Explore the most popular dogs on leash trails in Los Padres National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Connect with Snyder to get great views back down to the campground!!

backpacking
1 day ago

Backpacked from Rinconada trail to 101 E Cuesta Grade. Camped 1 night on Big Falls Trail, second night at Sulphur Pots. Super cool area, lots of water (dried up just above Upper Lopez Camp), just SO MUCH poison oak. Definite evidence of a trail, but hours walking through with PO all around the trail.

4-21-18, Another CaCoHP for San Luis Obispo County, at 5,106 feet. Great spring day with flowers, but nowhere near as many in a super Bloom that can happen in the Carrizo Plain. After driving the narrow dirt road up from near Selby campground, I parked at the trailhead. I biked in about 5 miles and stashed the bike and hiked the rest of the way. Great views along the ridge of Carrizo, Soda lake, the San Andreas fault, all lead to a very interesting trip. Summitting was easy, and return trip was just as enjoyable. I was the only one on the trail, granting for reflection of solitude.

This trail has amazing views of the “9 sisters” or volcanic plugs of San Luis Obispo County and other coastal areas. On a clear day you can see the Five Cities area down south. The parking lot is at the top of the Cuesta Grade and can be easy to miss. When coming from Atascadero, it is on the right just after you reach the top of “the grade” (turn into the brake check area). We always park at the bottom and hike from there, but many people drive further up the road, which results in some light traffic. There is a system of other trails connected to the main trail/road that I have not tried yet, but that look intriguing.

Steeper than you think

About 13 miles from the parking lot by ranger station to the Frazier mtn. lookout at the top. About 2700 ft incline, but its all nice and steady up. Road is paved until you get to campsite, then its dirt road with some rocks. I hiked in winter so there was nobody there except maybe 2 cars passed me by. There was about 2-3 inches of snow for last couple of miles, but nothing major. There are some beautiful views of the valley along the way, and some big pinetrees. Seen at least 2 different kinds of birds, some rabbit prints in the snow. The view from the top is also very nice. I can see this trail is really crowded in the summer mostly cars.

Came back to see the Punch Bowls. We were unaware of a sign saying it was closed, but we were allowed in. Lots of groups and families were out on the trail. It was sad to see all the damages the Thomas Fire left on and in the surrounding areas of the Punch Bowls. Despite that the Punch Bowls was still there alive and beautiful as before. A lot of scrambling on the hike due to the fire. If you’re familiar with the trail then it shouldn’t be difficult to get to the falls. The green arrows on the rocks should lead you there. Otherwise, you can follow the creek.

This trail offers a spectacular view once you reach the summit. It also is a fantastic workout and an amazing alternative to stair steppers and elliptical machines!

This is a great trail if you're looking for quick elevation gain across ~1.5 miles with beautiful views and little-to-no people. This dirt road segment of the trail is a wide path that only some trucks and ATVs can climb, making it perfect to hike up with large groups. HOWEVER, like others have said, the De Angulo Trail segment was very overgrown with Poison Oak, so I would recommend to be aware and avoid that area until it has been cleared out. We ended up hiking up just the dirt road segment and turning around just a little past the trailhead marker up the hill.

hiking
18 days ago

Very pretty! Not a very difficult hike -pretty flat. Road to the trailhead was closed so we parked and walked about a mile and a half to the trailhead. Has a couple trail signs along the way.

I love this trail!

I took the longer trail to the summit and the shorter one back to the campground. Both are worth seeing, but I preferred the longer route. Both trails are found inside the campground. The longer is further in than the short trail. There is a $10.00 fee that you can pay before the campground right as you turn off of hwy 41 or in the dirt lot at the back of the campground next to the trailhead.

It is a fairly steep trail, especially the last 1.2 miles to the top. Be sure to have shoes with decent tread on the way down. The loose gravel and incline combine to make it a bit slippery. This last leg is also very sunny. Bring sunscreen or a hat.

