Montana de Oro State Park is one of the hidden wonders of the Central Coast. Nestled past huge eucalyptus trees and the town of Los Osos is this spectacular place perfect for a day of adventure.
Once inhabited by grizzlies and Chumash Indians, this land went through several people before the state of California purchased it to be used as a state park. It was largely used as farmland for cattle and sheep, then a creamery, and finally an attempt at logging.
When the agricultural industry failed to thrive here, the state purchased it and officially named it Montana de Oro, meaning “Mountain of Gold.” This is truly a mountain of treasures. While you will not find true gold here, the experience that you do find is a treasure itself.
Things To Do Montana De Oro State Park
There are not too many places where you can find so many environments in one place. The beach is great for picnics and large group activities.
Tide pools and inlet areas provide the kids with endless opportunities for releasing energy and finding treasures of their own. The caves are fascinating to explore and wildlife is endless. You can find many different species of birds, seals, and other marine life. The visitor center keeps all of this information plus maps of the trails.
There are over 50 miles of hiking trails that take you from feeling like you are in a dense forest. For those who want a more organized method of hiking, there are scheduled guided tours and hikes by volunteers
Other day activities include swimming, fishing, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Photographers will find endless chances to catch that great shot. There are horse facilities that you can use for a day or camp overnight with your horses. The campground area offers full-service facilities that will give you a great camping experience.
Montana De Oro State Park features over 8,000 acres of rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons, and hills. Naturalists and backpackers enjoy the solitude and freedom found along the park trails.
Spooner Ranch House
The Spooner Ranch House serves at the visitor center for Montano De Oro State Park. State Park docents staff the center there which is open daily during the summer months and Thursday through Sunday the rest of the year. Visitors are free to roam around the ranch house which has been restored and furnished to look like it did back in the 1900s.
Where is Montana De Oro State Park
Montana de Oro State Park is located along California’s Central Coast. Six miles southwest of Morro Bay and seven miles south of Los Osos on Pecho Road.
Nearby Morro Bay State Park features lagoon and natural bay habitat. The bay’s most prominent landmark is Morro Rock. The park has opportunities for horseback riding, hiking, and has a huge campground.