Montana de Oro

Montana de Oro

Photos by Chris Meugniot

Montana de Oro: The Mountain of Gold. Located just a few miles off the 101 near Morro Bay, 
this state park is a great place for a picnic lunch on your roadtrip. For those looking to stay a bit longer,
 Islay Creek Campground is perfectly situated just across from the iconic Spooner’s Cove.

What makes this rugged Central California place so special? Miles of seaside trails, secluded beaches, 
fascinating geology, epic tidepools, springtime wildflower displays that inspired its name … we could go on.
 But why tell you, when we can show you?

Photographer Chris Meugniot takes us on a visual journey of this coastal gem.

Over millennia, the relentless crash of waves has worn down the layers of rock, creating incredible habitat for a huge diversity of wildlife. Watch the tide charts and head down to check it out as the tide is going out – but remember, never turn your back on the ocean.

It’s easy to assume this is called Montaña de Oro, but in fact, it’s called Valencia Peak. Trails heading to the top of this 1,347-foot peak offer unparalleled views of the surrounding region.

Even in the spring, moody storms can roll in quickly. Pack layers of clothing so you can enjoy the drama comfortably. Mother Nature is an amazing architect, as these formations at Spooner’s Cove prove.