Great views. Too many people and unleashed dogs for my liking though.

on Franklin Trail

23 days ago

Love this trail

27 days ago

I did this hike with my boyfriend for the first time this last Sunday. I would say the hike is a challenge due to the steady incline for 4 miles straight. We got some beautiful shots on our way up but I was disappointed in the view once we reached the top. I expected more. I won’t be putting in the effort to do this hike twice.

I did this hike in late December. I started from the sea doing the hike at Ragged point inn and then continued across the road to start this hike. My legs were burning!!! At the top (where this all trails map ends), if you turn to the right and then hike straight and then after 200 yards veer off into the fields towards the right (there is a faint path you can follow), you are rewarded with a view all the way to the lighthouse and beyond!! Look for a dead tree at the top of the hill. An older gentleman told me about this when I thought I wouldn't even make it to the top. He inspired me to keep pushing and I was so grateful that I did!!

A bit hard to find trail head....after a few jaunts passing back and forth along 101, figured it out. Previous reviews mentioning the gate were helpful, to ensure we were on right trail. Initially, I was skeptical, as freeway was right below and a car was driving in the "trail"(were we on a "road"?)....after the first mile, we enjoyed the trail much more--beautiful views indeed! Wildflowers will be great and in full bloom, I imagine , within a couple of weeks. I'd like to go back and do further mileage from trails branching out from mt Lowe.

We arrived March 24, 2018 after several days of heavy rain. The security guard was turning people away as the trail was closed. No idea when they will reopen.

trail running
1 month ago

We parked at the 41 entrance and ran up the boyscout trail which is quite steep. Went through the tower road where it connected to the out and back of the Cerro Alto Loop. Amazing views of Los Osos, Morro Bay and all the peaks. Diablo, Black Hills, etc....Highly recommended!

I couldn’t find anywhere about the condition of this hike after the fire. So I went and checked it out. Same easy access to it gate is open and no one stopped us from going in and also no posted “area closed” signs. For the most part the trail along the river bed was untouched by the fire, lots of mud and rock slides Have happened though and saw a few times rocks come tumbling down while we were up there. The water is dingy and cold so we didn’t go in. The trail up the hill away from the river was also slightly washed out by mud slides and lots of fire damage that way, cool sight to see plus right now there is new green growth coming through the black and ash. I recommend it. Wear boots.

backpacking
1 month ago

Great spot to go enjoy the river in the summer. The water can get deep enough to jump off the rocks after a good rainy season. I’ve never done the whole loop, but based on the difficulty of the trek to the spur down to the river we like to take, about 2 miles from the day use parking, I’m sure it’s hot and miserable. It is also a fire road, so if I were going to do this loop without going down to the gorge, I might choose the Santa Lucia Trail instead.

love it. take the connector trail on the fire road near the start it's a great view steep....straight up...

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice short afternoon hike with spectacular Views over Santa Barbara

Fun trail. Made the mistake of thinking my novice mountain biking self could climb it on my bike. Didn't happen! pushed the bike up and enjoyed the ride down.

Nice views of the town and surrounding mountains; even better if you are a fault line buff. Nothing is marked so easy to get side tracked on the trails around the campsite. Start and stay due west of the campground. There will be a moderate climb to start the trail.

backpacking
1 month ago

Started at the Big Falls trailhead, I got there in my 2 wheel drive GMC truck, You have to drive through about 8 or 9 streams to get to the trailhead. so high clearance or 4 wheel drive vehicle works well. At the trailhead, a KIA Sorento and Ford Explorer made it. so maybe I'm just being cautious.
The trail is excellent. The creek was flowing great and the multiple crossings reminded me that I should have brought extra socks. However; about 3.5 miles up the canyon. the trail was totally overgrown. We were probably 20 minutes out from the camp. but didn't have any brush clearing tools. We turned back and crossed the creek another 10 times or so and went back to SLO for dinner.

Very sad to hear that this trail has been destroyed by the Thomas fire. This was one of the best hikes I've ever found. I hope that it will be restored within my lifetime so I can go hike this majestic trail again...

Closed due to the mud slides

An alternate route to Kennedy Ridge is open via the Wills Canyon Trailhead and then down to Rice Canyon. You simply return the way you came.

Beautiful and rustic trail with amazing scenic vistas.

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