This park features rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons, and hills, including 1,347-foot Valencia Peak. Naturalists and backpackers enjoy the solitude and freedom found along the park's trails. There are also mountain biking and equestrian trails. The best-known beach is Spooner's Cove, across from the campground. The park's name, "Mountain of Gold," comes from the golden wildflowers that bloom in spring. Wildlife in the park includes black tailed deer and the black oystercatcher. The park includes primitive and equestrian campsites.
Came from out of town to hike this a few days ago. In January it was still in the mid 60's and sunny. Perfect weather to hike uphill. Challenging but definitely worth it, it's an incredible 360 view. I underestimated how tough the last 1/4 mile was though it's all steep uphill. But doesn't take long if you don't stop for breaks. 4 miles round trip roughly
I am a little torn on this trail. I should probably preface this by saying my ideal trail is one in the middle of no where with somewhat challenging terrain. This trail is not anything like that. It's actually more of a stroll on a wide flat sidewalk. Many of the people were in jeans and flip flops. There are even picnic benches on the way.
We went during the week in January and it was still crowded (thou primarily in the first mile).
The trail runs along the ocean so it's pretty much impossible to get lost and the turn around point is when you hit the clearly marked private property fence. I'm not entirely sure how long it is as I saw different numbers (none of which exactly matched my personal tracker).
The views are beautiful but remain relatively unchanging throughout the hike. I think a sunset or sunrise hike would be even better. We did see a lot of birds, ground squirrels, and even some vultures.
I agree with others that dressing warmly in layers is a good idea. Also people who get vertigo should be careful with this hike as it's along the cliff.
All in all this was super easy and heavily populated but worth a trip to see for ocean lovers.
We did the Hazard peak- islay creek trail. The hike would be something I classify as easy . This was a good hike to do after a few months of a break. The grade is very gentle and before we knew it we were at the peak. The second half of the hike is also pretty.
However, be aware of ticks. I am not sure when a tick got onto me during the hike. I discovered the tick a few hours when it started biting me . (This is despite wearing long pants, full sleeved shirt and a hat!)