Join botanists Lauren Brown, Dirk Walters and other botanists of the California Native Plant Society of San Luis Obispo as they lead hikers to Coreopsis Hill. This is a moderate hike, about 3 hours round-trip. Dress in layers, bring water and sun screen, and have your “Dune Mother’s Wildflower Guide” by Dr. Malcolm McLeod for the trip. Heavy rain cancels this trip (light rain, bring appropriate clothing).
The hike will leave from the State Parks Parking Lot at the end Of Oso Flaco Lake Road. We will have parking passes for the hike, courtesy of State Parks. We will walk back up Oso Flaco Lake Road to Beigle Road and access the dunes through private property. The access is through an active agricultural field; in appreciation of being allowed to use this access, we will review and follow all the procedures requested by the field manager on our way into and exiting the dunes.
Directions from the north: Take Hwy 101 south from San Luis Obispo. Turn right (west) at the new Willow Road off ramp (Exit 180). Proceed west on Willow Road for about 4.3 miles, to Highway 1. Turn left (south) on Highway 1 and proceed for 2.7 miles, to Oso Flaco Lake Road. Turn right (west) on Oso Flaco Lake Road. Proceed west on Oso Flaco Lake Road for 2.5 miles to Beigle Road. Look for a 6’ tall wire mesh fence and steel gate.
Directions from the south: Take 101 north to Santa Maria and take the Main Street exit toward the town of Guadalupe. Turn right onto Highway 1 and head north to Oso Flaco Lake Road (about 3 miles north of Guadalupe), turn left onto Oso Flaco Lake Road and proceed 2.5 miles to Beigle Road (on left).
Parking: We will have people posted at the entrance of the USFWS fenced road to direct parking. The gate will be open around 8:30. Please do not park on Oso Flaco Lake Road near the gate as there is not much room and it could be hazardous. There should be plenty of room to park along the USFWS access road. The Oso Flaco Lake State Park lot is another ¾ miles west of Beigle Road, if you need to use a restroom before the hike (there are none along the hike route).
The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes-Point Sal Coastal Area contains the largest, relatively undisturbed coastal dune tract in California and was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1974. Five major plant communities are represented including pioneer/foredunes; coastal dune scrub; riparian woodland; coastal dune freshwater marshes, ponds, and swales; and active interior dunes. The flora includes many endemic plant species and the dunes habitats support numerous rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals.
*Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 805-343-2455 to reserve your hiking spot.