Chris Gunn

A gust of wind ruffles your hair. To your left, downtown San Luis Obispo sits active and bustling with afternoon traffic. To your right, the calm of the end of Broad Street with open expanses of grassy fields, the San Luis Obispo Country Club and the airport. Directly around you weeds and wildflowers slowly climb and engulf small rocks, and a small unmarked tribute of rocks sits piled in organized disarray with a cluster of purple and yellow wildflowers at its peak.

This is a much simpler place, away from the stress of Cal Poly and daily rat race of small city life. It is calm, quiet and contemplative. The funny thing is that this place is only a 10-minute walk up the South Hills, which sits just above the neighborhood surrounding Meadow Park off South Street.

The South Hills are just one of a series of golden locations that are easily accessible, take little time to reach and offer a quiet retreat from daily life. The other two, Mount. Madonna and Bishop Peak, are just as accessible and offer even better views of not only the valley, but the beaches to the north and south as well.

There are few places more beautiful in San Luis Obispo County than these three jewels, and one must admit that they are not only totally worth your time, but a must -do as a San Luis Obispo resident or a Cal Poly student.

Too often in my time here in San Luis, I have heard people openly admit that they haven’t taken advantage of the saplendor that surrounds us and taken an afternoon to walk up Bishop Peak, let alone any other mountain in San Luis Obispo.

So I implore you, take an afternoon retreat from school, work and life in general and take a walk up one of the three mountains surrounding San Luis Obispo. It will be worth your time, I guarantee it.

Chris Gunn is a journalism senior and assistant sports editor. You can e-mail him at

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