Route: Montaña de Oro Whale Loop (CA)

Submitted by driggsy on Thu, 01/07/2021 - 09:56am
California, US
8.75 mi
Vertical Gain
1,302 ft

This loop is a classic in the San Luis Obispo (SLO) area. Located in Montaña de Oro State Park (MdO), it is surrounded by stunning beauty the entire time. This route (in the clockwise direction) starts at the Hazard Peak Trailhead, and starts by climbing up to the peak (optional tag). It then descends down the backside before climbing up to another peak, this time unnamed and on the Barranca Trail. You then descend down a rocky, semi-steep section of the Barranca Trail that is an absolute blast to rip. Barranca spits you out onto Islay Creek Road, where you will have a mostly downhill, kind of rolling, 2.7 mile tempo back to the car (you must close the loop). After the run, take a dip in Spooner's Cove and get a burger at Sylvestor's!

There are Strava segments for CW ( and CCW (  Note that the CCW segment closes the loop, while the CW segment ends back at the main road.  The difference is small, but you must close the loop!  The FKT is the fastest time in either direction, so run which ever way is faster for you!

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I plan on going for this FKT tomorrow, Friday, March 5. Should be a fun time, I'm excited to move as fast as I can through the mountains!!