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Central Coast Hidden Gem

The Fortress Secure Team | August 28, 2023 @ 12:00 AM

Tucked away among the bluffs along our Central Coast is a gem so exquisite, we want to keep this treasure hidden. But…sigh…we won’t do that to you. How can we not share this bit of gorgeousness with the world? Sure, you’re familiar with the oft-talked-about sites along Highway One, from Big Sur to Monterey to Carmel. Rarely, though, does anyone mention Montaña de Oro State Park. We’ll just keep it at a whisper.


Its jagged cliffs, boisterous turquoise waters, towering dunes, and sandy beaches rival the coastlines of Portugal, Italy, and Australia. A jewel of a secluded escape, Montaña de Oro (aka, Mountain of Gold) is named for the gold wildflowers that bloom in spring. Considered one of California’s largest and most beautiful state parks, Montaña de Oro comprises seven miles of shoreline and more than 8,000 acres. Stunning views abound in every direction. Explore the sea cave and tide pools brimming with anemones, urchins, hermit crabs, and sea stars. Don’t forget to cast your gaze upward to bird watch or breathe in the surrounding eucalyptus groves. Whether you’re passing by on a road trip, camping, cycling, or hiking, this beautiful state park is a nature lover’s paradise.


Seeking refuge from life’s craziness? Montaña de Oro will soothe and restore your soul. Perch on a rock and lose yourself in the rhythmic waves and ocean breeze. Campers will be enchanted by the breathtaking coastal views near Spooner’s Cove Beach. Campsite options are plentiful, from environmental to family, from primitive to RV. Your canine friends are welcome at the campsites and on park roads as well as on Spooner’s Beach. Speaking of animals, don’t be surprised if you encounter black bears, bobcats, black-tailed deer, raccoons, and California quail. As sunshine-filled days give way to starry nights, let your mind drift as you’re lulled to sleep by the sound of the pounding surf.


 Any hikers and mountain bikers out there? Multiple trails await your next adventure! Hikers, take in the serene coastline with the Bluff Trail, or, if you’re up for the challenge, tackle the Valencia Peak trail with a summit of 1,347 feet. Mountain biking enthusiasts rejoice with 19 miles of marked trails, including three easy, six intermediate, and two difficult paths.


A spot of heaven on earth, Montaña de Oro illuminates nature’s magnificence, offering solitude and tranquility. Just 15 miles west of San Luis Obispo and six miles southwest of Morro Bay, this captivating state park is located at 3550 Pecho Valley Road. For information on the park (including fishing, dog, and equestrian regulations), call (805) 772-6101 or visit For camping reservations, call (800) 444-7275 or check out Reserve America at

The Fortress Secure Team
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