Islay Creek Campground Montaña de Oro State Park Camping Los Osos Camp San Luis Obispo California Montaña de Oro Camping

Montaña de Oro State Park preserves a stunning stretch of the California’s Central Coast where the Irish hills meet the Pacific Ocean. Picturesque bluffs and sandy coves dominate the coastline. The inland side of the park has charming peaks and canyons.

Within the park’s largest canyon, Islay Creek Canyon, you’ll find Islay Creek Campground. The conveniently-located campground is just a short walk from the beach at Spooner’s Cove and can serve as a base camp for hikes on nearby trails like the Bluff Trail, Valencia Peak Trail, Hazard Peak Trail, Islay Creek Trail, and Oats Peak Trail. Reservoir Flats Trail actually passes right through Islay Creek Campground, on a 2-mile loop that provides a great overview of the campground’s surroundings.

Islay Creek Campground
Looking down on Islay Creek Campground from Oats Peak Trail

Islay Creek Campground

Islay Creek Campground has 50 standard campsites that accommodating groups of eight or less. The campground is spread along a roughly half-mile long road with two loops.

Monterey cypress and larger pines provide intermittent shade. Campsites have soft ground to set up tents on. Sites can accommodate small RVs up to 27 feet in length. Campground amenities include picnic tables, fire rings, vault toilets, and potable water.

The campground is open year round, and reservations are accepted during the summer season. During the winter, sites are first-come first-served. Expect the campground to be full most weekends throughout the summer and book your site in advance, either online or by calling (800) 444-7275.

Montana de Oro Camping Islay Creek Campground
Tents in Islay Creek Campground

Individual sites at Islay Creek Campground are $25 per night ($23 for seniors) with $10 for an additional vehicle (a maximum of three vehicles are allowed per site). During the day, free additional parking is available at the nearby Spooner’s Ranch House Visitor Center, but Montaña de Oro State Park does not allow overnight parking outside the campground and environmental campsites.

Collecting firewood is not allowed, but you can purchase firewood from the camp host. Dogs are allowed on leashes in the campground, but not on trails and beaches, except for Spooner’s Cove Beach, which is just below the campground at the bottom of Islay Creek Canyon. Check-in time is at 2 p.m. and check-out is at 12 p.m.

More Montaña de Oro Camping

Montaña de Oro State Park has other camping options as well. If you’re with an equine, there is a horse camp in Hazard Canyon, just a short distance north up the coast.

Montaña de Oro State Park also has four environmental camping sites. These primitive sites are hike-in sites and do not allow campfires or dogs (but still accommodate groups up to eight people). The first two environmental campsites, Bloody Nose Camp and Hazard Grove Camp, are located north of Islay Creek Campground and the second two, Badger Flat Camp and Deer Flat Camp, are located south of Islay Creek Campground (photos of Badger Flat Camp are below). Environmental Campsites are $25 per site and $10 for extra vehicles. If an environmental site has not been reserved, you can self-register for the site at Islay Creek Campground just as you would for a site at Islay Creek Campground.

To get to Islay Creek Campground: From San Luis Obispo, exit Highway 101 at Los Osos Valley Road and drive northwest toward Los Osos. After 11.2 miles, Los Osos Valley Road becomes Pecho Valley Road and turns sharply to the south. Continue the final 3.7 miles, entering Montaña de Oro State Park and passing through a eucalyptus grove before reaching the road to Islay Creek Campground on the left side of the road just past Spooner’s Cove and the visitor center in Spooner’s Ranch House (and before the trailheads for the Bluff Trail and Valencia Peak). Turn left onto the road past the visitor center and drive down into the campground.

Campground address: Pecho Valley Road, Los Osos, CA 93402
Campground coordinates: 35.274021, -120.88478 (35° 16′ 26.47″N 120° 53′ 05.20″W)

Use the map below to view the campground and get directions:

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

Photos

Islay Creek Campground Montaña de Oro State ParkIslay Creek Campground Montaña de Oro State ParkIslay Creek Campground Montaña de Oro State ParkIslay Creek Campground Montaña de Oro State ParkIslay Creek Campground Montaña de Oro State ParkIslay Creek Campground Montaña de Oro State ParkIslay Creek Campground Montaña de Oro State ParkIslay Creek Campground Montaña de Oro State ParkIslay Creek Campground Montaña de Oro State ParkIslay Creek Campground Montaña de Oro State Park

Badger Flat Camp
Badger Flat Camp Environmental Campsite Montaña de Oro State ParkBadger Flat Camp Environmental Campsite Montaña de Oro State ParkBadger Flat Camp Environmental Campsite Montaña de Oro State ParkBadger Flat Camp Environmental Campsite Montaña de Oro State ParkBadger Flat Camp Environmental Campsite Montaña de Oro State ParkBadger Flat Camp Environmental Campsite Montaña de Oro State ParkBadger Flat Camp Environmental Campsite Montaña de Oro State ParkBadger Flat Camp Environmental Campsite Montaña de Oro State ParkBadger Flat Camp Environmental Campsite Montaña de Oro State ParkBadger Flat Camp Environmental Campsite Montaña de Oro State Park

These photos were taken in August of 2013 and March of 2016. Click to enlarge.
Nearby Trails
Reservoir Flats Trail Montana de OroReservoir Flats Trail
This 2-mile loop delivers fine ocean and canyon views as it explores the bottom of Islay Creek Canyon in Montaña de Oro State Park.
Oats Peak HikeOats Peak
This scenic 10.8-mile hike ventures into Montaña de Oro State Park to a panoramic summit.
Montaña de Oro TrailIslay Creek Trail
This easy 6-mile round trip hike follows a wide trail up a coastal canyon flanked by thousand-foot peaks, passing a small waterfall to reach an abandoned barn.
Hazard Peak TrailHazard Peak Trail
This 6-mile round trip 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 Loop
This 9.2 mile loop continues beyond Hazard Peak deeper into Montana de Oro before circling back on Islay Creek Trail.
Valencia Peak TrailValencia Peak Trail
This 4.5-mile hike summits a 1,347-foot peak with stunning views over Montaña de Oro.
Montaña de Oro TrailBluff Trail
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 Badger TrailRattlesnake Flats Trail – Badger Trail – Bluff Trail Loop
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.
Hazard Canyon DunesDune Trail to Hazard Canyon Reef
This one-mile hike in Montaña de Oro State Park descends an oceanfront ravine to a rocky shoreline graced with engaging tide pools.
Coon Creek TrailCoon Creek Trail
This 5-mile out and back hike ventures up a coastal canyon at the south end of Montaña de Oro State Park.
Point Buchon TrailPoint Buchon Trail
This 1 1/3 to 6.8-mile hike explores the beautiful coastline south of Montaña de Oro State Park.
Los Osos Dunes Ecological Reserve HikeMorro Dunes Ecological Reserve
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.
Elfin Forest Natural ReserveElfin Forest Natural Reserve
This easy 1-mile loop on a boardwalk explores a pygmy forest on the edge of Morro Bay.
San Luis Obispo hikesMore hikes in San Luis Obispo
Explore other trails around San Luis Obispo including Morro Bay State Park and the Morros.

3 Comments on Islay Creek Campground in Montaña de Oro State Park

  1. […] camped two nights at Islay Creek Campground.  The weather was cool and cloudy with occasional sunshine.  We hiked all around for two days […]

  2. Donna Broyles says:

    Does Islay Creek campground have a dump station?

  3. frances rivas says:

    do you have any dumpsites for rv at this location

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