“I am happy out here. Messy hair, dirty feet & wild water on my skin. Out here with the wild things; this is where I belong.” – Brooke Hampton
Oso Flaco Lake is a hidden gem located near Nipomo, California. The boardwalk leads to 4 different beautiful sceneries. You’ll have to walk from the parking lot ($5 fee) into a slightly paved road before turning left on the boardwalk. You will find warning signs for bears and mountain lions as you enter the park.
The place is very peaceful and you could see different kinds of birds surrounding the lake. There are several benches along the way to sit, relax, and read interpretive signs on the birds and plants in the area.
The next part of the path will show you all the trees and plants in the area. The poisonous plants are the giant stinging nettle, poison oak, and poison hemlock (plant used to poison Socrates).
The boardwalk continues to the sand dunes and you will see the fenced-off areas on both sides. This is to protect the snowy plover habitat. Obviously, if you’ve been following my blog from the start you know I’m unable to resist my trademark jump.
The path ends with a magnificent view of the ocean and the sand dunes. You have the option of heading straight to beach or just sitting at the viewpoint area on the boardwalk.
Afterwards, you may visit Rancho Guadalupe Preserve if you want to see more sand dunes connected to the ocean. The parking is free but limited and it is only a couple of miles away from Oso Flaco. I highly recommend visiting this place as well.
Pismo beach was a last minute addition to the trip. It was approximately 30 miles away and definitely worth the visit. Margo Dodd Park is quite perfect. There is enough free street parking and at the end of Pier st. you will find beach access to a ruggedly beautiful terrain with a large tide pool area.
Tips for this trip.
1. Bring lots of water and snacks. All these places are beautiful and you might want to stay longer than expected. Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes is quite isolated so you have to come prepared.
2. Wear sunglasses and bringing a scarf may come in handy. It’s very windy and you don’t want to get sand in your eyes, nose, or mouth. Please check out links below.
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3. Wear beach sandals. You don’t really need hiking shoes for this trip since you’ll be walking on a boardwalk and mostly sand on both areas. Please check out links below.
4. Here are the addresses for each place:
Oso Flaco Lake address: Oso Flaco Lake Rd Guadalupe, CA 93434
Rancho Guadalupe Preserve address: 6350 W Main St, Guadalupe, CA 93434
Margo Dodd Park (Pismo Beach) address: 401 Ocean Blvd, Pismo Beach, CA 9344