Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area

Update (Oct. 29, 2020)

Three-Phased Reopening Plan

California State Parks is implementing a three-phased reopening plan for vehicular use at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) and Pismo State Beach (SB). The plan is designed to support a safe and healthy environment for employees, visitors and natural resources such as the endangered Western snowy plover and California least tern. Though the first phase is set to begin Friday, October 30, specific dates for phases two and three have yet to be determined.

Information on the phased reopening plan, can be found on the following links: Press Release   I   FAQs. Updates on the plan will also be shared on Oceano District’s Twitter and Facebook social media accounts.

State Parks continues to receive public feedback on the future of Oceano Dunes SVRA. Although the department may not be able to directly respond to each individual comment, it takes each comment seriously and will consider it in its management decisions.

We thank the public for their patience as this is the first time in the history of the department where safety measures such as vehicular access closures, full closures and cancellation of reservations have been implemented at such a large scale in response to a pandemic.

COVID-19 Guidelines

Visitation and physical distancing will be monitored, and if unsafe conditions develop, access may be restricted again. The public is reminded to:
  • Plan ahead
  • Stay local
  • Maintain the proper physical distance
  • Avoid crowds
  • Wear face coverings
  • Only gather with those within your immediate household. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people to allow for the required physical distance. Check the local public health order for additional guidance on gatherings.

For additional COVID-19 tips, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.

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


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.