Cass Hill trail is a local hike in the small town of Cayucos along the Central Coast in California.
Cass Hill trail is not very popular but it is a beautiful hike especially if you’re looking for a coastal trail that’s not very crowded.
In this post, we cover where Cayucos Cass Hill trail is located, where to park, hike difficulty, and what to expect.
About Cass Hill
I came across Cass Hill trail after searching for dog-friendly coastal hikes to do on the AllTrails hiking app. Even on this app Cass Hill trail only had a handful of reviews so we drove out to Cayucos knowing that it would be a hit or a miss – thankfully it turned out to be a hit.
Cass Hill trail is around 3 miles long if you hike the entire trail, out and back. We hiked a portion of the trail (around 1.5 miles) that leads to a beautiful viewpoint on top of Cass Hill overlooking the ocean.
From this viewpoint, hikers can see a clear view of Cayucos town, the Central Coast, and even Morro Rock in the distance.
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After the viewpoint, you can head back to the trailhead or extend the route by hiking to the end of the trail and back.
Cass Hill trail is short but it does go up a hill gaining around 500 feet in elevation so I would rate it as moderate due to the steep climb. This trail is very hot and exposed to the sun so make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen.
Map of Cass Hill Trail:
Cass Hill also overlooks the deep blue Whale Rock Reservoir behind it. This trail is especially beautiful around sunset when golden rays illuminate the never-ending hills that surround Cayucos and the nearby landscape.
Dogs are allowed on the Cayucos Cass Hill trail but do keep an eye out for wildlife like snakes and coyotes. We saw a coyote a few minutes into the hike but he ran off immediately.
Cass Hill Trail starts next to a farm so you’ll also see cows roaming around in grass fields right by the trailhead.
Location & Parking
Hikers can start the Cass Hill trail from Cayucos town on either side of the hill. If you’re coming from out of town there is a designated dirt parking lot on the northern side of Cass Hill.
The trailhead parking lot is quite large although during our visit it was empty. This is a hike that mostly Cayucos locals know about plus the occasional hiker (like us) who has stumbled upon it online.
Tip: If you’re following driving directions from AllTrails, note that it will lead you to park on the southern side of Cass Hill. This part of the hill is surrounded by residential streets that say “No Parking” so we suggest driving to the northern part of Cass Hill.
Trailhead Address: Little Cayucos Creek Rd, Cayucos, CA 93430
Hiking Cass Hill Trail
After parking at the designated trail parking lot, we walked past a wide gate and started heading up the paved road. It was our first time hiking Cass Hill so we followed the suggested route from AllTrails.
The trail started wide and clear but a few minutes in we came across several side trails and we were not sure which one to take. We figured that as long as we were going up the hill, we were going in the right direction.
The first section of the trail is the steepest and the most difficult. We were hiking straight up to the top of Cass Hill on a slippery, dry trail. The trail was very narrow covered in dry grass and bushes on both sides.
Once we started nearing the top we started getting better views of the Cayucos town and the coast. Besides the small town below us, this area was surrounded by rolling California hills as far as we could see.
After struggling up the hill we finally reached the overlook and the view was breathless. We were greeted by panoramic views of the ocean that looked especially stunning nearing the golden hour in late afternoon.
From here we could see the Cayucos Pier to the right and Morro Bay to the left. This hillside carries sound really well and we could even hear seals roaring in the ocean.
After reaching the viewpoint we took a quick break and then started heading back down to our car. If you have extra energy, you can continue on along the route to the end of the trail and back.
Due to heat and nearing sunset we decided to only hike part of it. We had already reached the best viewpoint of the trail so we turned around before the sun went down.
On the way back we took a different route for a variety in scenery. It eventually connected with the wide path at the beginning of the hike and led us back to the parking lot.
While we didn’t see any other hikers during the entire time we were there, we did run into one mountain biker near the top. This is a great trail for mountain biking because it’s rarely occupied by other people.
After the hike, we had some extra time so we drove down to Morro Bay Dog Beach just 5 minutes south of the Cass Hill trail.
Although the weather was a bit hazy from the recent fires, we got to enjoy a beautiful sunset with stunning orange and yellow colors. To the left, we could even see the giant Morro Rock standing tall in the midst of the ocean.
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