Paso Robles, California


Paso Robles is located at 35�37?36?N 120�41?24?W / 35.62667�N 120.69000�W / 35.62667; -120.69000, approximately halfway between the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Paso Robles is where the region of Southern California ends. The elevation of Paso Robles ranges from 675 to 1,100 feet (340 m), but the majority of the main downtown area of the city sits at about 740 feet (230 m) above sea level. According to the United States Census Bureau, the Paso Robles city limits contain a total land area of 19.4 sq mi (50.3 km2), 98.43% of it land and 1.57% of it water.

The topography of the area consists of gentle rolling hills on the eastern half of the city, and foothill peaks which rise in elevation to the Santa Lucia Coastal Range on the west, which are all blanketed in the Californian chaparral environment, which is mainly dry grassland and oak woodland. Simply “Paso,” as it is referred to by locals, sits on the eastern foothills of the Santa Lucia Coastal Mountain Range, which lies directly to the West of the city, and runs in a North-South direction, starting at Monterey, then runs down South to its terminus, in the San Luis Obispo area. The city is located at the southern end of the fertile Salinas River Valley, which is centered in between the Temblor Range (including the San Andreas Fault), which lie about 28 miles (45 km) to the East, and the Santa Lucia Coastal Range, which lie directly west, rising up from the city’s western border. Paso Robles sits at the border where northern San Luis Obispo County and southern Monterey County meet, and is situated roughly 24 miles (39 km), or 20 minutes, inland from the Pacific Ocean.


Paso Robles /p�s?’ro?b?lz/ (full name: El Paso de Robles ‘The Pass of the Oaks’) is a city in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States. Located on the Salinas River north of San Luis Obispo, California, the city is known for its hot springs, its abundance of wineries, production of olive oil, almond orchards, and for playing host to the California Mid-State Fair.


The Paso Robles area actually consists of two different climate types and classifications, as based on the K�ppen climate classification (KCC) system, which are KCC type BSk, a semi-arid, dry, steppe-type climate, and KCC type Csb, which is the typical, coastal Californian & ‘Mediterranean’ type. The area receives a mixture of these two types of climates, but the primary climate is defined by long, hot, dry summers and brief, cool, sometimes rainy winters. Paso Robles enjoys long-lasting, mild autumns and occasional early springs, giving the region a unique climate suitable for growing a variety of crops (ranging from primarily grapes, to olives, to almonds and other tree nuts). The city receives an average annual rainfall of about 14.71 inches (374 mm) per year, and most of this precipitation falls during winter and early spring. Paso Robles often receives less than 10 inches (250 mm) of rain per year and typically, no rain falls from May through September. Summers in Paso Robles tend to be very hot, with daily temperatures frequently exceeding 100 �F (38 �C) from late June to as late as mid September, and occasionally exceeding 110 �F (43 �C). Paso Robles’ summers feature an unusually large daytime-nighttime temperature swing, where there may be a profound temperature difference, as much as 50 �F (28 �C), between the daytime highs and the overnight lows. Winters are often very cool and moist, with daytime temperatures reaching into the low 50s�F (10 �C). Mornings and nights differ from the daytime average, as they tend to very frigid (especially in December and January), where lows reach as low as 22 �F (-6 �C). Due to the somewhat close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the marine layer occasionally makes it over the coast range and into Paso Robles, creating occasional fog. However, unlike typical California coastal marine fog in areas such as San Francisco, this fog is never long lasting, and typically burns off before 10am.

The all-time record high temperature at the National Weather Service cooperative city office was 117 �F (47 �C) on August 13, 1933. The record low temperature was 0 �F (-18 �C) on January 6, 1913, making Paso Robles the lowest elevation in California to reach that low temperature. There are an average of 81.0 days with high temperatures of 90 �F (32 �C) or higher and an average of 64.0 days with low temperatures of 32 �F (0 �C) or lower. The 30-year average (1971-2000) annual precipitation is 15.17 inches (385 mm), falling on an average of 47 days. The wettest year was 1941 with 29.19 inches (741 mm) of precipitation and the dryest year was 1947 with 4.24 inches (108 mm). The most precipitation in one month was 14.76 inches (375 mm) in January 1916. The most precipitation in 24 hours was 5.25 inches (133 mm) on December 6, 1966. Although snow is rare in Paso Robles, 4.0 inches fell on April 5, 1929, and on December 15, 1988.

At the Paso Robles FAA Airport, the record high temperature was 115 �F on June 15, 1961, and July 20, 1960. The record low temperature was 8 �F (-13 �C) on December 22, 1990. There are an average of 86.7 days with highs of 90 �F (32 �C) or higher and an average of 53.6 days with lows of 32 �F (0 �C) or lower. The 30-year average (1971-2000) annual precipitation is 12.57 inches (319 mm), falling on an average of 42 days. The wettest year was 1995 with 25.56 inches (649 mm) and the dryest year was 2007 with 4.20 inches (107 mm). The most precipitation in one month was 12.19 inches (310 mm) in January 1969. The most precipitation in 24 hours was 5.47 inches (139 mm) on March 10, 1995. The record snowfall was 4.0 inches (100 mm) on December 15, 1988.


This area of the Central Coast, known as the City of El Paso De Robles, Paso Robles or simply, “Paso,” is known for its thermal springs. The Salinan Indians lived in the area thousands of years even before the mission era. They knew this area as the “Springs” or the “Hot Springs.”

Paso Robles is located on the Rancho Paso de Robles Mexican land grant that was purchased by James and Daniel Blackburn in 1857. The land was a rest-stop for travelers of the Camino Real trail, and was known for its mineral hot springs. In fact, Franciscan priests from neighboring Mission San Miguel constructed the first mineral baths in the area. During this period, Paso Robles began to attract the pioneer settlers who would become the founding members of the community. They would later establish cattle ranches, apple and almond orchards, dairy farms, and vineyards.

In 1864, the first El Paso de Robles Hotel was constructed and featured a hot mineral springs bath house. Today, only three locations (Paso Robles Inn, River Oaks Hot Springs, and Franklin Hot Springs ) are left that offer the healing mineral bath hot spring experience which brought famous people like Ignacy Jan Paderewski to Paso Robles.