Northwest of Santa Maria near Pismo Beach, the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area has 70 miles of ATV riding over 1,500 acres of beaches and dunes along the Pacific Ocean.
The main trailhead is called Post 2 and is one mile south on the beach from the Pier Avenue entrance to the beach. It marks the beginning of the OHV area. All OHVs must be transported to this point before off-loading. Watch out for high tide when it may not be possible to drive to parking area. Fenced and signed areas are closed to vehicular use either because the property beyond is private or because the area contains sensitive plant and animal life.
Camping is allowed south of Post 2 on the beach and in the open dune area. Vault toilets and chemical toilets are provided, but water must be brought in and trash must be packed out. Campsite reservation information can be obtained by calling 1-800-444-7275. Campsites are available by reservation year-round and can be made from 10 days to six months in advance. Reservations are highly recommended, especially for holiday periods. Beach camping is recommended for 4- wheel drive vehicles only. A dump station, located on Le Sage Drive, 1/10 miles North of Grand Ave. on Hwy 1, is available to campers.
High tides, heavy rains, and blowing sand determine whether or not you can drive down the beach without getting stuck. Access to the OHV and camping area may be restricted periodically by Arroyo Grande Creek which is subject to water releases at Lopez Dam and increased flow during winter storms.
Overall, Oceano Dunes is the 28th most popular ATV riding trail of all 106 ATV trails in California.