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.
Directions from 101 S:
- Take exit for Madonna Road, CA-227
- Turn left onto Madonna Road
- After 1 mile, turn right onto Los Osos Valley Road
- After 14 miles, slight left turn onto Pecho Valley Road
- After .5 miles, slight right onto Montana de Oro State park
- 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.
- 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.
- Leave your shoes in the car, I dare you.