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Hiker cited after illegally climbing Morro Rock

morro rock hiker.JPG
Posted at 6:02 PM, Aug 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-05 22:28:30-04

A female hiker was escorted down from the top of Morro Rock on Friday afternoon.

Morro Bay Fire officials say someone called 911 shortly before 3 p.m. to report a climber who was possibly in distress.

Firefighters climbed up to meet the hiker. They say she was not injured or in distress, just sightseeing.

Once back on the ground, the woman received a citation from State Parks.

"I know she's not from this area but there's signs everywhere that say 'don't climb the rock,'" said Division Chief Matt Vierra, Morro Bay Fire Department.

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Signs surrounding Morro Rock warn against climbing the landmark.

It is illegal to climb Morro Rock. The rock is an ecological preserve for peregrine falcons and a site of cultural significance to Native Americans.

"It's a natural reserve, so it's endangered species. That's one of the main reasons we don't want anybody up there," Vierra said. "It's not climbable. There's no trails... you can get lost very easily, you can get injured very easily. It's close to 600 feet so that's a long fall, so do not climb the rock -- at all."

Vierra says the fire department trains annually for rescues on the rock.