July 2007 Pictures from
The Pecho Coast Trail

Taken by Jim Zimmerlin

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On a beautiful day in July of 2007 I made the several mile trek along the Pecho Coast Trail to the lighthouse at Point San Luis, near Avila Beach, California.

For years, this area was off limits to the public due to security concerns...  it sits in the buffer zone that surrounds the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.  During the 1990's, however, PG&E and a unique partnership of government and non-profit groups teamed up to restore some limited public access to the trail and the lighthouse.

The Pecho Coast Trail begins from the area near the entrance to Diablo Canyon, and takes you up in to the hills overlooking the Port San Luis Harbor and around the point to where the lighthouse sits.  The views are spectacular!

Here are some pictures I snapped during the hike, using my Canon Digital Rebel XTi camera...

Fog over Port San Luis
As our hike began, there was still a little fog lingering over Port San Luis


A hike on the Pecho Coast Trail
As long as you're in reasonably decent physical shape, the hike is no problem.
This is a short downhill section heading towards the Harford Pier.


Picture of Port San Luis California
Looking back at the Harford Pier and Port San Luis.
You can see the fog had almost completely cleared at this point.


Port San Luis framed by oak trees
There's a bench where you can sit and look at this beautiful view of the pier framed by the oak trees.
There's a restaurant at the end of the pier.  After the hike, it's a good place for a nice meal.


another view of Port San Luis
If you look real carefully, you can see not just one but three piers in this photo:
In the foreground, it's Harford pier (often misspelled as Hartford pier)
In the distance you can see the Cal Poly pier (formerly known as the Unocal pier)
and way back in the background you can barely see the Avila Beach pier


Hiking above Port San Luis
There are many great photo opportunities on the hike.
Here's our group stopping to take in the view of the harbor.


Port San Luis
On the left you can see pens where salmon are raised.
The big rock on the right is Smith Island.  Many years ago there was a house on it.


Photo of the breakwater at Port San Luis, California
Just before making the final descent down to the lighthouse,
you get a really nice view of the breakwater at Point San Luis.


The Point San Luis Lighthouse
This was our destination...  the old lighthouse at Point San Luis.
The light itself is no longer active, but the building is being restored.


Inside the lighthouse
A restored room inside the old lighthouse building.


clowning around on a rope swing
One of my favorite parts of visiting the lighthouse is using a rope swing hung from a huge tree there.
This is Ken, one of my co-workers, clowning around on the swing.
It was not as dangerous as the way it may appear to you in the photo!


The ladies
Erin, second from the right, was the one who suggested we all go on this hike together.
Great idea, Erin!


Erin and Mike
Mike and Erin pose for a picture
They got married a few years after this


Cindy and Ken
Ken and Cindy
There must have been love in the air that day, because they ended up getting married, too!


Cher and Terry
Cher and Terry, with Karen in the background


group photo
If I caption this photo "girls having fun" will it increase my Google ranking?

You can see some interesting overhead views of the lighthouse area here

Learn more about the Pecho Coast Trail here and here

The general public is welcome on the Pecho Coast Trail,
but only on pre-arranged hikes led by trained docents.
These hikes occur twice each week throughout the entire year.
Call (805) 541-TREK to be included in a future hike.

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