For rugged coastal beauty, stunning views, great trails of all kinds (hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and horse riding), wildlife, solitude, camping (including primitive, walk-in sites) and more, Montaña de Oro State Park is a terrific destination.
With seven miles of shoreline, the Park offers excellent tidepooling, birdwatching, surfing, surf fishing, and other ocean activities. Throughout the park, there are many wonderful trails, including Bluff Trail, Valencia Peak Trail, Hazard Peak Trail, and Rim Trail Loop.
This is a large and beautiful State Park that has so much to offer.
3550 Pecho Valley Rd, Los Osos
California State Parks
Backpacking, Beach Activities, BBQ, Biking (Mountain), Birdwatching, Camping, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Other Recreational Activities (Surfing, Surf Fishing), Picnicking, Relaxing, Running, Swimming, Viewing (Ocean, Mountains), Walking, Watchable Wildlife
Montaña de Oro is one of the largest California State Parks and is named after the golden (“Oro”) spring flowers that bloom on the mountain (“Montaña”) every year. The Chumash thrived here, and there are middens and village sites in the park.
Only 6 miles away, Los Osos Oaks State Natural Reserve is a small, biologically interesting and seemingly magical place to explore. Located at 1801 Los Osos Valley Rd, this reserve hosts five major plant communities, the most unusual of which consists of remarkable dwarf oak trees on relict (ancient) sand dunes. Short trails wind through these gnarled dwarf oaks that are only six to eight feet high. It feels a little like being a Lilliputian in Gulliver’s Travels. There are also several lichen species found nowhere else.
Morro Dunes Ecological Reserve is adjacent and to the south of Montaña de Oro. There is a great 2.6 mile hike through the reserve, known as the Broderson Peak Lookout Trail, the start of which can be accessed at the end of Broderson Avenue in Los Osos.
For outstanding kayaking, paddle boarding and wildlife watching (including sea otters, sea lions, harbor seals, and white pelicans), visit Morro Bay State Marine Reserve and Morro Bay State Marine Recreational Management Area. For more information about this remarkable area, click here.