Temporary Phase One
Vehicle Day Use: 7am – 8pm
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.
Below 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).
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.
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.
Dangerous 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.
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.