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Credit 1 Pam Starr
2 Alyn Robert Brereton
3 Julie MacKinnon
4 Linda Pittman
5 Parham Pourahmad
6 Larry Whiting
7 Randall Finley
Visitation: 761,470
Area: 8,356 Acres
Lat: Latitude: 35.2639 Longitude: -120.8622
Nearby Services
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Top Banner Photo Credits
Pam Starr
Alyn Robert Brereton
Julie MacKinnon
Linda Pittman
Parham Pourahmad
Larry Whiting
Randall Finley
Montaña de Oro State Park - Site # 139
The park’s name, "Mountain of Gold," comes from the golden wildflowers that bloom in spring.
RegionalRegional - worth visiting if you are already in the area. They may be located farther from populated areas or with more limited wildlife species.

With fixed eyes, I got this ground level view of young bobcat.          
Credit: Don Henderson: 1024x749.71428571429 Turkey vultures on sandspit. Montana de Oro State Park: 640x425

Background: Named for its 'mountain of gold' poppies and mustard blooms, this park's chaparral-covered hills give way to cliffs, sand dunes, beaches, sea stacks, and a 9-mile underwater reef. The Morro Bay dune spit, a reserve for the endangered Morro Bay kangaroo rat, draws black-tailed deer, peregrine falcons, and nesting snowy plovers. Tidepools glisten at Coralina Cove, a spot favored by harbor seals, southern sea otters, brown pelicans, black oystercatchers and marine birds. Red-tailed hawks and turkey vultures circle rugged hills where creek-side vegetation conceals raccoons, gray foxes, badgers, bobcats, even mountain lions. Monarch butterflies winter here.
Interpretive displays and Visitor Center.

The Habitat: More than 8,000 acres of rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons, and hills. One hill, Valencia Peak, is 1,345 feet high.

The Experience: 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.

Visitor Center and Gift Shop at Spooner’s Cove. Supervising Rangers Office - (805) 772-7630 http://www.slostateparks.com/montana_de_oro/mdo_vc.asp

Wildlife and Where to Find It: Car, trails of various difficulties, overlooks, horseback riding, and biking.

Birds include the Acorn Woodpecker, American Kestrel, Barn Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Black Oystercatcher, Bluebird, Burrowing Owl, California Quail, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Great Horned Owl, Heerman’s Gull, White-tailed Kite, Least Tern, Red-tailed Hawk, Sandpiper, Snowy Egret, Snowy Plover, Turkey Vulture, Western Grebe, Western Gull, Western Meadowlark, the Western Screech Owl – and more. Bring binoculars.

Other wildlife in the park includes badgers, black bears, black-tailed deer, bobcat, broad-footed moles, brush rabbits, California vole, coyote, woodrat, elephant seal, gray fox, deer mouse, ground squirrel, gray tree squirrel, hoary bat, house mouse, long-tailed weasel, mountain lion, pocket gopher, opossum, raccoon, red-legged frog, sea lion, sea otter, and striped skunk. If you’re here in the early spring, look for monarch butterflies.

Viewing Tips: High probability of seeing shorebirds and wading birds year-round, waterfowl in winter. Look for birds of prey and marine birds in spring, songbirds in fall. Seals, otters, and land mammals may be seen year-round. Horses okay, but no dogs on trails. DANGEROUS SURF.

Bring your binoculars and camera, as wildlife and birds can be found throughout the park. The best ocean views are found near Spooner’s Cove.

Site Notes: The park includes primitive and equestrian campsites. A few picnic tables are available near the Spooner Ranch House near the end of Pecho Road. There are trails throughout the park for biking, hiking, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing.

Nearby Viewing Sites: Morro Bay State Park, Morro Rock Natural Preserve, the Elfin Forest in Los Osos, and Los Osos Oaks State Reserve

Festivals & Events: Ongoing historically accurate presentations of family life at the Spooner Ranch and Spooner's Cove.

Morro Bay Winter Birding Festival

Visitor Information: Morro Bay Visitor Center - (805) 225-1633 - http://www.morrobay.org/
Viewing Site Hours of Operation are:
Staff On-site: Yes
Open: Everday
Hours: Contact Park
Year Round: Yes

Road Information:   Paved. 
 Roads available year-round.
Road Hazards: No
 Number of Parking Spaces: 0
Parking Fee: No
Proximity to viewing area:Various
 Pull-Through Parking: Yes
Parking Danger: Drivers must be mindful of equestrians, hikers, and bikers. Roads are curvy throughout with small parking lots and turn-outs.

Special Tips: Park Rangers and docents are available seasonally Sept – May weekends only; June – August daily.

How to Get There: From San Luis Obispo, take Highway 101 south to Los Osos. Turn right and drive 12 miles to entrance.

Contact Information
Managing Agency: California State Parks
Agency Site URL: parks.ca.gov/?page_id=592
Physical Address:Pechco Valley Road
Los Osos, CA 93412
Agency 2:750 Hearst Castle Road
San Simeon, CA 93452
Manager Phone:(805) 927-2065 Contact Us:by Email
Site Phone:(805) 528-0513
County: San Luis Obispo
Addition Website:  http://www.slostateparks.com/montana_de_oro/mdo_vc.asp