Oso Flaco Lake Trail

EASY 35 reviews

Oso Flaco Lake Trail is a 1.7 mile out and back trail located near Nipomo, CA that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

1.7 miles 39 feet Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

lake

wildlife

no dogs

Oso Flaco Lake is part of the former Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Preserve, operated by The Nature Conservancy. The area has been transferred to California State Parks, and is now part of the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. The trail and the portion of the beach it accesses are not open to vehicles of any kind. The trail starts at a large gravel parking lot and is briefly paved. The closed paved road turns to dirt and soon reaches the start of the Oso Flaco Lake boardwalk, on your left. Turn here and take the boardwalk across the lake. The boardwalk includes benches and several interpretive signs identifying common plants and birds in the area. After crossing the lake, the boardwalk continues over the dunes to a high point near the beach. Here, a short section of boardwalk branches off the main route and leads to a viewing platform with excellent views to the north and south along the beach. There is also a picnic area near here with picnic tables and a restroom. The main route follows a sandy path between two fenced-off areas (the one to the north protecting snowy plover habitat) and leads onto the beach. From here, views extend south to Point Sal and north to Point San Luis. The mouth of Oso Flaco Creek, which drains the lake, lies just to the south of here.

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of my favorite places to visit. I'm very surprised of how well the lake is doing in this drought

1 month ago

Absolutely relaxing hike! we'll do it again near summer

1 month ago

Lovely place to relax, takes you through the trees,on a little bridge above water and ends on a secluded beach where you can just be you and your thoughts.
Bathrooms access at the beginning of the trail (there was no parking fee when we went), and another one closer to the beach.

3 months ago

Easy relaxing walk, not far to the beach.. Lots of birds and little creatures to enjoy along the way.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice gentle hike down the boardwalk but keep in mind there's a ranger station on your right and a $5.00 fee to park at the trailhead. You can avoid the parking fee by parallel parking on the road just outside of the trailhead parking lot. Also, it was very cold/windy so bring a jacket just in case. Have fun!

3 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Very easy hike with a 4 year old and 2 year old. We went early morning and it was overcast, so there were tons of bugs along the bridge across the water. But once we were past the bridge, it was great! Saw about 8 wild rabbits (boys loved it!)

walking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Nice easy hike / walk. Beautiful trees cover the beginning of the trail and then you make a left on to an expansion bridge and walk across the water. We spent some time there bird watching. Next you are met by a wooden foot path through the sand dunes where it was very peaceful and serene. There is a bathroom there to!! Then on to the beach where you can see for miles at the look out at the end of the boardwalk.

hiking
5 months ago

always a fun hike with the kids. they love it and it gets us out for a while.

6 months ago

Great!

6 months ago

Love this place! Great for kids

7 months ago

Nice easy walk , great for families ..

hiking
7 months ago

The trail was way to short in my opinion. Took my girlfriend and I less than an hour to reach the beach. The good thing about this trail is the HUGE lake right in the start and the many picnic tables. The bad thing is that it's too short. I've seen toddlers walk the trail with no problems so anyone can do it even 70+

walking
8 months ago

I went October 2015, lots and lots of Ducks, Herring, Osprey, Great white pelican. Loved it and will go again. Easy walk, beautiful plants along the way.

10 months ago

walking
11 months ago

Windy but beautiful !

hiking
11 months ago

Not the best spot to see the dunes "Sahara style".

walking
1 year ago