Nojoqui Falls Hike and Eck! A Bear!

“Amber! There is a bear outside! It tore the picnic table apart, it sniffed the tent and now it’s attacking the tent!”
“Jesus Jenn, You dreamt that. We are at the beach, there are no bears!”I was muttering this at my crazy friend to go back to sleep as the wind howled and shook our tent. This wind on the Central Coast was out of control. After I told Jenn that she was dreaming about the polar bear she got out of the tent. That was when the tent took off in the wind, with me inside it and flipped on its side. As this was happening I was obviously laughing my ass off inside the tent!
“That was fun!” I yelled at Jenn over the roaring wind. Than she jumped back in the tent that she had dragged back down to solid ground and threw a piece of the make shift “bear box” that came with our camp site, once attached to our picnic table, at me.
“Believe me now! There was a bear! I did not dream it!” She yelled at me, climbing back into her sleeping bag as the wind continued to howl and I decided to cuddle with a bear gnawed slimy chunk of two by four. I tried to get back to sleep but the wind was still howling and shaking the canvas tent none stop. Obviously I was not going to get any more sleep now as the massive wind continued to shake our tent and I had one more thing on my mind besides a good nights sleep…
Lions, Tigers, BEARS and extremely loud wind; oh my!
I lay there in my sleeping bag, shocked as the sun began to rise above the hillside of Montano De Oro. We were camping at the beach in a little state park just North of San Luis Obispo. The campsite at Islay Creek Campground does not seem like bear country at all! There are no signs at this campground even warning of bears!
When we had checked in two days ago and set up camp while enjoying some micro brews and obviously putting the tent up and not using the tent stakes that came with it, we had examined the ramshackle “bear box” shoddily constructed out of old drift wood and thought, why is there a bear box here? And is this a bear box? Most bear boxes are steel and very hard for stealthy and smart bears to open. This ramshackle bear box was hardly held together with a few screws and looked like a four year old could pry it open easily. We threw the vodka, some paper goods, the waters and a random box of graham crackers in it promptly forgot about bears.
That is until this, our second night of camping at Montano De Oro State Park when my friend informed me that a bear had been nosing around our tent just minutes ago. Honestly when Jenn climbed back into the tent and we attempted to get a few more hours of sleep, I was just so happy that the hungry bear did not get into my car, as the cooler was sitting in the front seat!
This was the early, early morning of our last day of our Central Coast beach camping adventure. At six a.m. the sun rose above the sandy foot hills and I got up and started ripping apart our Columbia tent, Jenn still inside. It was time to get packed and clean up the mess from the bear the night before. I had no sleep between the wind and my constant knee pain.
Oh yes when I got out of the tent at two a.m. I wandered right into the steel fire pit ring, knee first. All night long after that the constant sharp knee pain all night kept me awake. Between that and the bear sighting early, early in the morning by sun rise I was ready to hit the road.
“Lets get out of here and find those water falls and oh yeah, some coffee too” I told Jenn. Our other camp mates had left the night before and we allowed them to take the kitchen so it was off to Starbucks in Los Osos for us. (Seriously? When did Los Osos stop being a small sand dune filled beach town and get a Starbucks?) Even with a little coffee pumping through my veins we had a hard time finding our next destination, a little waterfall hiking area just south of Solvang.
This caused me to yell loudly, many times,
“Google maps I hate you!”
The Nojoqui Falls hike is a simple easy hike to do on a Central Coast road trip. It’s a great excuse to get out of the car and stretch your legs for a few minutes. It’s a quick hike to the eighty foot waterfall. This hike was about a mile round trip, not much altitude and would be easy to do with kids.

Details for the Hike

What you will need for this hike: sandals or hiking boots, this hike is beyond easy

How much altitude you will encounter:
Maybe one hundred feet?

How long is this hike: Less than a mile round trip

How do I get there? From Highway 101 North drive 4.5 miles past the 243 which takes you to Solvang. You will see a sign for Nojoqui Falls County Park,  make an immediate left here onto the country road and follow the signs for  Nojoqui Falls County Park, follow the trail head.

Local Lowdown: There is a farm stand about a mile from the park. Great place for local produce. Bring cash.


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