MONTANA DE ORO STATE PARK
This park features rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons, and hills, including 1,347-foot Valencia Peak. Naturalists and backpackers enjoy the solitude and freedom found along the park?s trails. There are also mountain biking and equestrian trails. The best-known beach is Spooner?s Cove, across from the campground. The park?s name, "Mountain of Gold," comes from the golden wildflowers that bloom in spring. Wildlife in the park includes black tailed deer and the black oystercatcher. The park includes primitive and equestrian campsites.
Seasons - Climate - Recommended clothing
The weather can be changeable; layered clothing is recommended.
Located in San Luis Obispo County, this park was named for the golden wildflowers found there. Established in 1965, it spans over 8,000 acres of rugged cliffs and secluded sandy beaches.
The Chumash people were its first known inhabitants. Later Spanish explorers arrived followed by ranching pioneers like Alexander Soto who owned Rancho Canada de Los Osos y Pecho y Islay where the park is now located.
In 1892 James Biddle purchased part of that land to mine chromite but failed due to low-quality ore deposits. The Spooner family acquired these lands after his death and attempted dairy farming which also proved unsuccessful.
Finally sold off as a state reserve in the mid-20th century; today it's home to diverse wildlife species including sea otters and peregrine falcons.
- Islay Creek Campground: Offers 50 primitive campsites, picnic tables and pit toilets. No water or electricity available.
- Environmental Campsites: Six sites accessible only by hiking in; no amenities provided.
- Group Camping Area: Accommodates up to 35 people with a reservation required for use.
Note that all camping options require self-registration upon arrival.