Morro Bay State Park looks out over the bay to wind-sculpted sand dunes. Guarding the harbor entrance of the central coast’s Morro Bay, Morro Rock has been a landmark for mariners over the centuries. The park features lagoon and natural bay habitat. The bay's most prominent landmark is Morro Rock. The park has opportunities for sailing, fishing, hiking, and bird watching. The park museum has exhibits that cover natural features and cultural history, Native American life, geology, and oceanography. The park also has a colorful marina and an 18-hole public golf course. On the bay's northeast edge is a pristine saltwater marsh that supports a thriving bird population. Morro Bay has moderate weather. During summer days the area is 30 degrees cooler than inland areas. Dress in layers, especially at the ocean. As the water here is cooler than in Southern California, surfers generally wear wetsuits. Dogs are not permitted on trails or beaches.
This is definitely more of a nature trail than a hike. It's just on the edge of Los Osos, overlooking Morro rock.
We hiked this trail in December on a weekday, but unfortunately the trail was still busy. It seemed to be commonly used for not only hiking, but also for dog walking and running. We also saw families with kids, whose parents were allowing them to climb all over the ancient Pygmy Oaks, despite the clear instructions that this was not allowed. Honestly this lack of caring in helping to preserve this mini ecosystem put a damper on this hike for us.
The trail is easy, featuring minimal elevation gain. The entire main loop is on a boardwalk, with optional off shoots to two lookout points over Morro rock, which were also on a boardwalk. Bring binoculars and/or a good camera because the duck population that's visible from the lookout points was awesome. Also on this hike we saw desert hummingbirds and turkey vultures overhead.
If anyone has a bee allergy, be aware that the bushes on the sides of the trail toward the middle of the loop are full of them. They didn't bother us, but the sheer number of them was startling.
All in all I liked this hike, but there are other more secluded hikes in the area to see Pygmy Oaks. The lookout points were cool thou.