–California State Parks announced on Tuesday the reopening of campgrounds for existing reservation holders and new reservations in San Luis Obispo County. The reopening of campgrounds includes a limited number of sites in the Oceano Dunes State Vehicle Recreation Area and Pismo State Beach beginning Friday, February 19.
Visitors are advised to stay put, wear a face covering, practice physical distancing and avoid gatherings with people outside the immediate household. Additionally, please plan ahead as some park units and campgrounds remain temporarily closed due to the pandemic, wildfires, and weather-related impacts.
“Public health, visitor safety and the protection of natural resources continue to be a priority throughout the state park system,” California State Parks Superintendent Armando Quintero said. “As state parks reopen system-wide access, they are doing so with COVID-19 modifications and guidelines. It is up to each visitor to follow our new health guidelines, employ safe practices and protect natural resources to avoid any future restrictions.
To find campground availability in San Luis Obispo County, visit the park unit webpage of your planned outdoor recreation or visit ReserveCalifornia.com.
Although State Parks is reopening campgrounds across the state, some sites remain temporarily closed due to the pandemic, wildfires and weather-related impacts, and other issues. In addition, group campsites remain closed to avoid the mixing of several houses. Thus, the inventory of available sites is less than before the pandemic. Demand for campsites and accommodations often exceeds available inventory. The public is advised to research and consider other parks in case the first choice is booked. Reservations can be made at least two days in advance (48 hours) prior to arrival on ReserveCalifornia.com.
Below are the COVID-19 guidelines State Parks has in place to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus outdoors:
- Stay local: Stay close to home during this pandemic time. If you or someone in your household is feeling ill, please stay home and plan your trip for another time.
- Plan ahead: The response to the ongoing pandemic continues to be dynamic and fluid. Before you leave home, check the webpage for your outdoor destination you plan to visit to find out if it’s open, if parking is available, and what visitor guidelines are in effect. Also, learn about the safety precautions to take when exploring the outdoors at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips to enjoy it safely.
- Stay safer at six feet: Regardless of recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Only travel/camp with members of your household. That means no guests or friends, and no gatherings or parties.
- Boating: Do not raft to other boaters or stop on a beach next to other recreational boaters.
- Off-Road Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to other people or stop next to anyone else as this may put you in close proximity to others. Step 10 feet or more from each other while unloading and loading.
- Stay Clean: Be prepared as not all services may be available. Some toilets will be temporarily closed to respect cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack all trash. Park units are heavily used and you can help lessen the impact on park facilities.
- Stay covered: The state requires you to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering on them at all times.
The public is responsible for following the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures. If visitors do not follow health guidelines, state parks and law enforcement have the authority to issue citations.
Phase II for Oceano Dunes SVRA and Pismo SB
State Parks launched Phase I of the three-phase reopening plan for Oceano Dunes SVRA and Pismo SB on October 30, 2020 and observed a successful balance of vehicle access, environmental protections and public health protocols during this phase. In consultation with state and local public health departments and other regional public land managers, state parks are preparing to move into the next phase for these popular outdoor destinations.
Below is a breakdown of Phase II of the three-phase reopening plan for both park units, beginning Friday, February 19:
- Daytime hours of use: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
- Limited Vehicle Access: “Permitted” vehicles, such as jeeps and trucks. Off-road vehicles “green sticker”.
- Visiting: As the State of California continues to protect Californians from the COVID-19 pandemic and for the protection of natural resources, State Parks is limiting the daily permitted number of vehicles “allowed on the street at 1,000 per day and “Green Sticker” OHV at 1,000 per day – for both units in the park. Although State Parks does not anticipate that this operational change will impact visits, as it is low season, there may be instances where the maximum vehicle allowance will be reached and no other vehicles will be permitted to enter the beach due to the temporary closure. capacity requirement.
- Camping: Oceano Dunes SVRA: A total of 100 campsites will be available.
- Pismo SB: North Beach Campground is temporarily closed due to recent storm impacts. The campsites of the Oceano campsite developed within Pismo SB are available for reservation. Reservations are required for both park units and must be made at least two days (48 hours) prior to arrival on ReserveCalifornia.com.
- ORV Rental Dealerships: These services will continue to be temporarily closed.
The phased reopening plan for Oceano Dunes SVRA and Pismo SB is designed to support a safe and healthy environment for employees, visitors and natural resources such as the endangered western snowy plover and least tern from California. The date for Phase III of the reopening plan has not been determined. During this final phase, State Parks will continue to expand day-use opportunities and camping inventory as environmental conditions permit and in accordance with state and local public health orders. Off-road vehicle rental dealership operations will resume. Details on the phased reopening plan can be read here.