To the M | Week 8 | Peak a Week

This is the third time we’ve hiked Madonna since starting Peak a Week, tho each time has been a little different (see Week 1 and Week 5). This time we hiked to the “M” which most people think stands for Madonna, but really stands for Mission College Prep, which is near this peak’s base.

A note about the name. Everyone will know which peak you mean when you say Madonna Mountain. Even the most die-hards among us will probably slip up and call it that once in a while. This is for the Madonna Inn/Madonna Family that seem to own much of the hill and make a big splash in its south end.

Many people will call it San Luis Mountain, tho truthfully, I hear that less. We normally call it Cerro San Luis, its proper name.

This is the view from about 1/3 up, looking south down broad street. Islay Hill is off in the distance.

Halfway up, looking out

Me :)

Growing up, I always hit the trail at the base of Tassajara on the north side of the peak. But that trail isn’t used nearly as much (I wonder — has that entrance been removed?). Almost everybody enters from the Marsh Street entrance, off the 101 offramp.

The students of Mission College Prep (a private catholic high school affiliated with Mission San Luis Obispo de Telosa, our local mission) take care of it.

The M is for Mission College Prep

View near the M

I mentioned in the last hiking post that I really had a thing for Black Sage this year. It’s seemed to have bloomed more this year than I remember before (or maybe this is the year I decided to notice). The blooms are just beginning to wane.

Black sage

Black sage

On the way down, looking towards Laguna Lake.

On the way down, looking out towards Laguna

The cactus is in full bloom. (I would love to know the story of this stand of prickly pear. How did they get here? Who planted them? Why?)

Prickly pear

The fruit

Nearing the end of the trail, looking out

This isn’t really on the trail, but on the path that takes you back downtown. It just made me chuckle: a fence to keep the weeds out.

This fence cracked me up -- holding back the weeds

Week 8

Lemon Grove Loop | Week 5 | Peak a Week

Week 5 already and I love this challenge. So glad I started all of these (Peak, Beach, Sur). This week was a bit of a repeat as we did parts of trails that wind about Cerro San Luis (aka San Luis Mountain aka Madonna Mountain.). While Steve calls this Lemon Grove Loop, when I looked at maps I realized we do half of Lemon Grove Loop, jump on an alternate trail that takes us all the way around the peak and then back down the main road for a longer hike.

This was also the first group hike of my Peak a Week challenge, instigated by both Shane and Steve (thanks guys). There were eight of us (10 if you include Kirstin and Bailey who never quite caught up and ended up taking a different trail with Shane).


This is Doug.

Cami catches up

And this is Cami. At eight months, she still hustled up the hill and caught up with us even after we’d had an eight-minute or so head start.



Hiking in a grove

The group through the trees. Doug, Karen, Corinna.

The north side of the hill is my favorite, with its thick grove of oaks and such.



The view of Bishop Peak with Tom and Cami

Tom, Cami and Bishop Peak


Bishop Peak and its swath of mustard patches. I hope we get one more rain storm so we can sustain the green a bit longer. Soon this will be brown, brown, tan, and brown.

Hikers from emdot on Vimeo.

(Timelapse by Steve Akers)

Peak a Week, Week 5