Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area

Three-Phased Reopening Plan
Update (Feb. 16, 2021): State Parks initiated phase I of the three-phased reopening plan for Oceano Dunes SVRA and Pismo SB on Oct. 30, 2020 and has observed successful balancing of vehicle access, environmental protections and public health protocols during that phase. In consultation with state and local public health departments and other regional public land managers, State Parks is preparing to move into the next phase for these popular outdoor destinations.

Detailed information on the phases can be viewed here: Phase One | Phase Two | FAQs.

Updates on the three-phased reopening plan will also be shared on Oceano District Twitter and Facebook social media accounts.

Public Comments

Thank you for your feedback on the future of Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA). The department continues to receive significant public feedback on this popular outdoor destination. Although we may not be able to directly respond to each individual comment, all comments are taken seriously and will be considered in the management decisions for Oceano Dunes SVRA.

If you would like to comment on the Public Works Plan for Oceano Dunes, please submit your comment to OceanoDunes.PWP.EIR@parks.ca.gov.

COVID-19 Guidelines

State Parks has implemented the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors:

  • Stay Local: Stay close to home during this pandemic period. If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time.
  • Plan Ahead:
    • The ongoing pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. Prior to leaving home, check the webpage of your outdoor destination you plan to visit to find out if it is open, if parking is available, and what visitor guidelines are in effect.
    • Learn what safety precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
  • Stay Safer at Six Feet: No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Only travel/camp with those in your household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings or parties. If there are too many people to maintain the required physical distance, please visit us on a different day.
    • Boating: Do not raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to other recreators.
    • Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to others or pull up next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others. Stage 10 feet or more from each other during unloading and loading.
  • Keep Clean: Be prepared as not all services may be available. Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack out all trash. Park units are experiencing heavy use and you can help alleviate the impact on park facilities.
  • Stay Covered: The state requires you to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.
  • Pack it In – Pack it Out: Park units are experiencing heavy use and you can help alleviate the impact on park facilities by packing out all of your trash. Do your part to keep outdoor places healthy and accessible for other users.
  • Use Safety Equipment: Use properly fitted equipment such as protective clothing, goggles, a proper helmet, gloves and spark arrestor.
  • Know Your Limits and Drive with Courtesy: Only operate at speeds in which you can maintain control at all times. Allow extra room and stopping distance when approaching other vehicles. Do not ride faster than your talent. Speed can result in serious injuries or death.
  • Avoid Alcohol: Do not drink and ride. Operating an off-highway vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more is against the law. Impaired OHV drivers will be stopped and can be arrested even with the lower BAC if the conditions are not safe.
  • Natural Resources: Protect your right to play. Tread lightly and stay on designated trails. Remember, wildlife has the right of way.

The public is responsible for adhering to the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures. If visitors fail to comply with health guidance, State Parks and law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations.

For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(805) 773-7170

Park Hours

Temporary Phase One

Vehicle Day Use: 7am – 8pm

Dogs Allowed?

Leashed dogs allowed, dogs not allowed at Oso Flaco Lake or Pismo State Beach Dune Preserve.

Driving Directions to Oceano Dunes SVRA

Directions are currently not available for this park.

Camping and Lodging

During the initial reopening phase, no overnight camping opportunities will be provided at Oceano Dunes SVRA (beach camping area).

No online brochures available for this park.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

Hiking Trails
Horseback Riding
Historical/Cultural Site
Interpretive Exhibits
Scuba Diving/Snorkeling
Beach Area
Vista Point
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Outdoor Showers
Drinking Water Available
Wheelchair Accessible


Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Available for Review

State Parks has prepared a Draft Public Works Plan and associated Draft EIR for Pismo State Beach and Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area for compliance with the California Coastal Act and recommendations for improvement in additional Park Management Programs and Plans. The Draft Plan (Volume 1), Existing Conditions (Volume 2), and Draft EIR (Volume 3) are available for review at www.oceanodunespwp.com/en/documents/draft-eir.

