One of the most spectacular sights along California’s breathtaking coastal highway is Morro Rock, a volcanic plug rising from the ocean more than 550 feet tall. The enchanting Morro Bay State Park—located about a mile south of the famous rock—offers visitors and their dogs large stretches of beaches and trails to enjoy. It is a popular getaway for campers, day trippers, and locals alike.
The bay itself separates the campgrounds from the stretch of secluded beach on the other side. Many who visit make good use of the public golf course, the excellent fishing, and the opportunity to relax while surrounded by the sounds of the sea. Hikers are known to take their dogs on the Black Hill trail, a two-and-a-half mile out and back hike taking travelers inland for a stunning view of the bay. For those hoping to stay closer to camp, there are plenty of well-kept trails that lead to various vistas and lagoons. The campgrounds offer restrooms and water fountains, but the rest of the park is left mostly untouched from its natural state.
Dogs are required to stay on leashes no longer than 6 feet at all times, even while on the beaches. California State Parks seeks to preserve delicate plant and wildlife and urges dog owners to keep their dog’s impact on the environment to a minimum. This includes picking up after your dog, although the park does not provide any poop bags to assist you in that. You may be able to ask one of your temporary neighbors, all of whom have a reputation for being friendly and helpful to other campers.
If you are looking for a secluded coast somewhere off the beaten path, camping at Morro Bay State Park may be the perfect weekend retreat. You and your dog will be able to hike, explore, or lay back and catch some sun while the sound of ocean waves sends you drifting off to sleep.