Oceano Dunes, CA
Oceano Dunes is the only California State Park where vehicles may be driven on
Name: Oceano Dunes State Recreation Area (formerly Pismo Beach)
Southern California, 12 miles south of San Luis Obispo
The last remaining coastal sand dunes open to Off-Highway
Vehicles. Formerly known as Pismo Beach. There are about 3,500 acres in
the SVRA, with 2,000 set aside as buffer/preserve. During the Snowy Plover
nesting season (March - September), the riding area is reduced to about 1,100
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."
Both the threatened snowy plover and the endangered California
least tern nest within the SVRA. During the March 1 - September 30 breeding
season, small fenced enclosures are constructed around the nests to protect
these birds and their offspring from the surrounding recreational use. With
ongoing support from OHVers, this nesting program has been a huge success.
Elevation - 0 - 200 ft.
The recreation area is located in Oceano,
three miles south of Pismo Beach off Highway 1.
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.
Arroyo Grande Creek Crossing:
High tides, heavy rains, and blowing sand determine whether or not you can drive
down the beach without getting stuck. Access to the OHV and camping area may be
restricted periodically by Arroyo Grande Creek which is subject to water
releases at Lopez Dam and increased flow during winter storms. Use caution
during winter storms and high tide.
Crossing Satellite Image
Ocean Dune State Vehicular Recreation Area has 1,500 acres,
featuring beach and sand dune riding. Thousands of off-highway vehicle
enthusiasts enjoy the beach dunes of this SVRA most weekends during the summer.
It is a motorcycle, four-wheel drive, all-terrain vehicle, and dune buggy use
area. Camping is allowed on the beach south of Post 2 and in the open dune area.
Post 2 is one mile south on the beach from Pier Avenue and marks the beginning
of the OHV area. All OHVs must be transported to this point before off-loading.
Fenced and signed areas are closed to vehicular use either because the property
beyond is private or because the area contains sensitive plant and animal life.
Vault toilets and chemical toilets are provided, but water must
be brought in and trash must be packed out. Campsite reservation information can
be obtained by calling 1-800-444-7275. Campsites are available by reservation
year-round and can be made from 10 days to six months in advance. Reservations
are highly recommended, especially for holiday periods.
Beach camping is recommended for 4-wheel drive vehicles only.
Pay attention to the high water mark at high tide. Ocean
- Oceano Dunes
Reservations: (800) 444-7275
There are several RV parks in town, but OHVs must be trailered
into the SVRA.
- Speed limit is 15 MPH on the beach and within 50' of any camp or group of
people. California's Basic Speed Law applies in the dune area: Don't drive
faster than is safe for conditions.
- Laws that pertain to driving under the influence of alcohol are exactly
the same for off-highway as they are for on-highway. Don't drink and drive.
- Towing of any object other than another motor vehicle is prohibited.
- Motor vehicles must stay out of vegetated areas.
- Each unlicensed OHV/ATV operator must be under the immediate supervision
of a licensed adult and must be capable of operating all vehicle control
- Unlicensed OHV/ATV operators, with or without a safety certificate, are
prohibited from operating a vehicle during nighttime hours or outside the
designated OHV area.
- ATV operators under the age of 18 must possess an appropriate safety
certificate or be supervised by an adult who possess a safety certificate.
- All sections included in Division 16.5 of the California Vehicle Code
"Off-Highway Vehicles" apply in the designated OHV area.
- All ATV riders must wear an approved helmet.
- No passengers are allowed on three- or four-wheeled ATVs.
- If your driving privilege is suspended or revoked , you may not operate a
motor vehicle off road.
Protection - The endangered California Least tern
and the threatened Western Snowy Plover nest on the sands of Oceano Dunes
State Vehicular Recreation Area.
Western Snowy Plover
Western Snowy Plover
Please do your part to ensure the protection of these birds
and your recreational opportunities, by following these rules:
Do not enter posted nest exclosures
Do not camp or park within 100 ft. of posted exclosure
Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times
Dispose of trash properly to avoid attracting predators
To avoid frightening nesting birds, kite flying is
Four Stroke Wars - June 2006
Aerial Photos from 4th of July, 2004 - Jim Suty
Trailer Rental & Delivery
Fresh Water & Tank Pumping
We've lost a lot since 1982. Together we can make sure
we don't loose it all.
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