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.
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.