Visit Montaña de Oro State Park Hiking Trails San Luis Obispo California

Montaña de Oro State Park has dramatic ocean bluffs and summits with sweeping views. The park covers over 8,000 acres and has 7 miles of undeveloped coastline, making it a rare treasure on the California Coast. One road leads into the park, entering from the town of Los Osos to the north, which is just west of the city of San Luis Obispo. Visitors can stay overnight at a 50-site campground at the center of the park.

Valencia Peak Trail
Grotto Rock on the Bluff Trail

First time visitor should be sure to hike the Bluff Trail, which crosses sea cliffs and coves on the impressive oceanfront.

With more energy, you can hike to a mountaintop like Valencia Peak, Oats Peak, or Hazard Peak. Every summit trail offers great ocean views. Each peak also looks inland across the Irish Hills, which spread beyond the eastern boundary of Montaña de Oro State Park. Hazard Peak in particular provides nice views north up the coast toward Morro Bay and beyond.

Valencia Peak Trail
Valencia Peak Trail

Generally speaking, mountain bikers are allowed on trails on the north side of the park, but that seems to be expanding as Oats Peak is now open to bikes as well. Islay Creek Trail and Hazard Peak Trail and also popular mountain bike routes.

Hikes in Montaña de Oro State Park

The list below contains 9 hikes in Montaña de Oro State Park as well as two additional hikes on the edge of the park (one hike in Morro Dunes Ecological Reserve rises to a viewpoint within Montaña de Oro State Park and another trail travels down the remote coast to the south toward Point Buchon Trail and relies on a trailhead within Montaña de Oro State Park).

All of these trails are listed from north to south and include an average star rating of each trail as decided by the readers of hikespeak. After you complete one of these hikes, come back and give it your own star rating.

Los Osos Dunes Ecological Reserve HikeMorro Dunes Ecological ReserveForgettableAverageGoodGreatUnforgettable

This 2.6-mile loop serves up panoramic views over Morro Bay as it ascends 800 feet from Los Osos to Montaña de Oro State Park.
Hazard Canyon DunesHazard Canyon ReefForgettableAverageGoodGreatUnforgettable

This one-mile hike goes down an oceanfront ravine to a rocky shoreline with engaging tide pools.
Hazard Peak TrailHazard Peak TrailForgettableAverageGoodGreatUnforgettable

This 6-mile out and back hike ascends coastal ridges to a 1,076-foot summit with panoramic views that include a dynamic perspective of Morro Bay.
Hazard Peak Islay Creek Loop TrailHazard Peak – Islay Creek LoopForgettableAverageGoodGreatUnforgettable

This 9.2 mile loop continues beyond Hazard Peak deeper into Montaña de Oro State Park before circling back on Islay Creek Trail.
Montaña de Oro TrailIslay Creek TrailForgettableAverageGoodGreatUnforgettable

This easy 6-mile out and back hike follows a wide trail up a coastal canyon flanked by thousand-foot peaks, passing a small waterfall to reach an abandoned barn.
Reservoir Flats Trail Montana de OroReservoir Flats TrailForgettableAverageGoodGreatUnforgettable

This 2-mile loop delivers fine ocean and canyon views as it explores the bottom of Islay Creek Canyon.
Oats Peak HikeOats PeakForgettableAverageGoodGreatUnforgettable

This 10.8-mile hike ventures into the park to a lofty, panoramic summit.
Valencia Peak TrailValencia PeakForgettableAverageGoodGreatUnforgettable

This 4.5-mile hike summits a 1,347-foot peak with stunning views over Montaña de Oro State Park.
Montaña de Oro TrailBluff TrailForgettableAverageGoodGreatUnforgettable

This hike of around three miles tours tide pools, beaches, and impressive cliffs along the picturesque coast of Montaña de Oro State Park.
Montaña de Oro TrailRattlesnake Flats Trail – Badger Trail – Bluff Trail LoopForgettableAverageGoodGreatUnforgettable

This 1 2/3-mile hike offers a twist on the Bluff Trail, going along and just above the coast of Montaña de Oro State Park.

Coon Creek TrailCoon Creek TrailForgettableAverageGoodGreatUnforgettable

This 5-mile out and back hike ventures up a coastal canyon at the south end of the park.
Montaña de Oro TrailPoint Buchon TrailForgettableAverageGoodGreatUnforgettable

This 1 1/3 to 6.8-mile hike explores the beautiful coastline south of Montaña de Oro State Park.

 

View Montaña de Oro State Park in a larger map
Or view Central Coast trails and campgrounds in a larger map

2 Comments on Trails in Montaña de Oro State Park

  1. Kat says:

    When are the poppies/wild flowers blooming?

    • rick dale says:

      Should be many wildflowers now, though poppies may be scarcer this year because they like drier winters, (which this last was NOT.)

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