Morro Bay Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"Resting on the east shore of a small estuary of the same name, Morro Bay is a compact and charming resort community with a busy and interesting port minutes from the open ocean. The city, bay, sand spit, and state park are all named after the area’s most prominent landmark—the huge rock early Spanish explorers dubbed El Morro, meaning “The Knob” or “The Knoll.” Morro Rock stands 576 feet high and is the core of an ancient volcanic plug, one of several in a chain stretching from here to San Luis Obispo. When early settlers first came to these shores, Morro Rock was an islet standing 1,000 feet offshore and was larger than it is today. In the 1930s, construction of a revetment and causeway connected the rock to the mainland. From the late 1800s until 1969, when the state designated Morro Rock an ecological reserve, more than a million tons of rock were quarried from the face of the dome to build breakwaters and the causeway. The reserve was established to protect the endangered peregrine falcons that nest on the rock and feed on the abundant local and migratory birds and waterfowl. Although climbing the rock is prohibited, it’s possible to drive or hike to the base and to view it from anywhere on the Morro Bay waterfront or the hills above town. Alert and lucky observers spot the raptors on hunting forays, diving on their prey at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, making them the fastest birds in the world. Visitors flock to Morro Bay to dine on fresh local seafood and to enjoy outdoor activities on the bay, on the beaches, and at nearby state parks. There are a beautiful golf course and superb museum here, as well as numerous natural areas to explore. The many shops and galleries of Cambria are a short drive north; downtown San Luis Obispo is an equal distance to the southeast. This eTrail includes information on lodging, campgrounds, RV parks, restaurants, entertainment, shopping, and outdoor activities near these coastal cities."