Guadalupe--Oso Flaco Lake Natural Trail is accessible from Oso Flaco
Road off Highway 1 north of downtown Guadalupe. A guard hut and restrooms were
installed several years ago and a parking fee of less than $5 is now charged to
help pay for the attendant and upgrades created to attract visitors. A road
sometimes covered in sand makes for a great adventure.
The Nature Trail leads pedestrians on a mile-long
boardwalk which parallels the Oso Flaco Lake and Creek flowing into the
Pacific Ocean. While it is part of the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation
Area, no vehicles are allowed on this protected portion of it. Access to
the all-terrain vehicle driving area is just north of thiss region
and must be accessed in Oceano.
The entrance to Oso Flaco is indicated by a sign amongst
the wildflowers next to a field of food crops. Spectacular sand dunes and
lush vegetation are a few of the sites leading to the beach.
Small bobcats, coyotes and fox thrive in a forest surrounded
by rich farm land. The wild animals shy away from humans though you can
usually see them darting through the brush if you look carefully. The protected
region is also home to Western snowy plovers and California least terns
which nest in the dunes near the ocean. Visitors are asked to stay below the high tide line while on
the beach to not disturb their mating and nesting activity. Ask at the kiosk
about Nature Conservancy docent-lead walks scheduled several times per month.
Site of the 1923 Filming of the Ten Commandments
About 60 years after the Ten Commandments movie was made,
filmmaker Peter Brosnan discovered an entry in Cecil B. DeMille's autobiography
in which he talked about buried sphinx's in the Guadalupe Dunes. What has
been found through archaeological efforts is the buried movie set buried 6 feet
deep in the sand and spanning the length of 2 football fields. Final mapping and
archaeological excavation of the site will occur as funds become available.
To stay near Oso Flaco, the best, closest
hotels are few miles north in Pismo Beach or east in Santa Maria. While the Pismo Dunes run
adjacent to Oso Flaco, you must drive around to Highway 101 or local roads
to access the city by car.