WHALE ROCK RESERVOIR
Nestled in the Coast Range mountains just
north of Morro Bay and on the east side of Highway 1 lies Whale Rock Reservoir.
Turn on Old Creek Road to the Whale Rock Reservoir. A serene landscape
greets you filled with grazing cattle, sycamore and oak trees. The Whale
Rock Reservoir offers a breathtaking view of the ocean through the two
rock formations beyond the lake.
From attempts by the California Department
of Fish and Game to fill the reservoir with wild rainbow trout, to bicycling,
to hiking, bird watching and even hang gliding, this region is off the
beaten path. Tom Edell of Cayucos reported that he spent a morning
at the reservoir, watching and recording 48 species of birds. "I recorded
48 species in a couple of hours of birding. Bill Bouton joined
me on Cottontail Creek Road.
Several stops were made along Old Creek
Road and Cottontail Creek Road.. The Santa Rita Creek arm of the reservoir
was the birdiest location. Bill found 2 male BLUE GROSBEAKS
singing on the wires above the old entrance facility with the tile roof
on Old Creek Road. We both heard a male GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE, a reservoir
first, calling in the bulrushes on the Cottontail Creek arm of the
reservoir. Other birds of interest included a COOPER'S HAWK
and LAZULI BUNTING. The reservoir is located in the hills above Cayucos
and can be reached by heading inland from Hwy 1 on Old Creek Road," Tom
From a hang glider rider comes this report
- This is a top landable fun site that is great for tuning your glider
and trying new things. Getting 300 or 400 feet over launch will give you
a wide area to explore. Crossing the Old Creek Road to the North of launch
can get you on the ridge over looking Whale Rock Reservoir. The slope from
the hill back to the reservoir is small, so it is best to follow someone
who has been back there on your first trip.
It is much easier to fly to the ridge south
of launch (because this is downwind). This place is nearly perpendicular
to the coast line; therefore, fairly cross to the wind. Except at the point
and the back bowl. The back bowl is the highest point around and sometimes
thermals pop off the field down below. A very good day will get you to
2000 feet MSL. On the rare SW day, the lift is usually smooth and
abundant. 10+ MPH should be soarable in a hang glider. The SW bowl at launch
is the only place to fly however, unless you leave to the N and try to
get on the SSW facing ridges N of the town of Cayucos. The lift band is
usually very wide, extending out past Hwy. 1 to the beach. Playground air!