The trail: Johnson Ranch Open Space
Distance: 3.7-mile loop
Difficulty (1-10): 1. With only about 200 feet of elevation gain, this short hike rates as one of the easier treks in San Luis Obispo County.
Tips: A water bottle is recommended, particularly on warm summer days. The trail is flat enough in most places to run, mountain bike or take the dog out for an evening hike.
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Dogs: Dogs are allowed, and quite popular, but must remain on a leash.
Parking: There is plenty of available parking at the bottom of the horseshoe bend, though it does fill up in the evenings around sunset.
Facilities: There are no public restrooms or drinking water available.
Description: Conveniently located just off Highway 101 between San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach, the Johnson Ranch Open Space offers a peaceful getaway that doesn’t require much preparation. The rolling hills and grassy slopes snake through a line of sycamores leading up to a small footbridge over Dry Creek. While the panoramic views don’t compare to Bishop Peak or Cerro Alto, the Johnson Ranch Open Space provides a visually pleasing destination for an after-work hike or potentially challenging mountain bike ride.