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Santa Lucia Ranger District Hiking Trails

Hiking and Backpacking Trails in the Santa Lucia Ranger District


The Santa Lucia Ranger District, Los Padres National Forest occupies a major portion of the Coast and Transverse ranges of central California. Elevations range from sea level to 6,762 feet. Ecosystems include chaparral, oak woodland, mixed conifer, grasslands, pinyon-juniper, semi-desert scrub and riparian. The vegetation is well adapted to fire, the chaparral has a 40-60 year fire return interval. The District’s total land acreage is 538,137, of which 62,358 are private in-holdings.
A total of 51 Santa Lucia Ranger District 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…
Alejandro Trail - 5.59 Miles
31W15 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Alejandro Trail is located in the Santa Maria area up the Colson Canyon Road (11N04), the trail starts at the second gate/road junction on Colson Canyon Road (34.9343, -125.59641), Look for the trail to the right of the locked gate, The…
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…
Bear Canyon Connector Trail - 1.64 Miles
31W17 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Bear Canyon Connector Trail is a scenic 1.64 mile trail outside Santa Maria in Santa Barbara County. The trail connects the Buckhorn Ridge Trail (31W06) and the Bear Canyon Loop OHV Trail (31W13). Please let us…
Bear Canyon Trail - 3.42 Miles
31W05 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Bear Canyon Trail is located near Santa Maria in the Santa Lucia Ranger District. This moderate 3.5 mile trail is located in Bear Canyon, hence the name.  This canyon runs north from La Brea Canyon to its head on the south side of Buckhorn Ridge.…
Big Cone Spruce Trail - 3.20 Miles
28W04 • San Rafael • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Big Cone Spruce Trail is a short 3.20 connector mile trail in the Wilderness in Santa Barbara County. The trail starts from Cachuma Mountain Road at , and connects with the Manzana Trail (30W13) just passed Manzana…
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.  
Buckhorn Ridge Trail - 1.82 Miles
31W06 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Buckhorn Ridge Trail is a scenic 1.82 mile trail outside of Santa Maria in Santa Barbara County. The trail starts at Colson Campground and connects to the Bear Canyon Connector Trail (31W17). Please let us…
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)
Fir Canyon Davy Brown Trail - 3.00 Miles
29W03 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Fir Canyon Davy Brown Trail is a 3 mile trail located near Figueroa Mountain, the trail starts at Davy Brown Campground, and passes numerous trail junctions, the trail then completes at Happy Canyon Road (7N07.2)
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.
Horse Canyon Labrea Trail - 23.1 Miles
31W09 • San Rafael • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Horse Canyon Labrea Trail is a scenic 23.1 mile trail in the Wilderness in County.  The trail connects the La Brea Canyon. OHV Raod (10N06.1) and the 3 trails junction at the Manzana…
Hurricane Deck Trail - 13.91 Miles
30W14 • San Rafael • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Hurricane Deck Trail was constructed in the 1930's. The trail starts near the Manzana Schoolhouse on the Sisquoc Trail (30W12) and after climbing to the crest of the Hurricane Deck, the trail follows along the crest of the deck until it ends at…
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…
Jackson Trail - 4.45 Miles
27W05 • San Rafael • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
It was named after Mr. Jackson who ran cattle in the late 1890's on the Potreros on the crest of the Sierra Madre Mountains. The Jackson Spring is near the top of the climb the trail makes from Ed Montgomery's homestead on the Sisquoc River up to Montgomery Potrero…
Judell Trail - 4.90 Miles
26W05 • San Rafael • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Judell Trail descends from Santa Barbara Potrero into the San Rafael Wilderness to its terminus at the junction with the Sisquoc Trail.  The trail has seen quite a bit of LPFA and VWR attention after the 2007 Zaca Fire but sees little traffic.  As a result you should expect the trail to be very…
La Jolla Trail - 4.45 Miles
30W10 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The trail runs from Sawmill basin on Figueroa Mountain Road, pass Ballard Camp in Birabant Canyon, then up the mountain side to La Jolla Spring and on up to the east side of Lava Peak and up to Zaca…
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.
Lost Valley Trail San Rafael Wilderness - 7.12 Miles
29W14 • San Rafael • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Lost Valley Trail connects Manzana Creek with the Hurricane Deck Trail.  The trail is used by day hikers looking to explore the secrets of Lost Valley as well as a connection for backpackers heading towards the Sisquoc. In the early 20th century there were plans to build a road…
Manzana Trail East (Upper) - 13.8 Miles
30W13 • San Rafael • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The East Trail (31W13.2) follows the Mazana canyon east to the narrows, then climbs over the Hurricane Deck at White Ledge to end at South Fork Guard Station on the Sisquoc River. Access the trial from Nira Campground via Sunset Valley Road. MANZANA - A Spanish word for little apples. In the…
Manzana Trail West (Lower) - 8.7 Miles
30W13.2 • San Rafael • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The west portion of the Manzana Trail in the San Rafael Wilderness spans from the Manzana Schoolhouse to Nira Campground. The Lower Manzana Trail intersects with the Sisquoc Trail and reaches the Sisquoc River near the Schoolhouse. Access the trial from Nira Campground via Sunset…
