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Oceano Dunes beach camping resumes for the first time in weeks

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Posted at 4:08 PM, Apr 26, 2023

Arroyo Grande Creek conditions have improved, allowing beach camping at the Oceano Dunes to resume for the first time since March 9.

Conditions on Wednesday started out cold and foggy but that didn't stop visitors from having a great time.

“It’s been pretty awesome. It’s totally rad out here,” said Arwi Odense, who is visiting from the Bay Area.

“...Excited to be out, it looks like it’s going to be nice,” said Ericka Lesch, visiting from Corona.

It wasn't an easy task securing a spot. Odense says camping reservations filled up quickly. He made other plans that allowed his family during the day to still enjoy everything the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area has to offer.

“So originally we were planning to actually camp on the beach, but we still wanted to stick to these dates and we decided to stay at this Oceano RV Park," said Odense.

Though beach camping did open up during his trip.

“So we didn’t have to worry about that, but now we hear great news that it’s actually opening up so that’s pretty rad,” said Odense.

Ericka Lesch is visiting the campground for the third time and says beach camping opened at the perfect time.

“I heard about it being closed and so we were following it and I heard that it just opened today, so we were excited that it didn’t interrupt our plans,” said Lesch.

Although not everyone has been so lucky.

“We found out that they were canceling, I guess, reservations last week, but they opened them on the day we were coming, so it worked out for us," said Lesch.

According to California State Parks, the winter storms caused beach erosion as well as unusually high water levels in the nearby Arroyo Grande Creek. The high creek levels combined with the normal tide cycles cause the creek to exceed its regulated crossing depth, meaning those using the dunes for recreation need to be cautious.

“Red sticker season is coming to an end so we’re just taking advantage of taking the dirt bike up to the dunes,” said Odense.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation said in a statement, "Crossing the Arroyo Grande Creek when it has been posted closed is a violation and drivers may be issued citations. Additionally, drivers crossing the creek when it has been posted closed put their property and safety at risk."

Camping reservations can be made at ReserveCalifornia.com.