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.

(805) 781-7302
Email Us

Trail Updates
Please note that updates occurring over the weekend may not appear until Monday morning.

Open Space Status as of: 07.20.17



Bishop Peak


Cerro San Luis


Irish Hills Areas (3):


  • Madonna
  • Prefumo
  • Sterling



Islay Hill



Johnson Ranch


Laguna Lake



Reservoir Canyon


Bowden Ranch



South Hills



Stenner Springs



Terrace Hill




Jr. Ranger Activity Camp

Session 2 - Forces of Nature
Aug 7-11

Ages 7-9
8 am- 2pm
Register Here

Hikes with Hounds

Starting in June, Rangers will be giving educational talks at 3 different trail heads. After, you will be lead on an hour hike.
Friendly dogs are welcome to join.
July 27 | 6:00 pm Cerro San Luis Parking Lost-Kiosk **Time changed to 6 pm**
August 31 | 3:00 pm Johnson Ranch Kiosk


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.  

July 23 1:00 pm - 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 – 1:00 pm - Islay Hill @ Sweet Bay Ln.
Route: Islay Hill Trail
Difficulty: Moderate, 1-2 hours

Sept 17 – 1:00 pm - South Hills @ Exposition Dr.
Route: Ridge Trail to South Hills Trail
Difficulty: Moderate, 1-2 hours

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

Nov 12 – 9:00 am - Irish Hills @ Madonna Rd.
Route: Froom Ranch to Old Prospector Trail
Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous, 2-3 hours

Dec 10 – 1:00 pm Cerro San Luis @ Marsh St./Fernandez Rd.
Route: M-Trail Loop
Difficulty: Moderate, 1-2 hours

Wednesday Workdays

Meeting every Wednesday at 8:45 AM. An opportunity for volunteers to gather and work on building new trails in City-owned open space.  Meet on Royal Way at Sterling Lane to work on brushing in the Irish Hills in preparation for opening the Wadell Property to the public. Contact Ranger Services Supervisor Doug Carscaden 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

Aug 12          Irish Hills at Sterling rd off royal way
                    brushing morro view area.

Sept 9           Irish Hills @ Sterling rd off royal way
                    clear drains on mariposa and mine trail

Sept 23         Stenner Springs – Meet in parking lot at the top of Cuesta Grade
                    clear drains on morning glory and shooters

Oct 7            Cerro San Luis – Meet at hill st trailhead
                    clear drains on carriage road and lemon grove loop

Oct 21           Irish Hills – Meet at Madonna Rd trailhead
                    Clear drains on king and froom ranch connector

Nov 4            Johnson Ranch – Clear drains, improve grade reversals

Nov 18          Irish Hills – Meet at south corner of Home Depot Parking lot
                    Clear drains on froom creek trail, Wednesday and Ocean view


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


 Open *expect closures this weekend
*Expect closures this weekend