While I was living in San Luis Obispo I would frequently climb Mt Madonna. The trail head was less than two miles from my place which made it an ideal natural free gym for an early morning hike. The entire trip to the top and back is 3.9 miles, and there is a thousand foot elevation change. From the top you will find some amazing views.  I used to have a meetup group and this was one of my regular hikes.  Few people will join you for a 5am hike.

Here are some pictures from my adventures.
The trailhead.. usually parking was available.
The first incline.
Sometimes rain causes ruts in the trail.
The trail
Looking southeast towards the sunrise.
Looking west toward the sea.
Bishops peak and SLO
Housing developments to the west.
Spectacular views.
Mt Bishop from Madonna.
SLO at twilight.
Shadow of Madonna.
The last few feet to the top.
At the top at last!