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Bluff Trail Hike

Montana de Oro State Park

Santa Maria Valley + Santa Lucia/La Panza Mountains, California

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Bluff Trail Hike

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  • The trailhead for the Bluff Trail is just past Spooner's Cove.- Bluff Trail Hike
  • Looking back to Spooner's Cove from the Bluff Trail.- Bluff Trail Hike
  • Informational displays are scattered along the trial.- Bluff Trail Hike
  • Spectacular coastal scenery.- Bluff Trail Hike
  • One of many tiny coves to explore.- Bluff Trail Hike
  • One of many tiny coves to explore.- Bluff Trail Hike
  • The Bluff Trail offers a never-ending panorama.- Bluff Trail Hike
  • Brown pelican cruising the coastline.- Bluff Trail Hike
  • Lots of spots to sit and contemplate the ocean.- Bluff Trail Hike
  • The coastline here is rugged and varied.- Bluff Trail Hike
  • Looking south toward Diablo Canyon.- Bluff Trail Hike
  • Fingers of rock jut into the sea.- Bluff Trail Hike
  • Bluffs Trail.- Bluff Trail Hike
  • California poppies (Eschscholzia californica).- Bluff Trail Hike
  • The wide gravel trail is great for running, biking and hiking.- Bluff Trail Hike
  • Poppies along the trail.- Bluff Trail Hike
  • California poppies (Eschscholzia californica).- Bluff Trail Hike
  • Looking north, the Morro Bay power plant and Morro Rock are visible.- Bluff Trail Hike
  • Local resident.- Bluff Trail Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Marvelous views. Well-graded trail. Many possible loops.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
Santa Maria Valley + Santa Lucia/La Panza Mountains, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
30.00 ft (9.14 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Total Distance: 
4.80 mi (7.72 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
30.00 ft (9.14 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Montana de Oro is a wonderful place to experience the best that the central California coast has to offer. Supporting several ecological regions from tide pools to coastal grassland and scrub to oak and pine forests, this sprawling park is a fairly lightly-visited destination. The Bluff Trail is one of the highlights of the park, and it is accessible to almost everyone of all abilities.

Beginning on the bluff just above Spooner's Cove past the visitors center, the trail is well-graded gravel for about 2.4 miles one way, but it is connected to many more miles of side trails that allow hikers to do much more than just an out-and-back. Numerous short spurs lead to overlooks above the rocks and beaches or down to secluded coves, many of which have tide pools at low tide. Other side trails can be taken to make a larger loop without having to backtrack. One could explore this area all day or do a short loop in less than 30 minutes. The coastal views are spectacular, and the wildflowers in March and April are an added treat.

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Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(19 within a 30 mile radius)

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