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Morro Bay Backpack Award

This is an overnight backpack of 7.5-8.5 backpack hours duration. It is intended to enhance knowledge and appreciation of the variety of environments near the Pacific Ocean on the Central Coast of California. The trailhead is at Morro Bay State Park Natural History Museum.

The primary route winds through the State Park to the stop of Black Hill and then down into the City of Morro Bay. A Clam Taxi ride provides access to the northern tip of the Morro Bay Strand, near the entrance of Morro Bay Harbor. The Clam Taxi is located at the Morro Bay Marina (phone 805/772-8085). The long trek down the strand to Hazard Canyon should take tidal conditions into account. From Hazard Canyon the trail ascends to PechoRoad and turns south to the Montana de Oro Park Ranger Station. Follow the path along the bluffs to Coon Creek and turn east to rejoin PechoRoad. Follow the road to the turnoff to your Environmental Camp. The E.C. is reserved by calling MISTIX (phone 800/444-7275). Remember, none of the E.C. areas have any immediate water source.
The alternative trail leads from Morro Bay State Park to South Bay Boulevard, turns west to Pine, proceeds south to Binscarth, leads west to PechoRoad, crosses over to Solano Street, and continues to the west end of Howard Street. From here, take a sandy path that parallels the edge of the Bay towards the sand dunes. Cross the sand dunes at a designated path to rejoin the primary trail. The backpack is completed on the second day by re-tracing the bluff trail to the Montana de Oro State Park Ranger Station.


  1. Comply with the GENERAL REQUIREMENTS.
  2. At least one adult must have successfully completed a Council Adult Backpack Awareness Course
  3. Prior to the Morro Bay backpack, all participants must have completed two HAT training hikes.
  4. All participants must complete at least one hour of service to the Morro Bay or Montana de Oro State Park. The service project must be approved in advance by the State Park Ranger Staff.
  5. The primary or alternative route specified above must be followed.
  6. B.S.A. Council Tour Permits and Environmental Campsite (E.C.) and Clam Taxi reservations must be obtained in advance. Copies of these applications must accompany the Award Application.
  7. Write to the Los Padres Council Office for maps and additional information.