Located just south of Pismo Beach, The dunes in Oceano offer the only
The Oceano sand dune area is recognized by scientists, conservationists, government agencies, and the public as the finest, most extensive coastal dunes remaining in California. Most of the material that forms these dunes has been carried down to the ocean by various rivers and creeks, deposited here by ocean currents, and then shaped by the wind into the dunes that we see today.
The prevailing winds that blow in from the ocean push sand particles up into wave-like crests that run north-south. On the west or windward side the slope is gentle. On the east or leeward side the slope is quite steep. Sand grains, as they are blown over the dune crest tend to accumulate high on the leeward slope; then, periodically thin tongues of sand slide down. For this reason the leeward slope is called a "slipface."
I HIGHLY recommend getting out of your car and doing some exploring while on the dunes. I have stumbled across remnants of buried movie sets (the dunes have been used as backdrop to many amazing films like "Pirates of the Carrabean" and the 1923 Epic "The Ten Commandments"), old hardware from shacks that dotted the dunes (Jack Kerouac was one of the more famous "Dunites"), and even a giant Chumash Indian trash heap (full of old clam shells and such).
The dunes have a much deeper, richer history than one might think. There's certainly more to them than just dirtbikes and big trucks.