Hiking, biking, camping, wildlife and rugged coastal scenery

Tuesday, June 13th, 2023

Experience the natural wonders of Montana de Oro State Park

Montana De Oro is a stunning state park that has over 12 square miles of rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons, and hills, including 1,347-foot Valencia Peak. The park’s name, Spanish for “Mountain of Gold,” comes from the golden wildflowers that bloom in spring.

From day use to camping, families, naturalists and backpackers, and equestrians can enjoy the solitude and freedom found along the park’s trails. The best-known beach is Spooner’s Cove, across from the campground. On a clear day, there are magnificent views of the park from the top of Valencia Peak. The trailhead for Valencia Peak is from the main campsite near Spooner’s Cove.

Wildlife in the park includes black-tailed deer and the black oystercatcher. The park includes primitive and equestrian campsites, as well as picnic areas, hiking trails, prime scuba diving, guided tours and more. The weather can be changeable; layered clothing is recommended.

Only visiting for the day?

You might change your mind after viewing the list of things to do. Along with picnic and barbecue areas, there are a variety of things to do for every level of outdoor enthusiast.

• Visit the historical and cultural site, participate in a variety of exhibits, programs, and guided tours
• Fish, SCUBA dive or snorkel
• Take a hike on any of the trails or enjoy the beaches and tidepools.
• Cycling and horseback riding allowed for most of the trails. Dogs not allowed on trails.

A variety of campsites

The park has family campsites, Environmental campsites, primitive campsites and even a campsite for horses and riders. There is also RV and horse trailer access. Be sure to check campsite availability and make reservations.


Amenities include RV parking, drinking water, coin-operated showers and firewood available for purchase.

Dogs allowed with some restrictions

Dogs are permitted in campsites and park roads and must be kept on a six-foot maximum leash held by an adult. Dogs are not allowed on the trails or the beach except Spooner’s Cove beach and may not be left alone in campsites.

Getting there

Montana de Oro State Park is six miles southwest of Morro Bay and seven miles south of Los Osos on Pecho Road. For more information, campsite reservations and campfire restrictions, visit www.parks.ca.gov or call (805) 528-0513.


About the Author