Islay Creek Campground, Montana de Oro State Park, Los Osos, California

Nestled in a shallow canyon just a short walk to the beach, this campground is peaceful, quiet, and isolated. Located just south of Morro Bay State Park, this campground offers nearly 50 sites to choose from. Most sites are along the perimeter of the park, which are more private than sites 5, 7, 9, 11, and 14 which are nearly on top of each other. The latter sites, however, would be great to have if camping with multiple families not needing privacy. At camp there is an abundance of hiking, biking and horse trails that weave their way deeper into the canyons. The Spooner's Ranch House is a small Visitor's Center open daily (if volunteers are available) from 11-2. During our stay on a holiday weekend, the Spooner House
was not open to our great disappointment. There are several day use parking lots to access the multiple hiking trails in the park as well as the beach at Spooner's Cove. The cove beach is beautiful with jagged, sedimentary rock outcroppings. Water play is not advised here other than scuba diving. Tidepools and beach-combing are popular. Back at camp, you will find yourself nestled between two low lying ridges and a few Monterey Pines speckled throughout camp. During spring months, these hills can be a stunning green, but during most other months are covered with dry brush. During our stay we saw and enjoyed quite a bit of wildlife including two red fox sightings, quail, and a hawk that scooped down to capture, kill, and devour a field mouse from our campsite! Hawks' screeches were often heard overhead as we tootled around camp. This campground is primitive with no hookups, limited water access and no dump facilities. There are restrooms available. Sites have picnic tables, small food storage lockers (raccoons), and fire pits. Interior roads and site pads are paved and fairly level. Most site pads are small and large rigs cannot be accommodated here. Look closely at site restrictions before booking. Rigs over 27 feet are not permitted in the campground, although we were able to squeeze our 30 foot rig into our site (barely).

Best Sites: 3, 8, 12, 18, 23, 39-42
Poor Sites: 5ADA, 7, 8ADA, 9, 14, 31, 38, 43, 46
Hookups: None
Potable Water: Yes, limited
Dump Within Facility: No