Bowden Ranch a.k.a Highschool Hill

HARD 42 reviews

Bowden Ranch a.k.a Highschool Hill is a 4.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near San Luis Obispo, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.1 miles
1391 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips

trail running



wild flowers

Trail head is located at the top of Lizzy St. This is the segment that runs from the TH to the red tower located above SLO High school. Although this trail is relatively short, its rather steep and constant gradient make it somewhat taxing in the climb, and hard on the knees during descent.

9 days ago

Great trail

22 days ago

I know of two ways to get to the top from west side , which I consider the metal tower with a bell. One is very direct, you park up the street from San Luis Adult School. This hike is about one mile and fairly steep. Takes me old guy around 40 minutes. I see some younger people run up. Quite a good workout. When you get to the top, you can go left to the the metal tower or right, going right about half a mile there is another way down, which is a fire trail, it’s not as steep. You can take that back and cross over back to your starting point, or go back they way you came. You can also go up that fire trail, but there is a part where there are signs which say no trespassing but the locals seem to ignore it. This is less traveled than Bishops or Cerro.

3 months ago

Steep and somewhat rocky trail up. Tough on knees on the way back. Trekking poles will really help.

6 months ago

Hard hike but worth the effort once you get to he top.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Trail Closed :( Heads up if you're trying to go in Jan.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

I went on a day after there was a huge rain storm, but nonetheless, despite the mud and muck the view from the top was gorgeous. There is almost a complete 360 view from the end point of this hike and it was completely worth the extra 5lbs of mud stuck to my shoe!

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Great workout! It is really steep which makes the views SO rewarding!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

This trail makes for a great workout with a thousand feet of elevation gain in the first mile, or so. Once on the ridge, the walk to the north summit (beacon tower) and/or south summit (stone seating ring) is a piece of cake. From the summit(s), you have great views of the entire area... On a clear day (and most are) you can see Edna Valley, Oceano Dunes, Avila Beach, Morro Bay, much of San Luis Obispo, most of the morros, and part of Cuesta Grade (and the hills on either side). Sunsets can be spectacular up here, but make sure you give yourself time to descend the hill; the trail officially closes at dusk.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Steep and difficult trail that gives a great view of San Luis Obispo and the surrounding area. The trail is fairly narrow and gets a lot of traffic in the evening.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

it's really steep and hard but you feel AMAZING after!

Monday, May 05, 2014


Friday, March 28, 2014

This hike features beautiful open space behind SLO High and great nature and city views. It is grueling and very steep and rocky, not easy. Dogs allowed on leash.

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