Explore the most popular mountain biking 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 elevation changes to warm you up.

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

We had to climb the fence to get to the trail so we were a little hesitant at first, but the hike is a dirt road & easy to follow. It's a gradual incline with nice views of San Luis Obispo & even Morro Bay. Went in June & the smell of the wildflowers was very nice! The terrain starts off as dry grass & oak trees but at about 2 miles it changes to pine trees & more of a mountain terrain. It was a nice surprise.

hiking
26 days 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 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..

Wonderful and peaceful hike.

This is a great, easy trail. Watch for poison oak when you get to shady areas. If you go in the spring the mustard plants and other wild flowers are amazing. I went during a holiday weekend and it wasn’t crowded. Nicely kept trail. Please clean up after your dogs and don’t leave the dog poop bags on the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Great walk even if you take the short walk. Green and cool in April and May.

This is my go to hike in SLO. I love it. Beautiful view from the top and good workout.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike. Some wildflowers, rolling hills, a creek, trees, and a little cave in one area. Signs made it easy to stay on the Johnson Ranch loop. My watch said it was 3.3 miles, but I looped back around a bit to make it 4. It was easy to hike quickly and run parts to get a good workout. Online it said it’s a 1hr 45 min hike, but it took me 51 minutes with a bit of jogging mixed in. I didn’t see anyone until I was over half through the hike, but it was a weekday morning.

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

Lots of interesting bends and crossings. Beautiful scenery and a few shaded areas to break at. A nice creek area about midway. The trail is narrow in areas and frequently trafficked by people and dogs. They hills were rolling along so it didn’t seem like a big climb in any place. Well managed and allowable for bikes. There are bells and leashes available at the entrance. Great hike today!

Great hike! Beautiful!!

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.

trail running
3 months ago

This trail is entertaining and a good challenge. There is an occasional cow that wanders onto the trail. It is very well used, but also well-maintained. In order to keep it well-maintained, it is occasionally closed for a few days after rain. Keep that in mind before you come and check it’s status online. Bells provided for mountain bikers at the entrance. It has several loops to either shorten or lengthen your trip.

One of our family’s favorite hikes! Our seven year old makes it to the top by herself almost every time but our five year old needs assistance. The trail is wide enough for a BOB stroller (speaking from experience). Also a great trail to take your dog just don’t forget their leash. The views are amazing and worth the work. There is a stage at the top which a wonderful place to have a picnic before you head back down.

Great morning run for some climbs. I recommend running counterclockwise so you can climb the technicals and descend a wider path. Also against the flow of mountain bikers so you can see or hear them coming on their sweet downhill run.

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.

closed 2018 03 25

one,of my favorite trails.

I go here at least once a week, if you use the fire trail it’s about two miles to the top from the parking near the highway entrance .

Gorgeous views and a nice little workout. Sometimes the cattle will be out grazing. There is a decent amount of foot and bike traffic on this trail. You can make this trip shorter or longer.

Went to morro view via the mariposa trail. It was 4.6 miles and on a clear day the morro outlook is pretty nice. Pretty well maintained trail. Very few people and a few mountain bikers

hiking
5 months ago

Pretty fun hike, has some architectural structures towards the middle if you go left, don’t be afraid to go towards the houses and opens up a bunch of trails after going thru a couple gates, if you go up the steep hill you’ll find the swing everyone’s talking about. On a clear day the views are awesome! Parking in lot H4 on weekends is free and doesn’t require a parking permit! Enjoy!

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail.
Nice breeze kept me cool.
Challenging but not impossible.
Nice view

Got to the trail head and trail is closed due to a mountain lion siting on 1/13/18. The posting states that the lion is suspected to still be in the area,do not continue. This is why the state of California should allow folks to carry a pistol while hiking, just a thought. Ill try this hike another day.

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