Snatch over-the-shoulder vista views of the Morro Bay Estuary as your horse transports you up the Quarry Trail and onto many trail loop options along the Park Ridge Trail. There are many multi-use trail options within this area. Low chaparral and rock formations make up most of the terrain on the Quarry Trail in Morro Bay.
You will encounter other hikers and bikers and the occasional horseback rider(s) as you enjoy this area. Wildlife sightings of foxes, snakes and birds are quite possible. The sweeping vista views include the far hills of Montana de Oro, Los Osos and down the valley towards Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo.
Getting to the Quarry Trail in Morro Bay
Getting there is easy. The trail head is located off South Bay Boulevard across from the Morro Bay Estuary. You can park your rig in the Cabrillo parking lot. Take note: On a busy day parking your rig could be a bit challenging. The lot has one way in and out and enough room for a row of about 10 cars to park with space for the cars to back out.
A bit south of the Cabrillo parking lot, alongside South Bay Boulevard, is an alternative Park Ridge trail head. A small dirt lot here provides easier rig parking, but be aware you would be unloading next to South Bay Boulevard if using this alternate trail head. This trail head puts you onto the lower section of Park Ridge Trail.
There are two directions you can head from the north Cabrillo parking lot trail head. Choosing the path to the north starts you on the Quarry Trail. This takes you up into the trail network earlier, connecting with Park Ridge Trail and Canet trail.
The path out from the south end of the parking lot puts you on the Quarry Short Loop, Live Oak trail path and up onto Park Ridge Trail. There is a longer gradual incline to this trail as you connect with the south trail head and head up and away from South Bay Boulevard.
There are a few trail obstacles on the Live Oak Trail as it connects with the Park Ridge Trail. A wooden foot bridge makes up a section of the trail and a low boulder scramble transitions the trail to Park Ridge at the highest point of the Live Oak Trail.
Scenery and Climate
Several rock interesting rock outcroppings can be sighted along the Quarry Trail to the North. One is the Tiki Head rock which is visible along the longer Quarry Trail loop.
Always behind you when traveling away from South Bay Boulevard is a different view of the Morro Bay Estuary. Catching views from different vantage points is quite rewarding.
An ocean breeze coming up from ocean to the west keeps this ride cool and comfortable most of the year. Be aware that the moist atmosphere brings out the mosquitoes at dusk. Ticks will also be found in this location so be prepared. Check out our story on Eradicating Ticks to prepare for going out in tick country.
Time and Distance Needed
There are such a variety of trails in the Morro Bay Quarry Trail / Park Ridge Trail location which can be useful for a quick ride or make a good plan for a longer day outing. Check out the interactive map < here to get distances on each trail.
Now, get out and explore a trail you maybe haven’t tried before. The Quarry Trail in Morro Bay offers a lot of diversity at an easy-to-get-to location.
Photo Credit: Sharon Jantzen, except where noted