Pacific Coast Highway – The Bluff Trail

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Sunset on the Bluffs along the Pacific Coast Highway.
Sunsets out here are the best.

Montaña de Oro

There are tons of amazing places to stop and see ocean views along the Pacific Coast Highway in California. But there is a special place that we continue to go back to time and time again. Montaña de Oro is a bit off the beaten path. But it has some amazing trails and views that you just can’t find in other parts of the state.

We’ve hiked here many times. But on our most recent trip, we decided to venture out and find new trails that have not yet become our favorites. Normally, we park down at the Coon Creek Parking Lot. It is the farthest you can drive into Montaña de Oro. We then back track along the coast heading north. This usually is in the evening so that we can catch some amazing sunsets.

Sunset along the bluffs at Montaña de Oro State Park. A great stopping point along the Pacific Coast Highway.
Sunset along the Bluffs at Montaña de Oro State Park.

New Trails

This trip we decided to try new things. We explored the Buchon Trail to the south. Now it was time to try the Bluff Trail. We had hiked sections of the Bluff trail from the Coon Creek Parking lot. But this time, we wanted to explore the trails near Spooner’s Cove. Spooner’s Cover is on the north side of the Bluff Trail.

The full trail is only about 1.7 miles. But we usually don’t make it too far due to the sheer volume of good views. I’m usually slowing everyone down with my camera. And since evening light is my favorite on the West Coast, we are usually out there later in the evening. Then we have to hustle back to the car after the sun goes down. So we wanted to see what the northern part of the trail looked like.

The Bluff Trail at Montaña de Oro

If you are just passing through on the Pacific Coast Highway, this trail is a fantastic way to see some protected and undeveloped coastline. The trail is mostly flat and fairly easy to travel. It is also ADA accessible for a good portion of it if you start from Spooner’s Cove.

The trail offers some amazing views. And if you are staying the night somewhere nearby, it is worth hanging out until sunset.

Montaña de Oro Bluff Trail

The Sunsets

We went a few hours before sunset as we wanted to explore a little before the sun started going down. Near the trailhead, there were quite a few people. And that persisted for about a mile down the trail. When we hit the half way point, we started having the place to ourselves. That got even better as the sun started lowering in the sky.

Like I said, there are some fantastic ocean views to be found out there. It’s worth spending some time exploring the area. We have gone during the winter and summer months and both offer amazing scenery that very rarely gets ruined by fog or wind. In fact, one day during our last winter visit, it was really windy in Cayucos, Morro Bay and Los Osos. But out on the Bluffs it was calm and gorgeous.

So go check it out. I think it’s one of the best offerings along the South-Central part of the Pacific Coast Highway.


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