Oceano Dunes closure canceled, reopened to vehicles and camping

December 19, 2021


Two days after temporarily shuttering the Oceano Dunes to cars and camping, California State Parks announced Friday the park will remain open.

Because of storm activity and the Arroyo Grande Creek flowing to the ocean, on Dec. 15 the state closed the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. The closure was based on the California Coastal Commission’s order to shutter the park when the Arroyo Grande Creek is flowing, a plan that is facing litigation from Friends of the Oceano Dunes.

In addition to the Coastal Commission’s order to prohibit crossing the Arroyo Grande Creek when any water is present, in March,  the commission voted to close the Pier Avenue entrance by July 1, 2022 and to close the park’s vehicle recreation area by 2024.

Late Friday, Friends reached an agreement with State Parks to prevent the closure of the Oceano Dunes recreation area while the legal case against the California Coastal Commission winds its way through the system, unless there is at least 12 inches of water in the creek.

Friends and Parks also agreed that the Pier Avenue entrance to the park would not be closed on July 1, 2022, but would remain open while the court decides the case.

Friends of Oceano Dunes is a not-for-profit corporation expressly created to preserve camping and off-highway vehicle recreation at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. Friends represents approximately 28,000 members and users of the Oceano Dunes.


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Close the park to off road vehicles, return it to the families of the central coast.

Adam Trask

Upon this lawsuit’s success on behalf of the “Friends” look for headlines about ATV riders losing their vehicles and/or their lives in fast moving water on AG Creek.


Something doesn’t smell right about this story. How is it that a private lobbying organization, Friends of Oceano Dunes, can make a unilateral binding agreement with the State Parks, dictating how the park is run? This of course brings up an age old question: who really is calling the shots on how Oceano Dunes state park is being run? Who, in fact, is in charge?

For the record, I would like to see a portion of the dunes Accommodate off Highway vehicles. But for years now there is always something that smells fishy about how that particular park is managed. It is claimed that the park attracts millions of paying customers each year. Where is that money going? Why are there always potholes in the parking lot and decrepit buildings rotting out in the middle of the park along with lots of litter? I can’t think of another state park of that size that is so raggedy. Something is not right.

Kevin Rice

There are no buildings anywhere. What are you talking about???


There sure as heck are buildings in the dunes. You’ve never noticed the bathrooms? Maybe you need to go out there and check it out yourself. And while you’re out there you can try cleaning up all the litter that’s scattered through the dunes and the off-road vehicle accessible areas. Besides, Kevin, you have a long reputation of lying and misleading the public regarding dune issues. You’ve been a terrible representative for those who want to keep the dunes open to vehicles. bottom line: My opinion the Oceana dunes State Park needs better management and a serious audit.


There are no ”decrepit buildings rotting out in the middle of the park” (Oceano Dunes SVRA). There are bathrooms in the developed campgrounds, but there are no buildings out in the dunes. Why shouldn’t Friends of the Oceano Dunes or other ORV advocates volunteer to help park staff collect litter and keep the park looking good?


Well why don’t the “friends” do that to improve the dunes instead of just complaining all the time? No one would stop them picking up litter.