Pismo Beach has a little something for everyone. Digging for the famed Pismo clam (now scarce) has long been a popular pastime. Two campgrounds at the state beach are favorites of families looking for weekend getaways. Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area is a sandy playground for street vehicles and off-highway vehicles.
For walkers, the attraction is Oceano Dunes Preserve, a region of tall sand hills where vehicles are prohibited, and you can wander for miles. Often referred to as the Nipomo Dunes these days, they extend 18 miles from the northern end of Oceano Dunes to Pt. Sal State Beach.
This walk explores the dune preserve inland from Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area.
A few hundred yards inland from this shoreline, it's quiet, even lonely. Virtually no one bothers to walk into the dune preserve to see Nature's handiwork.
Hike: Head inland to the fence that marks the boundary of the Oceano Dunes Natural Preserve. Take any of the meandering southbound trails that cross the dunes. A ridgeline of sand shields walkers from the sights and sounds of the busy beach below.
Continue southward along the shrub-dotted base of the dunes for a mile or so, then ascend out of the foredunes toward the crest of the great dunes to the east. You can then return north via the crest of the large dunes.
When you reach Arroyo Grande Creek, the northern boundary of the preserve, return to the beach. At this point, you're a couple hundred yards north of Marker #1, so head south back to the trailhead
State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) This off road area is among the most popular and unique of California State Parks. The 5 ? miles of beach open for vehicle use and the 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.
Location/Directions 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.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.