Mission Pine Trail - 14.55 Miles
28W01 • San Rafael • Santa Lucia Ranger District , Santa Barbara Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Mission Pine Trail connects Cachuma Mountain Forest Road (8N08.2) and Buckhorn Forest Road (9N11.4). The trail is in the San Rafael Wilderness, So remember no mountain biking is allowed on any wilderness…
Munch Canyon Connector Trail - .79 Miles
29W10 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Munch Canyon Connector Trail is a scenic .79 mile trail in Santa Barbara County. The trail connects the East Pinery Road (8N32) and the Munch Canyon Trail (29W04). Named after Mr. Munch who homesteaded in Sunset Valley. He built a cabin, then removed his claim and the Forest Service used the cabin as…
Munch Canyon Trail - 2.59 Miles
29W04 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Munch Canyon Trail is a 2.59 mile trail in the Wilderness in Santa Barbara County. The trail connects the Sunset Valley Road (8N09) and the Fir Canyon Davy Brown Trail (29W03). Named after Mr.…
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).
Pino Alto Trail - .45 Miles
29W01 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Pino Alto Trail is a short .45 mile trail in Santa Barbara County. Located at the Pino Alto Day Use Area. The area includes a paved interpretive trail suitable for wheelchair use. The trail is one-half mile and takes 30 to 45 minutes to traverse. Interpretive brochures are available at the…
Potrero Canyon Trail - 2.90 Miles
29W12 • San Rafael • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The trail is located one mile down from the Lower Manzana Trailhead (aka Lower NIRA) along Manzana Creek.  The trailhead for Potrero Trail is between the two trail camps at Potrero Camp.  It begins at the junction of Manzana Creek Trail 30WI3 and Potrero Canyon Trail 29W12. The trail climbs consistently,…
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. 
Roque Canyon Trail - 5.68 Miles
30W03 • San Rafael • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Roque Canyon Trail is a scenic 5.68 mile trail in the Wilderness in Santa Barbara County. The trail connects the Sierra Madre Ridge Road and the Kerry Canyon OHV Trail (30W02). Please let us know if…
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…
Sisquoc Trail Lower - 20.4 Miles
30W12 • San Rafael • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Upper Sisquoc Trail is located in the San Rafael Winderness and extends from South Fork Camp to Alamar Saddle and Manzana Schoolhouse Camp. This trail follows back and forth across the Sisquoc…
Sisquoc Trail Upper - 11.06 Miles
30W12 • San Rafael • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Upper Sisquoc Trail is located in the San Rafael Winderness and extends from South Fork Camp to Alamar Saddle and Alamar Saddle Camp. This trail follows back and forth across the Sisquoc River from the…
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).
Sulphur Spring Trail - 2.32 Miles
30W07 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Sulphur Spring Trail is a scenic 2.32 mile trail in Santa Barbara County. The trail connects the Zaca Peak Trail (30W18) with the Manzana Trail (30W13)
Sunset Valley Trail - 0.66 Miles
29W29 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Sunset Valley Trail is a short 0.66 mile trail in the Wilderness in that follows the Sunset Valley Road. The trail connects Sunset Valley Road to the Munch Canyon Trail (29W04).  Mr. Munch homesteaded in Sunset Valley. He built a cabin, then removed his…
Sweetwater Trail - 6.76 Miles
27W06 • San Rafael • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Sweetwater Trail is a 6.76 mile trail in the Wilderness in Santa Barbara County. The trail connects the Sierra Madre Road to the Sisquoc Trail (30W12). Sweetwater Canyon was so named because the creek…
White Elephant Trail - 2.51 Miles
30W29 • San Rafael • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
White Rock Connector Trail - 2.92 Miles
29W07 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
A short yet beautiful connector trail near Figueroa Mountain, the trail connects the Munch Canyon Trail (29W04) to the White Rock Trail (29W05).
White Rock Trail - 2.92 Miles
29W05 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The White Rock Trail is a scenic 2.92 mile trail in the Wilderness in Santa Barbara County. The trail connects Sunset Valley Road 8N09 to East Pinery Road 8N32.
Willow Spring Figueroa Trail - 1.81 Miles
29W09 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Willow Spring Figueroa Trail is a scenic 1.81 mile trail on Figueroa Mountain Trail that leads to Willow Spring and connects to the Fir Canyon Davy Brown Trail 29W03. A perfect trail for…
Willow Spring Trail - 8.45 Miles
31W01 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
The Willow Spring Trail is a scenic 8.45 mile trail in Northern Santa Barbara County. The trail connects Highway 166 to Pine Canyon Road near Brookshire Campground.Please let us know if you have explored this trail recently.
Willow Spur Trail - 0.94 Miles
29W08 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
Located in the Figueroa Mountain area. This 1 mile trail is a short connector between Willow Springs Trail and upper Davy Brown Trail.
Wilson Canyon Trail - 3.89 Miles
15E01 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • San Luis Obispo County
Zaca Peak Trail - 7.00 Miles
30W18 • Non Wilderness Area • Santa Lucia Ranger District • Santa Barbara County
Located in the Figueroa Mountain area. The trail follows a ridge top west from the Zaca Peak Road. The west end of the trail drops down to the privately-owned Zaca Lake Resort. Unobstructed views of the Santa Ynez Valley and Zaca Lake basin are found along this route. This trail may be hard to locate…


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