The Draft EIR is available for public review and comment for 60 days, beginning December 31, 2020. Comments are due on March 2, 2021, at 5 pm. However, if a California Coastal Commission hearing for these draft documents is scheduled after March 2, 2021, the comment period will be extended to the hearing date.

Please submit written comments to:

By Mail:
California State Parks
Strategic Planning and Recreation Services Division
1725 23rd Street, Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95816

By email: OceanoDunes.PWP.EIR@parks.ca.gov

State Vehicular Recreation Area 

One of several off-highway vehicle (OHV) areas administered by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) also offers visitors recreational activities such as swimming, surfing, surf fishing, camping and hiking.

In March 2020, all state park units across the state closed to vehicular access in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including Oceano Dunes SVRA and Pismo SB. As the park units reopen to vehicular use via a three-phased reopening plan, it is important for visitors to plan ahead as many services are not available at this time and the dunes and topography changed during the closure creating unfamiliar terrain.

Dunes imageBelow you will find key information for visitors:

Day Use Hours 

During Phase One, both park units will temporarily be open daily from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. for day use by visitors who can walk, bike or drive in with a “street legal” vehicle (e.g. jeeps or trucks).

Vehicle Access

  • “Street legal” vehicles, such as jeeps and trucks, will be allowed on the dunes.
  • “Green and Red Sticker” off-highway vehicles (OHV) will remain temporarily prohibited from entering the park at this time. Staff will monitor conditions and operations to determine when to restore “Green and Red Sticker” OHV activity.

Drivers are advised that the dunes and topography changed during the closure of the park unit, creating unfamiliar terrain. All drivers are being asked to drive with care and provide shorebirds and pedestrians plenty of space as they enjoy the park. The speed limit on the beach is 15 miles per hour.

All vehicles must be registered through the Department of Motor Vehicles and display current registration.

Dunes ImageVisitation 

As the State of California continues to protect Californians from the COVID-19 pandemic and for the protection of natural resources, the daily allowed number of “street legal” vehicles will be temporarily limited to 1,000 per day, for both park units. While State Parks does not anticipate this operational change to impact visitation since this is considered the off-season, over the next few weeks there may be instances where the maximum allowance of vehicles will be met and no further vehicles will be allowed to enter the beach due to the temporary capacity requirement.


During the initial reopening phase, no overnight camping opportunities will be provided at Oceano Dunes SVRA (beach camping area).  Phase two of the phased-reopening plan will include the date new reservations can be made for Oceano Dunes SVRA.

The public is advised that when campgrounds reopen, they will do so at a reduced and limited capacity (100 sites) to support a safe and healthy environment for employees, natural resources and visitors.


Since the campgrounds at Oceano Dunes SVRA will not reopen at full capacity, the number of prior reservations in the system would exceed the reduced inventory under the phased reopening plan of the SVRA. In order to give everyone fair access to available camping, State Parks needs to restart the booking process at zero reservations. Phase two of the phased-reopening plan will include the date new reservations can be made for Oceano Dunes SVRA.

The department apologizes for the inconvenience as it continues to address operational considerations during COVID-19. Reservation cancellations and refunds will be automatic. As such, visitors do not need to take any action. Affected reservation holders will be contacted by ReserveCalifornia via email.

Ocean Safety

Dunes ImageDangerous currents, called rip currents, are caused by the combination of wave action and the shape of the shoreline. Should you become caught in a rip current while swimming, don't try to swim against the current. Swim parallel to the shore until you're out of the rip. Then make your way to shore. There is lifeguard service available at Oceano Dunes SVRA June through Labor Day.

Emergency Situations

In case of an emergency, contact a Ranger or dial 911 from a cell phone and advise that you are at Oceano Dunes SVRA. An emergency solar-powered call-box is located at the entrance to Sand Highway at approximately Post 4-1/2. Do not move an injured person unless he is in immediate danger.


Special event applications are not being accepted at this time for both park units.


OHV rental services will not be available until phase three of the reopening plan.