Explore Dog Friendly - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Mostly doing flat land trails in Austin this is fantastic change. Beautiful views all the way up, if no marine layer obviously. I've seen folks from 6 to 86 on this trail. As a side note, I lost my wallet on the trail. After realizing later, we went back and found it by a billboard fully intact. Folks here are top notch. As a plus, multiple breweries within 2 miles once you're done. Enjoy!

The Elfin Forest Natural Area Trail is an easy hike and the views are spectacular of the Central Coast and Morro Bay Estuary. If you have people visiting and you want them to go on a very easy hike, this is it. This hike of of the Elfin Forest Natural Area Trail is well worth doing, great all year long, maybe not so much in rainy season. This video was shot in the summer so very little bird life as compared to winter. Lots of wildlife if you look for it, mostly squirrels and rabbits so hawks can always be present.
A Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFO02nxPdM4-CabegFIPlow?view_as=subscriber

Such a fun trail! Great views at the top, and lots of fun things to play on. I had to keep an eye out for mountain bikers, but they were very respectful in sharing the trails. Its not too strenuous, but still enough to feel like you got a workout. I really enjoyed this loop.

Good hike not hard the elevation gain is spread out over two miles. It was overcast the day I hiked so I didn’t have much of a view from the top.

A nice easy boardwalk trail with scenic view points of Morro Rock and estuary.

A nice easy little boardwalk trail. Easy for non-walkers. Loved the variety of plants and scenic view points.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a decent hike. It was mainly foggy, so we didn’t get a chance to see the “nice” scenery. We started at 8am though, so you may want to wait until the fog lifts to actually enjoy it. The incline was fairly decent. We hiked next to a tower too, so we were able to access the Wi-Fi on our phones. Pretty chill hike!

A friend and I tried taking this for the first time. I was not prepared for all the flies. In short pants and no bug repellent. Stupid, probably, but I live nearby and have not needed insect repellent around here before. Couldn’t stop to catch your breath or take a picture without being eaten alive. Finally got so annoying we stop short of a top and went back. I will try it again when weather is different and flies gone!

Good little walk through the sand to get to the boardwalk. Views over the inlet in the bay is very beautiful.

Great afternoon hike! Most is on a clearly defined, wide trail, although there are smaller paths if you want. It is worth hiking to the very top (there is a pole to define it). Great overview of SLO!

Great elevation changes to warm you up.

Sunny, bring a hat and water, but very comfortable trail; I’d call the shorter loop easy, haven’t done the longer one so can’t rank that. Usually you’ll run into several bikers, runners, hikers, and a family or two. Very fun and casual hike

We had to climb the fence to get to the trail so we were a little hesitant at first, but the hike is a dirt road & easy to follow. It's a gradual incline with nice views of San Luis Obispo & even Morro Bay. Went in June & the smell of the wildflowers was very nice! The terrain starts off as dry grass & oak trees but at about 2 miles it changes to pine trees & more of a mountain terrain. It was a nice surprise.

hiking
3 months ago

This moderately trafficked loop trail is well marked and beautiful. Along the trail we saw numerous native birds and wild flowers. Most areas are fully sun exposed, but there are a few shaded areas in the wooded segment of the trail. Although we hiked the looped trail, I do recommend the trail for runners, also. There is a connector option on the trail that cuts through the loop to make it a shorter hike if so desired. I recommend this easy to moderate trail and make sure to bring some water.

Very enjoyable . Great views . Peaceful

Good hike with lots of sun & several shady pockets. Terrain has thin layer of loose dirt & not too rocky, so it won't be too tough on dog paws. Saw several families with young kids too.

First part easy, second part flat, third part about as steep as you can get! Going up is easy, coming down is slippery. Be careful! It was foggy for us, so the gnats were bad!

I give it 5 stars to the loop; however, my wife and I took it a but further towards Irish hills and that area was way too dry for our taste... So we'll give it 4.5; nonetheless, it was an very nice hike. We definitely recommend it..

Wonderful and peaceful hike.

This is a great, easy trail. Watch for poison oak when you get to shady areas. If you go in the spring the mustard plants and other wild flowers are amazing. I went during a holiday weekend and it wasn’t crowded. Nicely kept trail. Please clean up after your dogs and don’t leave the dog poop bags on the trail.

hiking
4 months ago

4x4 not require to access trail, but high vehicle clearance is definitely needed. In the Summer, you won't see much water, but any other time of year, the streams will be really bad. 2 weeks after a storm there were about 12 streams we crossed on the drive. Poison oak is rampant out there, as well, so be forewarned. However, the hike is fun. Far out, secluded, and has a nice payoff in the form of a rocky waterfall area where you can sit around.

Very beautiful beach but since it’s been on all trails people have started to leave trash. If your one of these people stop hiking and kill yourself you are a parasite.

This is my go to hike in SLO. I love it. Beautiful view from the top and good workout.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful hike. Some wildflowers, rolling hills, a creek, trees, and a little cave in one area. Signs made it easy to stay on the Johnson Ranch loop. My watch said it was 3.3 miles, but I looped back around a bit to make it 4. It was easy to hike quickly and run parts to get a good workout. Online it said it’s a 1hr 45 min hike, but it took me 51 minutes with a bit of jogging mixed in. I didn’t see anyone until I was over half through the hike, but it was a weekday morning.

hiking
5 months ago

Not bad of a hike, but a pretty view on the drive up. 4x4 not necessary but would recommend having a high clearance vehicle. Trail head very easy to find and clear trail. Started hike at 7am and saw 50+ salamanders on the trail. About 100ft from the waterfall, not very visible until you head back, is a trail that leads you to the top of the waterfall. Long pants/ sleeves recommended because there is a lot of poison oak/ivy that crosses into the trail. There’s a few water pools along the way that you could swim/wade in.

Very easy and beautiful nature walk.

hiking
5 months ago

Trail requires 4x4 and high water clearance. During rainy season or after a decent rain storm you cross about five streams. Once at the trail head hike is somewhat easy although some moderate climbs to get to the falls. Lots of poison oak along the trail. Wear long pants and use Technu after the hike to make sure you don’t get poison oak.

Lots of interesting bends and crossings. Beautiful scenery and a few shaded areas to break at. A nice creek area about midway. The trail is narrow in areas and frequently trafficked by people and dogs. They hills were rolling along so it didn’t seem like a big climb in any place. Well managed and allowable for bikes. There are bells and leashes available at the entrance. Great hike today!

Great hike! Beautiful!!

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