Hiking Trails

Bluff Trail Montaña de Oro 01.31.15

This Saturday afternoon I began hike number 10/52 for the 52 Hike Challenge in 2015, and 87 of my goal of 1000 miles this year. After spending the morning in Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo, we made our way out to Montaña de Oro and Islay Creek Campground. This is easily one of my favorite places to visit, as the campground is only a short walk to some of the most beautiful coastal views you’ll ever see. We arrived to the campground at about 1:30, and claimed a site towards the back of the grounds. Before leaving SLO, we grabbed some Firestone’s to go. It had been far too long since I enjoyed a tri-tip sandwich from on of my favorite SLO eateries. After letting the food digest a little while setting up camp, I made my way out to the Bluff Trail, to take in some of the gorgeous afternoon views. Unfortunately, Julia had to stay at the camp with Lilly and Isla, as no dogs are allowed on this trail.

Screenshot 2015-02-03 at 8.57.26 AM
Bluff Trail In Montana de Oro
Spooner's Cove
Spooner’s Cove
Isla and Lilly at the Beach
Isla and Lilly at the Beach

The trail head for Bluff Trail starts on the west side of Pecho Valley Road, across from the trail head for Valencia Peak. The trail initially leads west towards the sea and offers great views of Spooner’s Cove before turning south to parallel the coast line.

Heading West
Heading West
Coves and Inlets
Coves and Inlets

One of my favorite things about Montana de Oro is getting up close and personal with all of the Monterey Shale. Monterey Shale is sea floor that has been pushed up to the surface. It was formed millions of years ago as living organisms drifted to the mudstone floor of the ocean to mix with silt and sand to form thick layers of diatomite, clay porcellanite, dolimite, and chert (Read More).

Sea and Shale
Sea and Shale
More Gorgeous Views
More Gorgeous Views

The Bluff Trail continues south and passes by Quarry Cove before heading inland at Coralina Cove. If you have more time, you can continue on and hike down the road to start Point Buchon Hiking Trail. It was getting late for me, so I turned around here and left the full Bluff Trail and Buchon Trail combination for another time. I walked back the someway I came, and savored the sights, smells, and sounds of the ocean.

I'm Drew, creator of Trail to Peak. Trail to Peak brings content to life on the web through breath-taking photography and captivating video. I launched Trail to Peak in 2014 with a goal to inspire readers to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. I have traveled to 19 countries, walked Camino de Santiago, hiked the John Muir Trail, trekked through the Andes of Peru, and am constantly seeking new adventures in my home state of California. Joining me on my weekly adventures is my partner, Julia, our son, Owen, and our two goldendoodles, Isla and Lilly.

15 comments on “Bluff Trail Montaña de Oro 01.31.15

  1. Wow, what a stunning coast line! How lovely!

  2. Amazing photography. I felt like I was standing right there!

  3. Beautiful. I need to get to the coast again for some of these experiences.

    • It’s a nice change of scenery. Having spent the past few weekends in the mountains, it felt good to hear the crashing of waves from the trail.

  4. Great photo
    The place looks deserted

    • It’s great! There aren’t too many visitors until summer time, and even then, the Central Coast shorelines never feel too crowded.

  5. looks amazing!

  6. What a gorgeous area, great pics!

  7. Stunning pictures of the ocean crashing towards the shale! 52 hikes in a year, that is great goal! Seems like you are on track if the plan is one a week:)

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