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2021-04-15  
2016-12-26  
Morro Bay State Park Hike, CA
mini location map2016-12-26
10 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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Morro Bay State Park Hike, CA 
Morro Bay State Park Hike, CA
 
Hiking avatar Dec 26 2016
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking4.90 Miles 484 AEG
Hiking4.90 Miles   2 Hrs   7 Mns   2.31 mph
484 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Had a family get-together in Los Osos, California, for Christmas. There are two state parks close by, Montana de Oro SP and Morro Bay SP. Entry to both is free and there are at least two campgrounds in Montana de Oro SP and one in Morro Bay SP. We chose to rent a vacation house for the week on a north facing hillside with a great view of Morro Bay. I took short hikes every day with the grand kids along the beach where they gathered sea shells. I finally broke away from the group the day after Christmas and went on this solo hike along the sand spit that separates Morro Bay from the Pacific Ocean. The sand spit is within the state park and much of it is off limits to dogs and horses. Sections can also be closed during the Western Snowy Plover nesting season from March to September.

My plan had been to hike to the north end of the sand spit near Morro Rock. The hike started out following an old military road across the dunes. This old sand covered road dates back to when this area had been an artillery practice range during WWII. Some of this area is roped off with signs warning not to wander off trail due to possible unexploded ordinance. The beach north of Morro Rock was used by the Navy to practice beach landings during WWII and many soldiers who practiced landings here were at Normandy on D-Day.

Upon reaching the beach I turned north to follow it towards Morro Rock which was visible in the distance. Hundreds of Curlews were feeding along the ocean edge. The beach was devoid of humans except for a couple of hikers seen in the distance. After 2 miles into the hike Morro Rock didn't appear to be getting any closer. My hiking plan had been made on the fly and I hadn't checked the distance. Fortunately I had been recording my track with Route Scout and a quick check of the map showed the rock was 3 miles away. With sunset getting near I decided to turn around and head back to our house. On the way back I took a short cut across the dunes to make a loop out of the hike. The return loop took me through a grove of trees where Monarch Butterflies gather to mate and can be seen there from Oct to March although I didn't see any. Back at "camp" I settled in with the rest of the family to feast on Christmas leftovers and then start packing for an early departure the next day.
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