Heceta Light House, Oregon 2018

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Johnson Ranch, San Luis Obispo

After doing dunes and beach yesterday, today we did mountain ranch trails.  Johnson Ranch provides trails in the hills above San Luis Obispo, so we had a bit more elevation change, but not too much!

Over the years we have driven thru this area many times, and we have always looked up at the soft rolling hills. Walking these trails allowed us to look down on the road and the cars. A different perspective indeed.

The first part of the trail was pretty much a track through former cattle pastures.  But assuming that cow pies don't last for years, we saw evidence that the area still hosts cattle on a regular basis.

The latter part of the trail was through mountainside country, so it was narrower and more rocky.  If we had followed this trail to its end, we later learned that it ends up in the parking lot of the San Luis Obispo Costco!

We did meet a number of other hikers on the trail as well as a couple of joggers and mountain bikers.  We were glad it was a midweek day. It must get quite hectic on weekends, and not nearly as pleasant a walk.

One of the better features of the trail was the really mature trees.  This oak was magnificently wide. 

This oak came partially uprooted quite some time ago.  Despite having lost part of its root system and laying down on the job, it was still quite alive!

Some parts of the paths were enclosed and forestlike. I imagine on a hot day these stretches would be very welcome.

Other parts were wide open to the sky. On some parts of the path we could see the developments in the valley below. 

As if to show that oaks didn't have a monopoly on laying down on the job, this sycamore had limbs on both sides of the trunk on the ground, helping support it!

Near the end of the trail, these wildflowers were growing in a gently-flowing stream.  This may be due in part for California's recent rains...

Although we could have hiked five and a half miles on this trail, we decided three miles out and three back was enough for our old bodies.  At the end the pedometer read 6.25 miles.  Merikay really needed a nice soak in the pool when we got back to the RV park!


  1. Those hills are a lot greener than when we hiked the shorter part of the Johnson Ranch trail.

  2. That looks like a really nice hike. You got a really good picture of that first oak tree. I can never quite get my pictures to show how pretty the trees actually are.

    Glad you are out on the road and enjoying yourselves. A taste of what is to come.

  3. It really is green and pretty right now. Sure hope it can stay that way for a few months and help avoid the fires later this summer. I think you did great going for over six miles. Beautiful scenery.

  4. Those sure are some big trees! I liked the shot of the hills with the development way off in the background.


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