Elfin Forest Natural Area Trail

EASY 32 reviews
#3 of 12 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
32 feet

dog friendly

kid friendly



nature trips




wild flowers


washed out

2 days ago

Great view of back bay!!

nature trips
3 months ago

Nice easy walk. Get the guide for the flora and learn about the various trees. It is a special place if you stop to learn!

4 months 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.

5 months 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.

6 months ago

pretty walk

7 months ago

Easy walk. Great view.

7 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.

9 months ago

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

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

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.

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.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

This trail is a modest, flat boardwalk that networks around some miniature trees and brush. Nothing too exciting, but it gives a great view of Morro Bay and is a nice place for a family outing.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Nice and easy. Saw a Coyote checking me and my dogs out on the boardwalk this evening!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Not what I would call a hiking trail but a beautiful, family friendly nature walk. I went because I had sprained my ankle on another hike and needed something easy to get back into it. No strains or problems. Beautiful nature views of Morro Bay

Thursday, July 05, 2012

I think this is a fantastic trail. There's trash cans along the way, water and bathrooms at the top, and gorgeous views. Definitely a favorite!

Friday, June 22, 2012

This trail was a bit of a let down for me. I was expecting much more. Definitely for the family, its way more of a nature trail than anything. It was board walked. That being said. the views were very nice of Morro Bay

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Went on this trail on a weekday and it was deserted, not for serious hickers. Great for families and kids. Decent views of the Morro Bay Estuary and Morro Rock. Lots of benches and signage.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This is a great trail for a easy, simple and relaxing walk/hike.
There's usually plenty of parking (even on the weekends) on several streets which access the trail.
This walk is family/kid friendly.

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