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Visitation: unknown
Area: 75 Acres
Lat: 35.062882
Lon: 120.625076
Nearby Services
Gas-Guadalupe, 6 MilesFood-Guadalupe, 6 MilesLodging-Santa Maria, 16 Miles
Site Facilities
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Every Kid in a Park. Initiative that gives every U.S. 4th grader and his or her family free access to 2000+ federally managed lands and waters. Educators can also participate.
Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area - Site # 298
PremiumPremium - the most significant sites, worth visiting if you have limited time. Premium sites have high wildlife values year-round, staff on site, interpretive programs and/or displays, and well-developed facilities.

Background: The natural area provides a unique trail experience through the dune complex, where visitors will walk over a mile-long footbridge and planked boardwalk through riparian areas of willows and wax myrtle, over a freshwater lake, and through dune scrub habitat ending at the beach. Birdwatchers delight in locating different species in the variety of habitats. Hundreds of waterfowl visit the lake daily during winter months and resident marsh birds can be seen on the lake edge. Abundant wildflowers such as silver bush lupine, Indian paintbrush, and Hooker's evening primrose bloom throughout the spring and summer. The tall dune, Coreopsis Hill, which can be accessed from the trail, is covered with a burst of yellow giant coreopsis during the spring.

The Habitat: Beach foredune (35%), dune scrub(45%), fresh water lake (5%), arroyo willow riparian (10%), marsh (5%)

The Experience: Many rare and endemic species only found within this unique dune system are present.

Wildlife and Where to Find It: From paved trails, or boardwalk from parking lot to beach, approximatley one mile one way.

Viewing Tips: Birding - year around;
wildflower viewing - spring and summer.

Site Notes: When walking through the wooded area along the paved road toward the lake, listen for songbirds and look for raccoons (don't approach!). Walk through marshlands, pass tall tule grasses, which the Chumash Indians used to build their houses, and on the bridge over Oso Flaco Lake. Portola's expedition party in 1769 caught and ate 'un oso flaco' ,a skinny bear, giving the lake its name. There is a diversity of animal life to be viewed from the lake including migrating and resident native birds. Look along the edge of the lake for soras and bitterns. The beach is a nice place to stroll, but bring a jacket because it can be cold. Various shorebirds can be seen at the shore and at the Oso Flaco Creek edge. The beach is popular with fisherman, surfers, and for picnicing. During the winter from October to February 29th kids can have sand dune sliding fun in the dunes near the beach.

Nearby Viewing Sites: Rancho Guadalupe National Wildlife Refuge

Festivals & Events: Big Day field trip for the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival; Audubon Society, California Native Plant Society, Dunes Center, and Central Coast Natural History Association lead field trips
Unk

Visitor Information: Ranger Station - 805-473-7220 - http://www.ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1207
Viewing Site Hours of Operation are:
Staff On-site: Yes
Open: Sun,Mon,Tues,Wed,Thur,Fri,Sat
Hours: Hours may change, see park website.
Year Round: No
Seasonal: A northern portion of the beach area is closed March 1 to Sept 30 for western snowy plover nesting habitat protection, but access to most of the beach is open year around, parking lot attended intermittently in winter

Road Information:   Paved. 
Road Hazards: No. Note 3 - Public safety. Poison oak and stinging nettle off the trails, biting flies - stay on trails and wear long sleeves, repellent, and sunscreen. Visiting California State Parks and viewing wildlife is an experience in the natural world with the same inherent risks as other outdoor adventures. Changing weather conditions, rugged terrain with changing trail and road conditions, and hazards of surf and other waters, plants (poison oak, falling limbs, etc.) and animals (mountain lions, rattlesnakes, ticks, etc.) are a part of life outdoors, as is protecting yourself and your belongings. Use the Visit a Park link at the State Park web page for precautions and public safety information.
 Number of Parking Spaces: 30
Parking Fee: Yes
Proximity to viewing area:adjacent
 Pull-Through Parking: Yes
Parking Notes: Note 3 - Public safety. Poison oak and stinging nettle off the trails, biting flies - stay on trails and wear long sleeves, repellent, and sunscreen. Visiting California State Parks and viewing wildlife is an experience in the natural world with the same inherent risks as other outdoor adventures. Changing weather conditions, rugged terrain with changing trail and road conditions, and hazards of surf and other waters, plants (poison oak, falling limbs, etc.) and animals (mountain lions, rattlesnakes, ticks, etc.) are a part of life outdoors, as is protecting yourself and your belongings. Use the Visit a Park link at the State Park web page for precautions and public safety information. Parking fee subject to change. See park website.

How to Get There: Exit West Main Street from Hwy 101, turn west and travel 8.7 miles through Santa Maria to the town of Guadalupe to State Hwy 1,turn north (right) and travel through Guadalupe 3.7 miles to Oso Flaco Lake Road, turn west (left) and travel 3.1 miles to parking lot
 

Contact Information
Managing Agency: OHV Division
Agency Site URL:  http://www.ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1207
Physical Address:Oso Flaco Lake Road
Guadalupe, CA 93434
Agency 2:928 Pacific Blvd.
Oceano, CA 93445
Manager Phone:805-773-7170
Site Phone:805-473-7220
County: San Luis Obispo
Addition Website: