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Closed Sand Dune Areas

Oceano Dunes (aka Pismo Beach)

Location:  San Luis Obispo County, near Oceano, California

Managed By: California Department of Parks and Recreation, OHMVR Division

Size: 13,500 acres closed, 1,500 remain open for OHV's

Date of Closure: 1982

Type of Closure: Permanent

Reason for Closure: Endangered Species Act

Other information:

Vehicles have been driven on the beach at Oceano for 100 years. Prior to the 1980s, vehicles were operated on the entire 16 miles of beach from Pismo Beach in the north to Mussel Rock in Santa Barbara County in the south. There were four access points in this are: Grand Ave., Pier Ave., Oso Flaco Lake and Main St. in Gaudalupe. Now, street-legal vehicles are allowed on approximately five miles of the beach from Grand Avenue south. OHVs are now restricted to about three miles of the beach, from a point one mile south of Pier Avenue to the southerly boundary of allowed OHV use, and on the dunes inland about two miles: the most southern and eastern portions are closed to vehicle use. The vehicular recreation area varies in width from a few hundred yards at the northern end to approximately three miles at the southern end. Its 3590 acres are comprised of sandy beach and sand dunes; about 1500 acres are available for OHV use.

Endangered or Threatened Species:

  • California least tern (Sterna antillarum browni); Federal Status: Endangered, 1970

  • Western Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus); Federal Status: Threatened, 1993


Other Photos:

OceanoAerial-8.jpg (202567 bytes)   OceanoAerial-9.jpg (182519 bytes)
Access and dunes closed at Oso Flaco Lake

GaudelupeDunes-1.jpg (153866 bytes)
Gaudalupe Dunes to Devil's Slide - Closed to OHVs


Oceano Dune Closure Map

Back to Sand Dune Guide


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