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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 wildflowers, shrubs, and grasses that can be found on the dunes are fragile and easily destroyed. Plants that are native to the area include the arroyo willow, California sagebrush, sand verbena, and bush lupine. European beach grass is an introduced species, brought in around the turn of the century to stabilize the dunes. Rare plants that may be seen here include surf thistle and giant coreopsis.

Camping is allowed south of Post 2 on the beach and in the open dune area. Vault toilets and chemical toilets are provided, and water-delivery and holding-tank pump-out services are available on the beach. 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) and must be made at least 48 hours in advance. Note: Reservations can be made up to seven months in advance. 

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.

Beach camping is recommended for 4- wheel drive vehicles only. A dump station, located on Le Sage Drive, 1/10 miles North of Grand Ave. on Hwy 1, is available to campers.



Oceano Dunes District Office
340 James Way, Ste. 270
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
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review by . September 01, 2009
Beach Highway at Oceano Dunes
Last weekend I explored the Oceano Dunes. They were stunning. I can’t believe I’ve lived on the Central Coast this long without having wandered among the sandy shifting hills of white. Perhaps it’s because I’d pretty much avoided Oceano, considering it the exclusive territory of off-road vehicles. Oceano is a village of off-road enthusiasts. To get to the dunes, I walked parallel to the beachfront highway of RVs, pickup trucks loaded with quads, ATVs and dirt bikes, and brave …
Oceano Dunes
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