Montana de Oro State Park, whose name means "mountain of gold," truly is a gold mine for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Named for the stunning golden-hued wildflowers that line its grounds, this 8,000-acre state park is located just outside of Morro Bay and draws visitors with its diverse geographical features, which include coastal plains, rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and the 1,347-foot Valencia Peak.
If you're visiting Montana de Oro with your canine companion, head straight to Spooner's Cove as this is one of the few areas in the state park that's not off-limits to four-legged guests. Be sure to keep your furry friend on a 6-foot leash as you stroll on the pebbly beach, check out the caves and tide pools, and climb the unique rock formations. Several trails branch out from the cove, but none of them are dog-friendly, so take your time exploring the beach with your pupper. Bring a camera and maybe even some beach chairs to make the most of your visit—the entire cove area is breathtaking and the views of the Pacific Ocean are pawmazing! Carry drinking water and doggie waste bags, too, and always clean up any mess your pooch might make.
Less than half a mile from Spooner's Cove is Islay Creek Campground, the only campground in the state park. Furtunately, dogs are also welcome here, so you and Fido can check into a campsite if you're not ready to head home just yet. The campground has nearly 50 campsites for tents, trailers, and RVs, and amenities include drinking water, tables, firepits, and primitive toilets. Showers and dump stations are not available. Make sure that your pup is inside your tent or vehicle as night falls, and keep noise to a minimum during the quiet hours of 10 PM to 6 AM.
Experience the natural beauty of Los Osos with Fido at Montana de Oro State Park!