Explore the most popular mountain biking 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.

Great hike for one day... moderately steep uphill, with plenty vista points to view Morro Bay from the top

on Baron Ranch Trail

7 days ago

Overgrown

I went last Sunday and the gate leading to the trail was closed and it was 9 miles from the gate to where the hike started. Does anyone know if it is open yet?

Trail has a moderate climb and is very rocky. Beautiful natural landscape and creek views.

Beautiful hike! Great views of the river and valley. Hard to follow the trail on the way down though.

Great wildflowers. Steep at times. Better than sneakers is preferable. Poles would be good idea unless you are very fit or light on your feet. Outstanding views from top but very nice views throughout the hike.

(Now I have to hike down...)

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

25 days ago

Good moderate hike. Some sun exposure so depending on your comfort pick an early time!

l would recommend to go all the way to reyes peak for the amazing view.Take enough water and go very early in the morning it may take you almost a whole day round trip. It gets hard at times because of the uphill, but it is very walkable don't get discouraged. battery on my phone died very quickly up there.But it was worth it.

Beautiful especially when you get into the big trees with interspersed boulders. Hike is about 10 miles round trip when you go all the way to Pine Mountain Ridge road.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

It was my first time hiking in the Santa Barbara area and I really liked this hike. I think it could have been a 5 star hike if I had hiked it on a clear day.

Parking- we easily found parking along the side of the road on the right side near the trailhead...which is on the left side of the road

Trail- the sign at the start states that the trail is 4.2 miles with 641 ft of elevation gain...not sure what that is based on, but if you are like me and wish to take this trail to Inspiration Point and back it was 7.1 miles for me with an elevation gain of 1,600 ft...so quite a bit of difference there; the trail is easy to follow and the first 1.5 goes north and sticks close to the creek and the water was running with some recent rain; the trail then leaves the trees and heads in a NE direction through a more open sort of grassland area and you will cross a road and some private property nearby and then the incline kicks in for the final mile or so with some switchbacks up to Inspiration Point...which I didn't see any signs but I had my app to verify we had made it there and there were some other hikers there already but sadly there was no view to enjoy since it was an extremely overcast and foggy morning (4/2/18) and visibility was maybe 200 yards so there was no view of the ocean or island sadly; the hike was green, with the sound of running water for most of the time, and great views of the mountains to the northeast...I just wished we could have seen the ocean...FYI dogs are allowed on this trail off leash which doesn't bother me but might bother some

*the second half of the hike we really worked up a sweat not only because it was steeper but it was very humid and there was a light mist/drizzle

Of course bring plenty of water and hiking shoes or shoes with good traction, trekking poles are not needed for this hike. Plan on this hike taking about 3-4 hours. I would rate this as moderately difficult.

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!

hiking
1 month ago

I went on a very misty/foggy day so the views at the top of Inspiration point weren't that great, but the journey there and back made up for it! Lots of ravines, boulders, wooded streams, and then the winding turns making your way up the mountain made for a great walk. The last mile or two have very little shade so bring sun protection and plenty of water.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great hike if you're looking for a moderately difficult hike, nothing fancy. Parts of it are challenging enough to make you sweat, it's easy to follow, and there's a rewarding view at the top. We hiked it midday on a Friday and the trail wasn't too busy. It's very well marked. The creeks were flowing and the foliage was lush, but this is early April so I expect it will be dry as a bone later in the summer. Speaking of foliage, there's a ton of poison oak so keep an eye out if you have little ones. My 4 little guys (ages 4-9) hiked it no problem, tho we had to constantly remind them to avoid the poison oak. Parking was really easy too, just along the road opposite the filtration plant. I'd recommend starting early and packing plenty of water.

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

Nice leisure walk

hiking
1 month ago

I’ve loved this trail for years. It is enough of a challenge to make you feel like you accomplished something. I love the pace of it and the carried terrain. If it has rained you might find some mud, but the creek will be flowing and provide amazing acoustics for your hike. I love to do this with friends and even the preteens like this one! Highly recommend, and start at the water treatment if you want to cut it to 6.6 miles and about 1500’ of elevation.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

kool hike friendly vibe easy access to parking✌

trail running
2 months 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!

This hike was perfect for my family. The views are amazing and start almost immediately. Parking is limited and fencing is thin barbwire which was fine for everyone except my 3 year old.

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.

Load More