I went and checked out the new Johnson Ranch Trail for the first time today with Heidi. It opened to the public last Friday, but Heidi is already a trail veteran… I think this was her 3rd or 4th time doing the loop. The trail is located where S. Higuera and Ontario road intersect. I’ve embedded a map at the bottom of this post so you can get directions.

The trail itself is about 2 miles long and shared by hikers and bikers. Most of the actual trail construction was done by volunteers from the Central Coast Concerned Mountain Bikers (CCCMB) and they’ve done an excellent job. Beyond just the dirt trail, there are a few well constructed bridges scattered throughout the trail to get you over some rougher terrain and the creek. I think the best part about the Johnson Ranch Trail is that it is challenging enough to be fun, but easy enough that just about anyone could do the loop on foot. I’m not a mountain biker, but it seems to me that if you’re on a bike the trail would be much more challenging.

While we were out we did see some wildlife running around. Mainly squirrels and lizards. I heard all kinds of stuff rustling in the grass and the bushes but I’m not sure what was in there. Earlier in the week Heidi saw a huge deer cruise over the trail while she was out. There also some cows out there… which leads me to the one thing you really need to look out for… cow poop. On the North side you need to watch your step a little bit.

Overall I think the Johnson Ranch Trail is an excellent addition to San Luis Obispo’s open space inventory and I’m glad they did such a good job making all this nature easily accessible. The views are excellent, the trail is fun, and it’s easy but not too easy.

I took some pictures while we were out…


Entrance to the Trail


King of the Mountain

Schmarmy 70′s esque nature portrait




Heidi and I taking a minute in the shade

View Larger Map

4 Responses to “Hiking the Johnson Ranch Trail in SLO”

  1. Ahelee says:

    Not even a babbling brook in sight!

    Nice to see you and Heidi getting away for a day!
    But not too far….

  2. Rob D says:

    There was a creek tucked in there way deeper into the property but it’s not real noticeable until you’re right on top of it.

  3. Tamara says:

    Thanks for the informative write up. I noticed the trail head the other day and wondered why I had never noticed before. A friend and I will be heading up there tomorrow!

  4. [...] topographical map for Johnson Ranch Open SpaceJohnson Ranch Loop on t2hikingfool.blogspot.comJohnson Ranch Loop on robaquatics.comJohnson Ranch Loop on naturedogs.comThe official website for Johnson Ranch Open Space   [...]