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Coastal California: Montaña De Oro

Montana de Oro

Montaña De Oro provides striking seascapes: rugged cliffs, dramatic reefs, broad sand dunes and secluded bolder-strewn beaches.   The name — “Mountain of Gold” — derives from the bluffs smothered in wild mustard and poppies that bloom in the Spring.  We visited Montaña De Oro on February 4, 2011, as part of our Coastal California road trip in celebration of Laura’s 40th Birthday.  The park is located between Los Osos and Morro Bay.  Bluff-top trails brought us  to narrow Hazard Canyon, where we joined a canyon trail, following it through aromatic eucalyptus down to the beach.

The L.A. Times includes Montaña De Oro in ”The Golden 15,” or the 15 top destinations that are away from the tourist trail, yet epitomize the unique things the state has to offer.  The mighty cliffs and dunes here were the site of practice invasions launched by America’s troops-in-training during World War II. In spring, 1995, the shores were again disturbed by explosions, this time by a bomb squad which located and detonated the last of the unexploded ordnance left behind from these war games of half a century ago.

Below is a photolog of our visit.  You can click on any thumbnail to expand it and then manually cycle through all the gallery’s images and captions using the arrow buttons.  Alternatively, you can click on the [show as slideshow] link below to initiate an automated slideshow of the entire gallery.

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