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.

Bishop Peak
Cerro San Luis
Irish Hills
Islay Hill
Johnson Ranch
Laguna Lake
Reservoir Canyon
South Hills
Stenner Springs
Terrace Hill 
All Open Space

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

Open Space Status as of: 08.22.17



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





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.

August 31 | 3:00 pm Johnson Ranch Kioskhikeswithhounds

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.  

Aug 20 – 1:00 pm @ Islay Hill
Meet at Sweet Bay Ln. Trailhead (Cul-de-sac at the end of Sweet Bay Lane)
Route: Islay Hill Trail
Difficulty: Moderate, 2-3 hours

August 31, 3:00 pm, Hikes with Hounds @ Johnson Ranch Kiosk
Ranger will give a short educational talk.  After, you will be led on an hour hike.
Friendly dogs are welcome to join on leash.

Meet at Johnson Ranch Kiosk
Route: Johnson Ranch Trail
Difficulty: Easy, 1-2 hours 

Sept 17, 1:00 pm @ South Hills
Meet at Exposition Dr. Trailhead
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
Meet at Lizzie St. Trailhead
Route: Firefighter Trail to Reservoir Canyon Loop
Difficulty: Strenuous, 2-3 hours

Nov 12, 9:00 am – Irish Hills@ Madonna Road
Pix on Peaks 2.0 route!
Meet at Madonna Rd. Trailhead
Route: Orange Loop: 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.
New Trail Just Completed July 2017!
Meet at Marsh St./Fernandez Rd. Trailhead
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

Sept 9
Irish Hills – Meet at Sterling Rd. off Royal Way, clear drains on Mariposa and Mine Trails

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, deepen and lengthen reversals if soil is moist

Nov 18
Irish Hills – Meet at south corner of Home Depot Parking lot, Drive-in to clear drains on Froom Creek Trail, Wednesday, and Ocean View

Dec 2 TBD – Check Ranger Service webpage for updates.

Dec 16 TBD – Check Ranger Service webpage for updates

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.

summer heat safety

Open Space Guidelines

(805) 781-7302
Email Us

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