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.
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.