Two men were cited for hiking up Morro Rock on Monday evening, Morro Bay State Parks officials said.
It’s illegal to climb the rock, which is a protected bird sanctuary.
Cole Creager, 35, of Carlsbad and Nathan Frithjof, 29, of Fresno told authorities they “saw the trail” and decided to climb the rock, which may be an infraction or a misdemeanor, depending on how the violation is interpreted by law enforcement.
State Parks officials were called about 6:30 p.m. as fog was rolling in and the pathway was becoming dangerous, said Rob Colligan, the supervising State Parks peace officer.
“The helicopter was called due to the fog and dusk,” Colligan said. “It was called off as rescue crews reached the two hikers and started to descend with them.”
Morro Rock is deemed sacred to the Salinan and Chumash tribes, members of which are allowed to climb it on the winter and summer solstices.