Walking Oso Flaco Lake, Pismo Beach and Bob Jones Trail

We recently revisited the Pismo Beach area and walked through the Dinosaur Caves Park and along the coast north of town. Plenty of wind and brown pelicans. (We did not walk down the stairs to the tiny beach. But many did. Some to go kayaking.)

Pismo Beach - cliff

Pismo Beach stairs

The following was riginally posted in March 2015: We finally tore ourselves away from Santa Barbara. But there were more treats on the way home.

Oso Flaco Lake

We dutifully stopped in Guadalupe at the Dunes Center. But it didn’t open at 10 nor by 10:10 so we found our way to Oso Flaco Lake out Oso Flaco Lake Road! Past more strawberry and lettuce fields we found our way to a wide open space with lots of cars parked. We walked down this road. Many fisherman were headed home for the day.

Oso Flaco trailIn less than a quarter of a mile we found the beach access.

Oso Flaco beach accessThen it’s all beautiful water, fantastic sky

Oso Flaco Lakeand a boardwalk across the lake.

OF bridgeAbout halfway across the lake was a photographer on the boardwalk. He was snapping pictures at the coots, pintails and ruddy ducks. In the little island he pointed out a horned owl. Can you see the owl? He wasn’t quite this hard to see in real life.

Marsh Owl m

As we continued on the boardwalk, we found this to be a busy tour location.

OF Dune TourWalking along the dunes we saw plenty of silver dune lupine, coyote bush, deer weed and dunes paintbrush. Finally, we came to the ocean.

OF ocean mIt was all stunning on the way back too.

OD Dune return mLess than a mile to the beach. There is also access to the ATV area of the dunes. Fortunately for us, there was none of that noise on this day.

If you’re a beach walker you could go a long way from Oceano to Pismo Beach. You’ll run into some heavy use of ATVs in places. It’s about 6 miles from Oso Flaco to Pismo Beach. We drove.

Pismo State Beach

First we went into the heart of the ATV land, but a friendly woman at the entrance gate, suggested we go to West Grand for our picnic lunch. Here was the dividing line with ATVs to the south and people joy to the north.

Oceano dunesThis trail was off the beach so an easier walk – less than one mile. Click for more information on Pismo State Beach.

Oceano trailRemember how I said we missed the Carpenteria Tar Pits on our quick visit there? This time we missed the Monarch Butterfly Grove. This trail goes near there.

Dinosaur Caves Park

Away from the busy part of Pismo Beach, on the north end,  is a small park called Dinosaur Caves Park. It provides a place to let the kids play hard with dinosaur themed creations

Pismo egg

or to take a stroll in the morning and contemplate the ocean.

Pismo dinosaur

Bob Jones Trail City to Sea

This is a 2.5 mile bicycle trail from Ontario Rd to Avila Beach that runs near the San Luis Obispo Creek. Paved and relatively flat along the oaks and willows.

Bob Jones trailhead mThe sign near this outcrop said something like – Uplifted Monterey Shale was horizontal  when deposited in deep basins 6-14 million years ago. The oak is more recent. Bob Jones RockWe drove to the other end of the trail in cute ‘downtown’ Avila Beach and along the waterfront to the wharf. Walking (or biking) along the beach would be over another mile. Beautiful charming place if you don’t mind the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, a nuclear power plant is up the hill behind your ocean view.

Once again, this area from Guadalupe to Avila Beach requires more explorations. Some how all those trips to Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo didn’t quite open these places to us.

More later…

Words by Lynn Millar, pictures by Lynn and Mike Millar, available upon request.





Published by Lynn Millar

Walker, reader, writer, traveller - see About Walking

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