Elfin Forest Natural Area Trail

EASY 27 reviews
#3 of 10 trails in

Elfin Forest Natural Area Trail is a 1.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near San Luis Obispo, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

1.1 miles
65 feet

dog friendly

kid friendly



nature trips




wild flowers


washed out

2 days ago

I used to go down here when I lived in Los Osos. Easy trail that borders the estuary. Just watch out for Poison oak. Moderate traffic and is always cool.

15 days ago

I was looking for a very flat trail for my wife who is recovering from a hip injury. This unique trail is entirely on boardwalks built overground, I suppose to help prevent damage to the terrain. Great variety of flora that was often labeled. Nice view of the wetland area on the south end of the bay. Many benches that we used so my wife could rest. This trail is for everyone.

17 days ago

24 days ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

pretty walk

1 month ago

2 months ago

Easy walk. Great view.

2 months ago

This is an easy leisurely walk. There are a lot of beautiful plant species to look at. It's a loop and really can't get lost. It's especially great if you are wanting to have a "photography walk" and channel your inner Ansel Adams ;-) There are great views towards the West of the ocean, and Morro Rock can be seen from the view points. It was very enjoyable and very scenic.

2 months ago

4 months ago

Nice stroll along a boardwalk with signs & plenty of areas to sit & enjoy the scenery.

7 months ago

This is definitely more of a nature trail than a hike. It's just on the edge of Los Osos, overlooking Morro rock.

We hiked this trail in December on a weekday, but unfortunately the trail was still busy. It seemed to be commonly used for not only hiking, but also for dog walking and running. We also saw families with kids, whose parents were allowing them to climb all over the ancient Pygmy Oaks, despite the clear instructions that this was not allowed. Honestly this lack of caring in helping to preserve this mini ecosystem put a damper on this hike for us.

The trail is easy, featuring minimal elevation gain. The entire main loop is on a boardwalk, with optional off shoots to two lookout points over Morro rock, which were also on a boardwalk. Bring binoculars and/or a good camera because the duck population that's visible from the lookout points was awesome. Also on this hike we saw desert hummingbirds and turkey vultures overhead.

If anyone has a bee allergy, be aware that the bushes on the sides of the trail toward the middle of the loop are full of them. They didn't bother us, but the sheer number of them was startling.

All in all I liked this hike, but there are other more secluded hikes in the area to see Pygmy Oaks. The lookout points were cool thou.

8 months ago

8 months ago

Friday, August 19, 2016

This is really more of a stroll than a hike, but the views are amazing. Great views of the bay, the estuary, and Morro Rock. The boardwalk makes this walk quite accessible, we passed someone in a motorized wheelchair, so I'm sure strollers would have no problem. There are only a few parking spots at the trailhead, but there is street parking.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

This was a nice little walk to take my three-year old on. It's a very easy walk on a boardwalk, but the plants are interesting to look at, and there is a cool little grove of trees hidden about halfway through, with a bench in the shade. I wouldn't take this hike for exercise, but for a nice walk or if you have kids, it's perfect.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Great views and wild flowers.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Beautiful area! We met a gorgeous coyote on the boardwalk - he just went around us.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sunday, September 28, 2014