The Guadalupe-Nipomo sand dunes offer a taste of wilderness just minutes outside the city of Santa Maria.

The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes and nearby Lake Oso Flaco are home to many endangered and threatened species of plants and animals. A beautiful, short boardwalk takes you from the parking lot, over Lake Oso Flaco, and through the dunes before arriving at the ocean. Enjoy the local wildlife and abundant wildflowers that dot the trail, and tread lightly, respecting the closures and guidelines put in place to protect this delicate environment. Pro tip: this is a great place to pack in a thermos of hot coffee and take in the early morning views before the heat of the day sets in.  

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Sunglasses
  • Binoculars for those who want to check out the local wildlife
  • Snacks
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Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Adult Beverages
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area


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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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