Irish Hills Hike, SLO

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San Luis Obispo, CA
Irish Hills Hike, SLO
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Irish Hills Hike starts in the cute neighborhood of Irish Hills, where the houses have sweet architecture and gardens full of flowers. This area is often foggy for longer than other parts of SLO, so you might find yourself hiking through fog and then above it. It also makes the area have slightly more dark green shrubs and less yellow grassland than other hikes.

The hike starts out with beautiful views of Cerro San Luis and Bishop Peak mountains and the part of town below that people call Siberia. Once you reach the top, you have ocean views, on Ocean View Trail! Then you descend into a tranquil valley with a feeling of "the hills are alive" from Sound of Music. Most of the loop hikes are very long but you can make your own out-and-back hikes that are shorter. 
The trailhead has a large eucalyptus tree trunk on its side, which is impressive for photos since it's almost as tall as you! There are eucalyptus trees at the trailhead, but then the habitat turns more to oak and shrubs. The trail is a narrow, dirt path. 
There are many different trails you can take, and the Ocean View Trail is a favorite. Bring your phone so you can use GPS and find your way around the different options.
Irish immigrants settled in this area in the 19th century, hence the name. When you get to Waddell Ranch in the valley on the other side, there is a wooden platform with a picnic table, and the remnants of a ranch house, including a stone wall and an old clawfoot bathtub!
This area was mined for chromium and mercury, and some mine shafts still exist, but you only want to see them from very far away.
Because of mud, this trail is often closed in winter. Check the trail status on the city of SLO website before you go.
If you want to extend your hike, there is a trail that connects with Johnson Ranch Hike
While in the area, check out downtown San Luis Obispo and have a coffee. Or if you like the ocean better, check out Avila Beach and town.

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Cute fence at the Irish Hills Hike trailhead.

Tree trunk at the trailhead. It is huge!

Walkway at Eto Circle, which leads to the Irish Hills Hike trailhead.

Green hillside.

Peeks of the ocean, from the Ocean View Trail.

Spring flowers at Phyllis Lookout on the Ocean View Trail in Irish Hills.

The narrow trail, through oak forest.

Poison oak along the trail.

Pine tree along the trail.

The trail winds through grasslands and past a windmill.

Wooden platform with picnic table and benches at Waddell Ranch Picnic Area.

A clawfoot bathtub by a stone wall, at Waddell Ranch Picnic Area.

You are up high!

View of SLO town.

Foggy day on the trail.

Hiking above the fog!

Deer on the hiking path at dusk.

Heading along the trail toward Waddell Ranch during late summer- it's dry!

You can run an 11.5 km loop in Irish Hills.

See the sea from Ocean View Trail!

The tree trunk as big as a person, at the beginning of the trail.


The most popular trailhead is at 1788 Devail Ranch Dr, or Eto Circle. You can park your car along the road.


Click on map for interactive view


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Last Updated: Wed, 22 May 2024 14:39:14 GMT

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