Trail of the Week

Dunes Trail

The trail takes you straight to the dunes for a beautiful view of the ocean

The Dunes Trail can be found at Montana de Oro, just like the Bluffs Trail. This trail is a little different because the entire run is on sand.

Running in sand can be quite the challenge, but a great opportunity to run barefoot. I recommend leaving your shoes and socks in the car and running the entire trail barefoot, the sand is soft and shouldn’t hurt your feet. I ran the trail with a friend this morning and it was incredibly freeing to go barefoot. It was also a very sunny day which made the run a lot more fun. Montana de Oro can get pretty foggy so it is a special occurrence to catch a sunny day.

The distance is 3.1 miles, make sure to follow all of the signs that say stay on trail. There are a lot of smaller trails that stray off of the path on the left which take you to the sand dunes that overlook the ocean. I recommend going out about 15 minutes, then taking a trail to the dunes. If you go at the right time you might be able to watch surfers, Montana de Oro is a local favorite surf spot.

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Directions from 101 S:

  1. Take exit for Madonna Road, CA-227
  2. Turn left onto Madonna Road
  3. After 1 mile, turn right onto Los Osos Valley Road
  4. After 14 miles, slight left turn onto Pecho Valley Road
  5. After .5 miles, slight right onto Montana de Oro State park
  6. Once you’re in the park, follow the road for about 5 miles. If you pass the Montana de Oro Visitor Center you’ve gone too far.
  7. Keep an eye out for a sign that says Dunes Trail on your right. There is usually a lot of cars parked at the trailhead.
  8. Leave your shoes in the car, I dare you.

Start of the Dunes Trail

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