Trails and Open Space 

Ranger Services works to provide both educational and recreational opportunities to the community of San Luis Obispo. The City's 7,000 acres of designated open space promise to have something for everyone including rugged hiking trails, challenging mountain biking and leisurely scenic pathways just minutes from downtown. View Open Space and Trail Maps here.

Phone: (805) 781-7302
Email Us

Trail Updates
-Trail closures are due to wet weather conditions.
-Trail status will be updated as conditions change. 
Please note that updates occurring over the weekend may not appear until Monday morning.

Open Space

Status as of 02/16/17

Bishop Peak :



Cerro San Luis:


Irish Hills:









Islay Hill



Johnson Ranch


Laguna Lake



Reservoir Canyon


Bowden Ranch


South Hills



Stenner Springs


Terrace Hill















Volunteer with the Rangers

Ranger led hikes

Ranger led hikes are a great way to learn more about the open spaces you enjoy.  Rangers cover topics from flora and fauna to local history of open spaces.  These hikes are also a great way to get to know your local rangers and ask questions about the Ranger Service and responsible use of open space.  All Hikes meet at 1 pm and last from 1 – 3 hours.

Feb 19 – Bishop Peak @ Patricia Dr.
Route: Felsman Loop
Difficulty: moderate, 1-2 hours

March 19 – Reservoir Canyon – Wildflower Hike 1:00 pm
Guest Speakers: Jenn Yost
and Matt Ritter, Cal Poly Botany professors
Route: Reservoir Canyon Loop Trail
Difficulty: strenuous, 2-3 hours

April 16 – Irish Hills @ Madonna Rd
Guest Speaker: Bill Waycott, President,
California Native Plant Society, San Luis Chapter
Route: Froom Ranch to Old Prospector
Difficulty: moderate to strenuous 2-3 hours

May 14 – Bowden Ranch @ Lizzie St.
Route: Firefighter trail
Difficulty: strenuous, 1-2 hours

June 25 – Cerro San Luis @ Marsh St.
Route: M-Trail loop
Difficulty: moderate, 1-2 hours

July 23 – Johnson Ranch
Guest Speaker: Rob Rutherford,
Cal Poly Professor, Holistic Land Management
Specialist. Topic: Agriculture,
Ecosystem Processes, and
Open Space Route: Johnson Ranch South Loop 
Difficulty: easy, 1-2 hour

Aug 20 – Islay Hill @ Sweet Bay Ln.
Route: Islay Hill Trail
Difficulty: moderate, 1-2 hours

Sept 17 – South Hills @ Exposition Dr.
Route: Ridge trail to South Hills Trail
Difficulty: moderate, 1-2 hours

Oct 15 – 9:00 am Reservoir Canyon
Guest Speaker: Scott Johnston, Cal Poly Geology Professor
Route: Reservoir Canyon Loop Trail
Difficulty: strenuous, 2-3 hours

Nov 12 – Irish Hills @ Madonna Rd.
Route: Froom Ranch to Old Prospector trail
Difficulty: moderate to strenuous, 2-3 hours

Dec 10 – Cerro San Luis @ Marsh St./Fernandez Rd.
Route: M-Trail loop
Difficulty: moderate, 1-2 hours


Wednesday Workdays
Meeting every Wednesday at 8:35 AM, an opportunity for volunteers to gather and work on building new trails in city owned open space.  Meet at the Hill St entrance to Cerro San Luis to work on extending the M trail.  Estimated completion date: March-April 2017. Contact head ranger Doug Cardscaden,, for more information.


Saturday Workdays

Volunteers assist City Rangers twice per month on specific sections of the open space in need of maintenance.  All workdays run from 9am to 12pm

Feb 11        West Cuesta -- CHANGED DUE TO WET CONDITIONS
Meet at top of Old Stagecoach Road, clearing drains on Shooters
Feb 25          Islay Hill @ Sweetbay
add grade reversals in rocky sections and near top if time permits
March 11      Cerro SLO @ Marsh St. / Fernandez Rd. - brushing
March 25      Irish Hills @ Prefumo Canyon Rd. – brushing
April 8           Reservoir Canyon - brushing
April 22         Bishop Peak @ patricia
Bishop Peak @ Patricia Dr. – Brushing, Felsman Loop.
Wear pants and long sleeves for poison oak
May 6           Irish Hills @ Home-depot parking lot, south corner
Ocean view/Wednesday, drivE in.
May 20         Bowden Ranch @ Lizzie St. –
repair tread/rock armoring

Thank you, devoted volunteers!
The Parks and Recreation Department appreciates the many community members who consistently strive to maintain and protect the thousands of acres of City open space and trails.

The Natural San Luis and SLO Stewards/ECOSLO 2015 Hiking Schedule can be viewed on the City's Events Calendar. For more information, visit or call 544-1777.

Open Space Guidelines

For the safety of all users, including hikers, cyclists, trail runners and others, please comply with the following:

  • Access Permitted from Dawn to Dusk ONLY
  • Camping Prohibited
  • Stay on Designated Trails
  • Wear Proper Hiking Shoes
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks
  • Dogs Must be on a Leash
  • Pick up after your Dog
  • Pack it In, Pack it Out
  • ID card, first aid kit and cell phone
  • More Information