Friday, March 30, 2012

Valencia Peak Trail

Photos: To view all of the pictures from this hike click here to go to the photo gallery.
Videos: To view the videos from this hike click here to go to YouTube.

March 21, 2012

Nearby City:
Los Osos, CA

Driving Directions:
Valencia Peak is located in the heart of Montana de Oro State Park, located just south of Morro Bay and northwest of San Luis Obispo. To get to the trailhead take the US-101 North, Exit Los Osos Valley Road and turn left onto Los Osos Valley Road. Follow for 11.3 miles and continue onto Pecho Valley Road and follow that for 3.8 miles. The road will eventually pass a small parking area on the right for Spooner's Cove and campgrounds on the left side of the road. Shortly after passing both the road goes through the parking area for both Valencia Peak Trail and Bluff Trail. To see the exact location of the parking area and to get driving directions view the google map below.

Sunrise to sunset- Campgrounds near trailhead

Mild- Strenuous

The trail has a steady incline the whole way to the peak. Make sure to bring plenty of water and wear sun block, even on overcast/ cloudy days.

Trailhead- 50'
Peak- 1347'

Year around- This trail is near the ocean and is subject to rain for parts of the year, always make sure to check current weather conditions for the area you will be hiking in.

Parking/ Entrance Fee:

Cell Service:
T-Mobile- I got service along the whole trail.

Valencia Peak Trail- 4.1 Miles round trip

**Given the abundance of great hiking in this park, there are numerous ways to approach this peak**

-Oats Peak Trail
This trail begins behind the ranger station near the main park campground. It leads over the ridge to the summit of Oats Peak, which is slightly higher than Valencia but with an inferior view. Prior to cresting the ridge are two link trails to the Valencia peak trail. The trail then plunges into Coon Creek Canyon and links with the Coon Creek Trail.

-Rattlesnake Flats Trail
This trail parallels the park road and can be accessed through any of the pull-outs between the Valencia peak trailhead and the Coon Creek trailhead. To get to the summit, simply follow the Rattlesnake Flats Trail north until it links with the Valencia Peak Trail, then follow the Valencia Peak Trail to the summit.

-Badger Trail
Beginning from a pullout a quarter mile south of Spooners cove, The Badger Trail links the Rattlesnake Flats trail with the Valencia Peak trail.

-Coon Creek Trail
This option follows the riparian habitat along Coon Creek before linking up with the rattlesnake trail and the oats peak trail. This is a good option for a loop.

Trail Condition:
The trail is in excellent condition, it has been a very long time since I have been to a park that has been so well taken care of. There are signs at every trailhead along the road so if you pull off at the wrong trailhead like we did you will know.

Trail Directions:
From the parking area take the Valencia Peak Trail, theres a sign at the trailhead. This trail is very well marked and extremely easy to follow. Please stay on the trail and don't take any of the shortcut trails, you are only destroying the area by using them. Once near the top there will a wall of slanted rock (see picture to left) and a fork in the trail, stay right. If there is no shade and you would like to rest at this pint, head left a few feet around the large rock to a nice shaded area. Once at the top there is a sign with a box attached with paper inside to write your name. Once at the sign head to your left and up a very short distance to the actual top of the mountain.

Other Activities:
Swimming (Ocean)
Bird Watching

Facebook (Photos)
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Jessie's Thoughts:
Great trail! This very short trail offers a stunning 360 degree view of the ocean and surrounding mountains. The trail itself has a steady incline the whole way to the top, 2miles, that offers a great workout but is not to difficult that families with small children would be discouraged. There are no dogs allowed on trails, we noticed signs at a few of the trailheads while driving around. If this hike seems a little tough try the Bluff Trail, only 2 miles long but there is no elevation gain, just amazing views of the ocean.


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