View Full Version : Oceano Dunes

8-Jan-2015, 12:16
Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone has been to Oceano recently and know approx where to go???

Need to channel some Weston!


John Kasaian
8-Jan-2015, 13:57
Does "Avoid the Motel 6 in Grover Beach" help?

William Whitaker
8-Jan-2015, 14:06
Does "Avoid the Motel 6 in Grover Beach" help?

That sounds like a photo op if ever I heard one!

8-Jan-2015, 14:25
damn and i was gonna do a whole series on motel 6 and super 8's!

John Kasaian
8-Jan-2015, 14:25
That sounds like a photo op if ever I heard one!
Especially the sign on the fence around the swimming pool :rolleyes:

8-Jan-2015, 14:51
ok I see this is gonna go no where... ah well....

John Kasaian
8-Jan-2015, 15:35
Oceano Dunes is a great location.
"..approx. where to go?"
is the hard part of your question. If you're looking for EW's tripod holes I can't help. Remember they are sand dunes and constantly shifting. I think studying the sun and shadows will get you closer to EW's vision unlike Ansel's Half Dome and Glacier Point which, from what I've heard haven't moved all that much since he was running the Best's Studio.

8-Jan-2015, 16:02
hey john,

not looking for tripod holes just general area so i can avoid the off road crazies and try to get the same sun angles.....

Never been so just looking for guidance.

Eric Woodbury
8-Jan-2015, 16:46
There is a place that is a short distance south of the drive-on point that is off limits to the dune buggies. Problem is, it is next to the horse corals and can have horse tracks. Less likely some cold morning this time of year. I haven't been in years, so my experience may not be up to date. Also, there was a time when you could park at the stables, but that is long gone. Just park in Oceano and walk. Or park on the beach if your car can drive on sand and in salt spray.

8-Jan-2015, 16:48
Thanks Eric

Leszek Vogt
8-Jan-2015, 16:58
Can't run away from the off-road bunch....they are allowed on the beach and on dunes. Good idea to get there early (no tracks), but you probably know this. I was there last August and quite a chunk of the dunes were set aside as being a "sensitive area"....and no one was allowed within the parameters. Anyway, once you enter the beach at W. Grand Ave (Grover Beach), you need to go some distance by foot before any sort of dunes emerge. However, you can drive parallel (South) to the beach as far as you can and you'll be at the 'sensitive area'. You can explore the immediate area or hike (on the beach) further South if you desire. There is likely a way to come up from the S. end too, but maybe someone else chimes in on that.

Take :cool:


8-Jan-2015, 17:16
Thanks Les

Eric Woodbury
8-Jan-2015, 19:54
Here's a map, albeit feeble. You would want the area south of Pier Ave. and north of the "Open Area", west of the Pacific Dunes Ranch RV Resort at the end of Euclid as seen on Google maps. You'd like a good wind in the middle of the night, clear and calm skies at sunrise, and many happy returns. There may be some nice areas further south by Oso Flaco, but I don't know. The dunes there seem less 'carved'.


Robert Oliver
8-Jan-2015, 20:26
I know this well...

Park at the Oceano Livery Stables... some have parked at the end of the adjoining RV Campground which will put you 7.5 steps from the dunes but I don't do it. I'm assuming they could tow if they wanted.

Walk or Park at the top of the campground. From the end of the RV park (southern most point at the top of the hill) start walking west towards the ocean and those are the dunes you want to shoot. I prefer to head north once I get to the top of the dunes.

The dunes don't repair themselves in the winter as fast as they do in the winter... meaning footprints last longer, but you can usually find un-tracked sections as long as it isn't a busy holiday week. The good thing about winter, is the dunes are much firmer and easier to trek across.

To me... the best carved dunes are directly West and North-West of the RV Park... they get really soft and shapeless the farther south you go.

8-Jan-2015, 21:11
Thanks Eric and Robert!

Sirius Glass
8-Jan-2015, 21:52
It is a good place to drive on the dunes and take photographs. Just remember to bring cash for airing up the tires when you get ready to leave. So remember to bring $1 per tire. Enjoy yourself.