Montaña de Oro State Park

Located on the south side of Morro Bay, Montana de Oro is a wild place where the land meets the ocean in dramatic ways.

Montaña de Oro State Park
Montana de Oro is in a secluded canyon near the ocean with extensive hiking trails, stunning beach walks, tidepools, and dramatic scenery.

There are no showers. Shuttle time to Morro Bay is twenty minutes: Tent camping at Montana de Oro State Park with a camp kitchen and trail/ picnic lunches.


Students discover the unique natural and human history of the area, develop group cooperation through a shared experience, enhance leadership abili­ties, and learn basic outdoor skills. The Natural­ists at Large program is designed to give the students a “sense of place.” This will be ac­complished by introducing them to the natural and cultural history of the area while they explore the various habitats. The program will emphasize a basic introduction to the diverse environments of the Central Coast. NAL will take respon­sibility for evening ac­tivities for the group. Evening ac­tiviti­es will include an all-class evening program, star walks, night hikes, campfires, and other programs developed with the school.

NAL instructors will conduct outdoor education hikes and related activities. In addition, they will be encouraged to solve physical and intellectual challenges posed by the NAL instructors.

Educational Overview

Natural History themes can include the coastal chapar­ral community, north coast forest, fire ecology, the oak woodlands forest, shoreline geology, tidepools (very extensive along this shoreline), basic astronomy, and environmental influences on plant size and diver­sity during an examination of the pygmy forest. Emphasis will be tailored to complement the schools goals.

  • San Simeon – Hearst Castle adjacent state beach with good tide pools. *
  • Kayaking in Moro Bay *
  • Hiking at most of the above sites plus trails to the top of the numerous volcanic plugs in the San Luis Obispo area.