Outdoors

SLO County Hike of the Week: Red Hill Road

Open land off Red Hill Road in the Los Padres National Forest east of Santa Margarita.
Open land off Red Hill Road in the Los Padres National Forest east of Santa Margarita. bkoyak@thetribunenews.com

The trail: Red Hill Road in the Los Padres National Forest, east of Santa Margarita. From San Luis Obispo, take Highway 101 north for 8 miles to the Santa Margarita exit. Travel east toward Santa Margarita and turn right on Highway 58 after 2 miles. Stay on Highway 58 as it winds east for more than 20 miles. Turn right onto Red Hill Road (Forest Route 28S02).

Distance: Open land

Difficulty: Depending on how you choose to hike this off-the-beaten path open space within the Los Padres National Forest, it can range from an easy walk along a stream to a steep and rocky uphill climb.

Tips: The hiking possibilities are endless, so pack for an adventure: water, lunch or snack and, if you want a real adventure, a machete for clearing dead brush.

Dogs: Allowed

Parking: There is no parking lot, but once you are on Red Hill Road, there are several different dirt pull offs to park the car.

Facilities: This is raw, natural land with some rough paths but no public facilities.

Description: Red Hill Road offers hills, streams and rock formations as far as the eye can see. We usually average about 6 miles each hike with a 3-year-old, 6-year-old and 9-month-old in our Kelty pack. This untamed land does have a few rough paths and plenty of amazing views. The wildlife includes lizards, hawks and some wild hogs, deer, wild horses and a variety of other animals. Though with our loud little ones, we mostly see only lizards and hawks.

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