Explore the most popular forest trails near San Luis Obispo with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great views. Tough at the top with the optional rock climbing, but worth it.

Started from Patricia drive. It was a steady uphill climb from the start. I'm 51, overweight, but still managed to get to the very top on the rocks overlooking the entire area. My hikes are mostly on flat land in Austin area so this was a bit challenging. I'd rate Bishop difficulty a 5 to Cerro San Luis 3. The 20 somethings I was with had little difficulty. Once on top, it was a worth it. Surreal views of the area were incredible! Highly recommended. As others mentioned, watch out for Poison Oak and the climb was a bit on the rocky side. I have partially torn tendons in the right foot so just had to pay close attention to each step.

Bishop Peak Trail from Highland Drive is an easy hike and the views are spectacular of the Central Coast. This hike of Bishop Peak Trail from Highland Drive is well worth doing, great all year long, maybe not so much in rainy season. This video was shot in the summer so very little of both ticks and Poison oak as hazards if you don't get too close to the sides or go off trail. Lots of wildlife if you look for it, mostly squirrels and rabbits so hawks can always be present.
Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFO02nxPdM4-CabegFIPlow?view_as=subscriber

The Elfin Forest Natural Area Trail is an easy hike and the views are spectacular of the Central Coast and Morro Bay Estuary. If you have people visiting and you want them to go on a very easy hike, this is it. This hike of of the Elfin Forest Natural Area Trail is well worth doing, great all year long, maybe not so much in rainy season. This video was shot in the summer so very little bird life as compared to winter. Lots of wildlife if you look for it, mostly squirrels and rabbits so hawks can always be present.
A Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFO02nxPdM4-CabegFIPlow?view_as=subscriber

The Bishop Peak Trail from Patricia Drive is an moderate hike and the views are spectacular of the Central Coast. This hike of of the Bishop Peak Trail from Patricia Drive is well worth doing, great all year long, maybe not so much in rainy season. This video was shot in the summer so very little of both ticks and Poison Oak as hazards if you don't get too close to the sides or go off trail. Lots of wildlife if you look for it, mostly squirrels and rabbits, so hawks can always be present.
So the heading is incorrect for these two hikes and I sent in a correction. The map for the hike starts out from PAtricia Drive not Highland. The other Bishop's Peak Trail starts from Highland.
A Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFO02nxPdM4-CabegFIPlow?view_as=subscriber

Such a good hike and great 360 views up top. Go early to avoid crowds and heat.

A nice easy boardwalk trail with scenic view points of Morro Rock and estuary.

A nice easy little boardwalk trail. Easy for non-walkers. Loved the variety of plants and scenic view points.

Good hike in winter; pretty hot in summer

Moderate to hard. Good for mountain running. gotta be cautious.

Good little walk through the sand to get to the boardwalk. Views over the inlet in the bay is very beautiful.

hiked it today got there at 8am,fogged in, but it was amazing. 4 and 1/2miles ..

The views are beautiful. I love the smell of wild rosemary along the the entire trail.

I started at Patricia, did the Felsmon loop, than connected with the Bishop peak summit. By the time an old man bicycles across town and hikes this, it's a good workout, throw in a little bouldering. Humbling, I don't care for inflated egos. Too my credit I go very slow. Went throuh 2L of water, phone needed recharging. I like the Aveenza offline map app. Find topo map, "Share" it to Aveenza, there you go, up to 3 maps free, can use store if desire. Been up this peak several times I consider this training. Also have become interested in climbing again, see how this goes.. You people should consider leaving your pooches at home, it is exposed and hot. Also watch out for poison oak, it is all over, stay on path. $20 bucks, tie me in, belay an old dude.

Great views !!

Great elevation changes to warm you up.

Hike is fun, pretty. We went in the am and it was overcast making the trail not as bad...however many big rocks throughout the whole trail. Was not a fan of the rocks but the top view is very pretty. Poison oak is not too bad just keep an eye out for little bushes hanging out! Fun hike on a cooler morning

This is one of the definitive hikes for San Luis Obispo. The views from the top are gorgeous.

Sunny, bring a hat and water, but very comfortable trail; I’d call the shorter loop easy, haven’t done the longer one so can’t rank that. Usually you’ll run into several bikers, runners, hikers, and a family or two. Very fun and casual hike

Highlight of my trip and especially great on a cloudy day when it's too cold to visit the beach. We made it up in under an hour and enjoyed climbing on the large boulders at the summit. However, be warned that there is poison oak everywhere (thanks for the tip random passerby), especially around the top. Wear long pants and enjoy the view.

hiking
2 months ago

Really special hike, with a big payoff in views and landscape for the short length. The first stretch across the pasture is mostly fire-road style and a bit of an uphill slog, but by the time you get to the forest and start switchbacking as you circle up to the summit the trail design is really nice. The rock outcrops and desert wildflowers towards the top remind me of Pinnacles NM minus the $25 entrance fee. The main drawback is that there is tons of poison oak along the path in the forested area; don't get led astray by the desire trails in this section if you don't have Tecnu with you––the right trail is the most obvious one. There's also some poison oak at the summit in around the boulders that people like to climb up for the views. I wouldn't recommend this trail for beginner hikers. I passed a few pretty grumpy folks who seemed like they thought this would be an easy break from tourist things in SLO and a nice view; the relatively quick elevation gain makes this a decent workout, and the exposed trail for most of the route means you shouldn't forget your sun protection and adequate water.

Great trail. Fairly strenuous but great views. One negative point was we had some ticks on us at the end.

hiking
2 months ago

This moderately trafficked loop trail is well marked and beautiful. Along the trail we saw numerous native birds and wild flowers. Most areas are fully sun exposed, but there are a few shaded areas in the wooded segment of the trail. Although we hiked the looped trail, I do recommend the trail for runners, also. There is a connector option on the trail that cuts through the loop to make it a shorter hike if so desired. I recommend this easy to moderate trail and make sure to bring some water.

Very enjoyable . Great views . Peaceful

Good hike with lots of sun & several shady pockets. Terrain has thin layer of loose dirt & not too rocky, so it won't be too tough on dog paws. Saw several families with young kids too.

I’m completely unfit, and the switchbacks were a little tough but I still enjoyed the hike and loved the views untitled the clouds rolled in

I give it 5 stars to the loop; however, my wife and I took it a but further towards Irish hills and that area was way too dry for our taste... So we'll give it 4.5; nonetheless, it was an very nice hike. We definitely recommend it..

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