Montaña de Oro State Park

Introduction:

What? : With over 8000 acres, including seven miles of shoreline,

Montaña de Oro is one of the largest state parks in California. Spectacular views of the open hills landscape, ocean cliffs, long shoreline with rocky coves or sand beaches.

 

Where? : The park is seven miles south of Los Osos town on Pecho Valley Road.

Google Map Link






 

Due note 1: The park can be crowded with tourists and locals that use it as their “local park” for kids’ activity, bike, running.

 

Due note 2: we spend the night in the nice Morro Bay State Park Campground, right in Moro Bay. We did not make any reservation but we mange to find open spot for the night. At sunset we went to the Morro bay nearby (across the golf course. We then went to Bayshore Bluffs Park and took some night photos.

 

Due note 3: There is Morro Bay State Park Boardwalk going into the marshes, I discovered it only when I wrote this blog, looks like fun place to see.

 

My thoughts: We spend here our afternoon and enjoy it very much. Exploring the long clean secluded beach at the north section, cove and tide pools and the south and hiking in the open landscape. For next time we will probably reserve a longer visit for this park.

 

The visit:

 

This park features rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons, and hills, including 1,347-foot Valencia Peak. Naturalists and backpackers enjoy the solitude and freedom found along the park's trails.


 

Morro Bay State Park - Sandspit Beach:

Right after the road enter Montaña de Oro State Park there is and exit to the right, short drive will take you to Sandspit Beach parking lot.

From here a short hike will take you down through the sand dunes all the way to the ocean beach.

At the beach you can hike north as far as you want into Morro Bay State Park sand spit dunes that are creating and protecting the Morro Bay.

Nothing special to see except walking on the sandy beach, you will find only few people here.



 

Spooner's Cove:

The best-known beach in the park is Spooner's Cove, right across from the campground. There are few other coves just north of this beach.

You can park at the beach parking lot on your right or if it is full right after on the roadside.

In this beach can enjoy the sandy beach, explore the side rocks and the tide pools or watch for sea birds.


It was already late at the afternoon, so we decided to hike a short trail on the cliff beaches.

We parked right after the closed campground and took the Bluff Trail west. The easy well-maintained flat trail is going on the high cliffs above the ocean coves below.

After reaching the most west viewing point the trail turn south, after short hike you can find narrow trail that is going down into a hidden cove, excellent place to explore the rocks and the tide pools.

After this cove the trail keep going south and you can find few options to turn right (east) to the direction of the main park road. No matter with option you decided to take you will reach back to the road, cross it and go back to the parking lot.



This trail is excellent for kids but any other will find it very enjoyable. Overall, we did 2.2 easy mile trail (orange color trail in the map). You can extend the hike by keep going south and cut back to the road on the next trail (blue trail on the map, + 0.7 mile). You can also climb the hills on the east (light-blue trail on the map, +2 miles, total of 2.2 miles).


 

There are many other longer trails options that are going east of the park main road into the hills and you can do long loop hikes. You can also hike along the beaches, in the eucalyptus forests, a lot to see and explore.

www:

https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=592

 

Map:

https://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/592/files/mdo-brochure-lr.pdf


 

Los Osos Oaks State Reserve:

This small park preserves centuries-old coast live Oaks growing over ancient sand dunes. This reserve is located just outside the town of Los Osos.

The small 85-acre park was established in 1972.

Your visit starts at the small parking lot at Los Osos valley road, 0.7 mile east of the junction with S. Bay Blvd.



Park your car and hike into the small oak forest. This is small parks and the few trails are clearly marked and easy to hike. Hike the Loop trail, Oak view trail and Los Osos Creek trail that cover this tree grove.

It is interesting to see all the old oak trees. This visit is probably less than an hour long, can be covered in 30 min, and good also for kids.

We visit here at a sunny mid-day where the sunlight was harsh, I think that the best time to visit here is with darker atmosphere and fog, this will give the old trees a misery feeing of enchantment forest from Hobbit movie.

https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=597

https://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/597/files/LosOsosOaksBrochr2011.pdf

 

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