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San Luis Obispo County Hiking Trails

Hiking and Backpacking Trails in San Luis Obispo County


The county's distance from the large metro areas of San Francisco and Los Angeles has helped it to retain its rural character and reminders of old California abound. Commonly referred to as "the Central Coast," the area is more rural and agricultural than many other coastal regions in California. Below is a list of hiking and backpacking trails in the Los Padres National Forest just outside of San Luis Obispo.
A total of 19 San Luis Obispo County Hiking Trails are currently available. ×
Adobe Trail - 2.59 Miles
32W99 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County
This trail starts off on Highway 166 outside of Santa Maria at a elevation of 1200 feet. The Adobe trail is a gentle trail and is in good shape for hiking and stock. From the trail head you climb up a grassy knoll via switch backs, with a view of the Highway 166 and the trail head you just started…
American Canyon Trail - 4.14 Miles
16E03 • Machesna • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County
The American Canyon Trail is in great shape, the trail leads uphill from the American Canyon Campground to the Castle Crags Trail (16E01). The American Canyon trail is in the Machesna…
Avenales Trail - 3.11 Miles
16E06 • Garcia • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County
The Avenales Trail has good views of upper Salinas River Valley, Machesna Peak and the La Panza Range. Trail is in good shape, and is a dead end at Avenales Guard Station. The trail climbs from Stony Meadow over Garcia Ridge to Avenales Guard Station. The trail is…
Big Falls Trail - 3.48 Miles
14E02 • Santa Lucia • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County
Three water falls are within this 1.5 mile hike, near Arroyo Grande. The hike is relatively easy with a couple spots being a little more challenging; with short, steep climbs. The setting is within Big Canyon and Santa Lucia Wilderness. You will follow Big Creek and will easily find Lower, Middle…
Black Mountain Trail - 3.09 Miles
15E03 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County
The Black Mountain Trail is a scenic 3.09 mile trail in San Luis Obispo County . The trail connects the Wilson Canyon Trail 15E01 and the Black Mountain Road (29S10).Please let us know if you have explored this trail recently.  
Caldwell Trout Creek Trail - 9.10 Miles
15E06 • Garcia • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County
From Trailhead at Hi Mountain Road the trail meanders along Trout Creek which sometimes has water. It is a pleasant trail. It then leaves the canyon bottom at an unsigned junction and climbs through rolling hills to Buckeye Campsite. There is a small spring here with generally reliable water. Camping…
Castle Crags Trail - 11.54 Miles
16E01 • Machesna • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County
The Castle Crags Trail is an 11 mile trail in the Machesna Wilderness in San Luis Obispo County, the trail connects the Pine Mountain Trail and the Los Pelados Road (31S10). The trail is named after the impressive…
Cerro Alto Loop Trail - 4.91 Miles
12E01 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County
A 5 mile spledid day hike loop trail from Cerro Alto Campground that climbs up to the top of Cerro Alto (2624 feet.) This trail boost beautiful views of Morro Rock and is the northen most trail in the Santa Lucia Ranger District. 
Fernandez Trail - 4.34 Miles
15E04 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County
The Fernandez Trail is a 4 mile trail in the located in San Luis Obispo County. The trail connects the Black Mountain Road (29S10) and the Fernandez Road (28S02.1)
Gifford Trail - 1.58 Miles
18E12 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County
The Gifford Trail is a scenic 1.58 mile trail in the in County.
Indian Trail - 2.61 Miles
31W02 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County
The Indian Trail is a 2.61 mile trail in San Luis Obispo County . The trail connects Brookshire Campground and the Kerry Canyon OHV Trail (30W02). This was an early Native American trail. It started in the Cuyama Valley…
Las Chichis - 3.00 Miles
16E02 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County
The Las Chichis is a senic 3.00 mile trail in San Luis Obispo County . Starting at Pozo Summit on Pozo Road the trail follows along a ridge to Navajo Road (29S02.1)
Little Falls Trail - 2.81 Miles
14E03 • Santa Lucia • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County
The Little Falls Trail is a senic 2.81 mile trail in the Wilderness in San Luis Obispo County . The trail head is located off Upper Lopez Canyon Road at , San Luis Obispo County . The trail follows little falls creek to the junction with Big Falls Trail (14E02).
Lopez Canyon Trail - 6.61 Miles
13E03 • Santa Lucia • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County
The Lopez Canyon Trail is a scenic 6.61 mile trail in the Wilderness in San Luis Obispo County . The trail head is located off the Upper Lopez Canyon Road at , San Luis Obispo County . Please let us know if you have explored this trail recently.
Pine Mountain Trail - 6.80 Miles
• Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County
The Pine Mountain Trail is a 6.80 mile trail in San Luis Obispo County . The trail connects the Las Chichis Trail (16E02) and Forest Road (29S18).
Rinconada Trail - 1.75 Miles
14E30 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County
The Rinconada Trail is a scenic 1.75 mile trail in San Luis Obispo County . The trail head is off West Pozo Rd at , San Luis Obispo County . The trail is sort of a connector trail to the Little Falls Trail and Big Falls Trail. 
Sellers Potrero Trail - 5.43 Miles
16E05 • Garcia • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County
The Sellers Potrero Trail is a 5.43 mile trail in the Wilderness in San Luis Obispo County . The trail connects the Avenales Ranch Road and the Caldwell Trout Creek Trail (15E06). Halfway down the trail is Balm of Gilead Camp.Please let us know if you have…
Stony Creek Trail - 1.85 Miles
16E07 • Garcia • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County
The Stony Creek Trail is a short  1.85 mile connector trail in the Wilderness in San Luis Obispo County . The trail starts from Stoney Creek Campground and connects to the Caldwell Trout Creek Trail (15E06).
Wilson Canyon Trail - 3.89 Miles
15E01 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County


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