Open Year-round
?
Reservations possible?
Yes
RV Hookups
No
Potable water
No
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Montana de Oro State Park is a hidden gem south of Morro Bay on California's central coast that offers wonderful beaches, hiking and various camping options. There are a few environmental campsites that offer walk-in tent camping, a few group sites, and some horse camping sites, but Islay Creek is the main developed campground in the park. Located just behind the tiny visitors center and store and a short walk from the lovely Spooner's Cove, Islay Creek is a great choice for tent campers and smaller RVs (27 feet is the recommended maximum size).

This is a primitive campground with pit toilets and no hookups. There is little vegetation aside from some large trees, so privacy between sites is at a minimum. But making up for these limitations is the wealth of hiking and coastal exploring just outside the campground, including the spectacular Bluffs Trail. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Very close to the beach and hiking. Beautiful setting.

Cons

Little privacy between sites.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Managed by

California State Parks

Reservation phone number

1 (800) 444-7275

Features

ADA accessible
Vault toilet
Amphitheater

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

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

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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

Comments

08/27/2018
I have gone to this campground every year for the past 4 years. I recommended site 25 and 26 (we always get them both for a group of 8-10). The sites are not private from neighbors at all. However, the sites we always get are very nice, with a large tree providing shade and a place for multiple hammocks. You can hear the ocean from your site, which is the best to fall asleep and wake up to! Like anywhere, the raccoons are bold so make sure and put your food in your car! Walking along the bluff trail is magical and there are little trails down to tide pools. We love walking down to Spooner's Cove at sunset with a drink (a tradition now). Dogs are allowed. Potable water and vault toilets. Lots of cute quail and bunnies running about in the spring. There are sand dunes just north. The town is an easy drive if you forgot something.

My only complaint has been with the camp host and a ranger in the past 2 years. Long story short- if you're in your 20s and any other group of twenty somethings makes a ruckus, you'll probably get blamed. Even if your group is mellow. Don't bother trying to explain yourself, they don't care (I did file a complaint about this, but nothing came of it).

I love this park and campground and recommend it! We are going to try a different campground next year simply because of the host/ranger situation but will probably hike the bluffs.
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