|This 3,600 acre off road area is among the most popular and unique of California State Parks. The 5 ½ miles of beach open for vehicle use and the 1,500 acres of sand dunes available for off highway motor vehicle recreation are attractions for visitors from throughout the United States. |
Oceano Dunes is the only California State Park where vehicles may be driven on the beach. Passenger cars can easily drive on the northern portion of the beach.
Four wheel drive vehicles are recommended for driving to the camping and off highway vehicle use areas in the park. Beach wheelchairs are available for loan at the Pier and Grand Avenue entrances to the beach.
Surfing, swimming, surf fishing, horseback riding and bird watching are popular activities.
The recreation area is located in Oceano, three miles south of Pismo Beach off Highway 1.
The Oceano Dunes SVRA District Office is located at:
340 James Way
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Telephone: (805) 773-7170
Alternative Access Study
The Oceano Dunes SVRA District recently completed the Alternative Access Study for the Ocean Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. This feasibility study identifies alternative routes for a road to the camping areas on the beach and the OHV riding area in the dunes. It also identifies and assesses alternative equestrian routes to and from the beach. This study was completed in November 2006. For more information on this study and to review the document click here.
One mile south of the Pier Avenue beach ramp is Post 2, a post on the beach which marks the beginning of the off-highway vehicle riding and camping area.
OHV's must be transported to this point before unloading. Any areas on the beach or in the dunes that are fenced or signed are closed to vehicular use because they either contain sensitive plant and animal life or are private property.
Summer temperatures Highs: 60s and 70s; Lows: 50s; Dense morning fog. Winter temperatures Highs: 50s and 60s; Lows: 40s; high winds in Spring. The weather is often quite changeable, layered clothing is recommended.
Pismo clam populations fluctuate dramatically due to a variety of natural influences. A fragile and valuable resource, Pismo clams may be taken under the following regulations:
Clammers must have a fishing license and an accurate (rigid) measuring device in possession.
Only Pismo clams at least 4 1/2" in length may be possessed.
Undersized Pismo clams must be immediately reburied in the area where dug.
Bag limit is 10 Pismo clams.
Hours of clamming are 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.
The Oceano sand dune area is recognized by scientists, conservationists, government agencies, and the public as the finest, most extensive coastal dunes remaining in California. Most of the material that forms these dunes has been carried down to the ocean by various rivers and creeks, deposited here by ocean currents, and then shaped by the wind into the dunes that we see today.
The prevailing winds that blow in from the ocean push sand particles up into wave-like crests that run north-south. On the west or windward side the slope is gentle. On the east or leeward side the slope is quite steep. Sand grains, as they are blown over the dune crest tend to accumulate high on the leeward slope; then, periodically thin tongues of sand slide down. For this reason the leeward slope is called a "slipface."
Walk where the Chumash and Dunites walked. See and learn what attracted both cultures to this (Pismo Dunes Natural Preserve) beautiful dune area. Binoculars suggested. Bring a picnic meal, water, sunscreen and windbreaker. Meet at the Nature Center at the entrance to the Oceano Campground, Pismo State Beach.
(A) 3.5 mi., 4.5-5 hr.