Morro Bay, about a half hour’s drive from Paso Robles, is the perfect spot for a much needed walk on the beach. Clear the mind with no crowds, open beaches, waves, sea shells, gulls, and the smells and sounds of the Pacific Ocean.
You can’t visit Morro Bay without noticing Morro rock. Named “El Morro” by Cabrillo in 1542, which means crown shaped hill in Spanish. The monument marker placed in 1968 claims it was chronicled in the diaries of Portola, Father Crespi, and Costanso in 1769 when they camped near the area on their trek to find Monterey.
Sometimes called the “Gibraltar of the Pacific” it has been a feature of the Morro Bay seascape for over 300 years. It is approximately 576 feet tall and was formed about 23 million years ago from the plugs of long-extinct volcanoes. It is the the most visible in a chain of 9 peaks dubbed the Nine Sisters.
Morro rock is sacred for two Native American tribes, the Northern Chumash and the Salinan. And it has been a peregrine falcon preserve since 1968.
Until 1963 Morro Rock provided material for the break water of Morro Bay and Port San Luis Harbor. Removing about a third of the rock’s surface. Later it was declared a California Registered Historical Landmark.
Hiking Morro Rock is prohibited, but enjoying it’s beauty is perfectly legal!
A walk on the beach[/caption