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SLO Hikes

Hiking In San Luis Obispo

Some of San Luis Obispo’s most spectacular spots can only be reached on foot. Locals regard hiking in San Luis Obispo as one of their favorite things to do and one of the best ways to see the area’s hidden treasures. Many San Luis Obispo hiking trails offer remarkable panoramic views, while others explore the wilderness of inland canyons, mountains, and coastline.


Our favorite hikes in San Luis Obispo offer great views of SLO’s natural terrain and bustling downtown scene.

Johnson Ranch Open Space

Johnson Ranch Open Space offers a perfect hiking escape with gentle trails that meander through lush greenery making it a fantastic spot for families, fitness enthusiasts, and nature lovers seeking a relaxed outdoor adventure. Please note that at Johnson Ranch Open Space, the hiking trails double as biking trails so adventurers of all interests can share this escape to the outdoors.

Laguna Lake Park & Open Space

Laguna Lake Park Open Space is a great location for hikers looking to immerse themselves in nature without straying far from the comforts of the city. Laguna Lake Upper Trail is a relaxed 2.3-mile loop, making it a perfect hiking spot for a family outing or a quiet, reflective hike. The space is also home to diverse ecosystems, providing an educational aspect to every trek.

Meadow Park

Meadow Park offers easy hiking opportunities that are perfect for families and those seeking a relaxed outdoor experience. The park features well-maintained trails that wind through open green spaces and wooded areas, providing a peaceful setting for a leisurely walk. These trails are accessible and offer a safe, inviting environment for hikers of all ages to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

Adventurous Hikes in San Luis Obispo

Cerro San Luis Obispo Trail

For panoramic views of downtown San Luis Obispo, check out the Madonna Mountain Hike in Cerro San Luis Natural Reserve, where hikers and mountain bikers are both welcome. Trek this 4.3-mile round trip loop on wheels or on foot to unplug and get back in touch with nature.

Islay Hill Trail

Earn unparalleled views of the Santa Lucia Mountains on Islay Hill by gaining 550 feet of elevation on this 1.8-mile hike. Ready for a photo op? Climb the viewing pole at the top of Islay Hill for a great photo and an even greater view.

Poly Canyon Design Village

For those looking for a hike close to Cal Poly, Poly Canyon Design Village is a totally unique destination that is located on Cal Poly’s campus. Hike 2.5 miles in and see the most uniquely innovative structures built by past architecture students.

Bowden Ranch and Reservoir Canyon Trail

Bowden Ranch and Reservoir Canyon Trail is a 5.35-mile hike featuring oak and eucalyptus groves and an unforgettable 360-degree panoramic view of the region when you reach the summit. This hike is dog-friendly as long as your pup is on a leash.

San Luis Obispo Hikes