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.

Reading other reviews, it sounds like folks are not hiking the trail, but are starting from the Dunes entrance and simply walking along the open sands with all the vehicle traffic. If you look carefully at the map AllTrails provides, you'll see dotted trail lines above the bold red line... This is the actual trail to be on which follows the contours of the rolling dunes! Park at Fins Seafood restaurant just before the dunes entrance, cross the street where you turned into the parking lot and look for the sandy trailhead & wooden marker directly adjacent to the parking lot entrance. This is where you want to take your hike!

This trail is a great choice on a warm day where you can enjoy the cool ocean air, mist & views. Horse riders also use this trail - often in the mornings - so be prepared to circumvent their large droppings on the wide sandy path! Unfortunately the trail (& this area in general) is also host to a number of homeless camps where I see more trash than I do elsewhere. When I remember to, I bring along a plastic bag to collect & dispose of whatever garbage I can carry. Nevertheless, this still a beautiful, accessible trail choice for an easy hike, especially at sunset!

We did this hike when my son was 3 months old. It was very easy and we loved it. I didn't even have to change into any sort of work out gear or wear tennis. It seems like the trail would be great for someone in a wheelchair also (seemed wide enough).

Beautiful, the kids did it easily, there were beautiful birds everywhere, and we saw dolphins jumping and riding waves at the end.

This trail has a beautiful ocean view at the end that makes it worth the long walk. Most of the path is wheelchair, bike accessible. There are even wildlife mallards, raccoons, beautiful serene area.

4 months ago

Definitely fun

A great walk through a variety of settings, both fresh water and the ocean. Dolphins, seals, raccoon, fish jumping and a variety of birds. The beach is gorgeous!

6 months ago

Easy hike. beautiful. usually hardly anyone on the beach.

off road driving
6 months ago

Tried enter the start location located on the map. Took me to Phillips 66 refinery and a locked gate. maybe the route is outdated. I've been out to the dunes I was just looking to check out that road on the map.

Still great spot, take trail to the ocean

Awesome trail.
Beach gets really windy, love it!

8 months ago

Hard to get to and most of the area is restricted access

10 months ago

Very beautiful, takes you right onto the beach.

10 months ago

Beautiful day for a nature walk. This is an easy walk to the ocean with plenty to see and lots to read about the area.

Sunday, January 01, 2017


Wednesday, November 09, 2016

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

Monday, November 07, 2016

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

Sunday, November 06, 2016

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.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

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

on Oso Flaco Lake Trail

Monday, September 05, 2016

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!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

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!)

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