Morro Bay: Montana De Oro-Spooner’s Cove

Monday, September 16, 2013

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For our first ride in Morro Bay, we’re heading south to Los Osos to Montana De Oro State Park and Spooner’s Cove. The return to Morro Bay includes a tour around Morro Bay State Park and the waterfront areas along the Embarcadero.

We exit Bay Pines and head south on S Bay Blvd; the flat terrain on this road runs through Morro Bay State Park and the glassy waters of Morro Estuary Natural Preserve. The short climb takes us up and over into Los Osos onto Los Osos Valley Rd. Los Osos Valley Rd west takes us through the business district out to the residential neighborhoods of Cuesta-By-The-Sea along Pecho Valley Rd.

Pecho Valley Rd leads us into Montana De Oro State Park “Mountain of Gold”; it’s a two-lane road with minimal weekday traffic. This park is considered the crown jewel of Los Osos with its many hilly trails, spectacular bluffs, beaches and breathtaking ocean views! The rolling terrain winds in and out through groves of eucalyptus trees and opens up at the top of the ridge to the Islay Creek Campgrounds and Spooner Ranch House Museum.

Spooner’s Cove is a gorgeous beach located directly across from the campgrounds; the cove is hemmed in by tall bluffs and rocky cliffs with wonderful ocean views. It’s probably best to return on foot to walk the sandy beach and to explore the tide pools and sand dunes.

We continue on Pecho Valley Rd for another 1.4 miles to the end of the road at the Point Buchon Trail where no bikes are allowed. We simply turn around and make our way back to Spooner’s Cove. The quiet ride back offers fabulous hillside views veiled in a light shroud of fog. I enjoy the solitude and the quiet sense of calm this whole area brings.

The one mile out and back on Sand Spit Rd takes us to a large open parking lot with walking trails out to Morro Dunes.

We exit the park and meander through the city streets along the waterfront neighborhoods to our lunch stop at Baywood Park Pier. This little pier offers great views of Morro Bay and the surrounding downtown area along 2nd St.

We continue to wind our way around the bay along the waterfront homes and take Santa Ysabel Ave to S Bay Blvd.

The turn onto State Park Rd takes us along the estuary and wetlands through Morro Bay State Park Campground and Morro Bay Golf Course with a fantastic view of Valencia Peak in the far distance.

We head north on Main St and hop onto the multi-use path to Atascadero Rd and Embarcadero. The road dead ends at Morro Bay City Beach; on a clear day, you can see Morro Rock but today it’s totally fogged in with zero visibility. Oh well!

We return on the multi-use path to Main St and take Beach St to the waterfront harbor area on the Embarcadero. This road goes pass the Morro Bay Power Plant out to Coleman Park. This area is still socked in with fog with no visibility as well, there’s no sense in going out any further so we turn around and head south on the Embarcadero towards the tourist commercial wharf area and Anchor Street Park. This area is pretty quiet on a weekday with not much foot or car traffic.

We take Beach St back to Main St and continue on Quintana Rd to Bay Pines-it’s sunny and warm on the east side of town!

This short ride is a nice beginning to our five day stay in SLO County!

Garmin Stats:
33.4 Miles with 2507′ of elevation gain”
Max elevation: 411′
Max grade: 9%
Terrain: Flat to rolling

Weather: Great! Partly cloudy with fog along the coast and sunny skies inland. Temps ranged from the high 50’s to the high 70’s. SW winds with 82% humidity

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!

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Follow this route for today’s ride: