Montaña de Oro’s Bluff Trail offers beautiful ocean vistas

A view from the Bluff Trail at Montana de Oro State Park.
A view from the Bluff Trail at Montana de Oro State Park. vvaz@thetribunenews.com

The trail: The Bluff Trail, Montaña de Oro State Park. From San Luis Obispo, take the Los Osos Valley Road exit from Highway 101. After 12.2 miles, Los Osos Valley Road becomes Pecho Valley Road. Continue the final 2.6 miles to enter Montaña de Oro State Park. Pass through a eucalyptus grove before reaching the parking area for Bluff Trail, which is on the right side of the road just past the visitor center.

Distance: 2.1 miles one way (4.2 miles round trip)

Difficulty: Easy. The trail is basically flat. Even if you hike to the very end of the Bluff Trail, there is only 140 feet of elevation change, making the trail suitable for hikers of all abilities.

Tips: Water is recommended. Weather can vary from overcast to sunny. There is no actual shade on the trail.

Parking: As you drive on Pecho Valley Road you will find a parking lot to the right side, just past the visitors center. There is a second parking lot at the end of the road where the trail ends.

Facilities: Trails are wide and suitable for bikes and wheelchairs. No fee for entrance.

Dogs: No dogs are allowed on the trails at Montaña de Oro State Park.

Description: The great scenery makes this hike very appealing. As you begin the trail, depending on your starting point (I chose the southern point), you will come to your first viewpoint at the Southern Overlook. Next up is the Blowhole Channel followed by Grotto Rock. At the 1-mile mark (from the start), you will see Quarry Cove. There are picnic tables here, and it’s a great stop to listen to crashing waves. At half a mile from the start is Corallina Cove with access to a beach and tide pools. It is a great hike if you prefer the sights and sounds of the ocean and a great place to clear your mind.