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Bowden Ranch Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.3 (4)

An immaculate singletrack climbing from the Reservoir Canyon Trailhead to the top of High School Hill.


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Map Key

2.1

Miles

3.3

KM

Point to Point

1,533' 467 m

High

397' 121 m

Low

1,135' 346 m

Up

8' 2 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

42%

Max Grade (23°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall

Description

This trail begins at the Reservoir Canyon Trailhead parking lot. From the parking lot, take an immediate right before entering the Reservoir Canyon Trail. About 200m into the hike, you'll pass a waterfall, and the trail climbs to the top of it. The trail is moderately hard to find but generally stay right and continue uphill.

After a steep climb, you'll emerge from the densely wooded riverbed into more sparsely wooded terrain. From here the trail is a remarkably even, moderate grade (500ft/mile) with lots of switchbacks. It is mostly buffed out with some rocky sections. The trail tops out at a peak with a concrete slab and steel watchtower with amazing views of SLO. Reverse direction for a smooth downhill or continue left and downhill for 150m to the three-way intersection with High School Hill Trail and Reservoir Canyon Trail.

This trail is an absolute joy to hike and usage is remarkably light. I like to combine it with High School Hill Trail and Reservoir Canyon Trail for a 7 mile loop with 2500ft elevation gain.

Contacts

Land Manager: City of San Luis Obispo

Shared By:

Chris Fa

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 4 votes

#8205

Overall
  4.3 from 4 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
75%
3 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#802

in California

#8,205

Overall
29 Views Last Month
1,305 Since Nov 27, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

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75%
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25%
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Check-Ins

Jun 20, 2020
Nathan Delaney
Jul 10, 2019
Garrett Heald