weak.
The Arroyo Seco campgrounds themselves are rather small, and on a first come - first served basis. The river runs through the campground, which is nestled in among the oaks. whether you set up camp, or simply grab a picnic on one of the day-use tables, make sure to head up the road another quarter mile (or so), and experience the swimming hole.
As either a day-trip to explore, or a weekend camp out. On foot, or on horseback. With close friends, or the kids. "Indians" can fill all your back-country adventure needs!
47600 Arroyo Seco Rd, Greenfield, CA 93927
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.