“over 8,000 acres of rugged cliffs”
This park features over 8,000 acres of 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. There are also mountain biking and equestrian trails. The best-known beach is Spooner’s Cove, across from the campground. The park’s name, "Mountain of Gold," comes from the golden wildflowers that bloom in spring. Wildlife in the park includes black tailed deer and the black oystercatcher. The park includes primitive and equestrian campsites. Valencia Peak Montaña De Oro is one of the largest state parks in California. Close to a million people visit Montaña De Oro each year. Marine terrace bluffs, rocky coastline and magnificent coastal mountains. “Mountain of Gold” hillsides with native plants and animals. Rich cultural and historical resources.
Go to the main parking lot.. Then keep going south til the next spot and jump over the do not enter signs. Just be VERY Careful and climb down out onto the rocks for some spectacular views!
While it is not as talked about as Big Sur, it is just as beautiful. It doesn't have the waterfalls of Big Sur, but it has beach and forest hikes. It has rock formations as well. There are numerous beaches and tidal pools. My favorite trail is the Bluff Trail which is an extremely easy and flat trail. Sometimes, you can see a collection of otters off the trail. I have also seen migrating whales, but you have to be sure to go during migration season. I would recommend this to anyone passing through San Luis Obispo or Morro Bay.
This is a beautiful place! Definitely worth the walk. It's not a tough walk, either.
We mad this stop on a bit of a whim, while driving from Santa Barbara to Cambria, CA before doing Big Sur. Such a great decision! If you're passing through this area, definitely spend a few hours here. It's a ways into the park before you get to eh main parking lot, but well worth the drive in. From the parking lot, you have a few different options. You can hike down to the beach (there was a pretty clear path, and it's definitely a regulated trail), out on the bluffs, or head up into the hills to Valencia Peak. We did all three of these things, starting with Valencia Peak. It's quite a hike, and a pretty steady grade, but if you're up for it there are some spectacular views along the coast. Unfortunately, we were there on an overcast day, but there were some moments when the fog lifted and it was breathtaking. I would love to get back here again and do some more exploring, as it appeared that there were quite a few trails. Highly recommend!
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Montaña de Oro State Park
- Sun - Sat: 6:00 am - 10:00 pm
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