San Luis Obispo Southern County

Primitive Montaņa De Oro State Park, at the north of this section of the County, is a jewel where ocean meets land. Unfortunately, the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant blocks the walker going south from the Park towards the city of Avila Beach. Many dedicated people are working to establish the coastal trail within the Irish Hills behind the plant. Avila Beach is a whole new town, restored after being contaminated by years of petroleum storage. Southern SLO County presents a very different picture than does the north; much of the coastal area is developed along steep cliff faces with only limited access to pocket beaches until you reach the broad expanse of Pismo Beach. At Grand Avenue, the beach is then cluttered with off-road vehicles ? and is the only beach in California that still allows them. You can escape this 12-mile nightmare by going on further to the gorgeous Guadalupe-Nipomo dune system made famous by Ansel Adams. This fragile and expansive dune habitat continues all the way to magnificent Point Sal in Santa Barbara County. [Nancy Graves]

View south from the Oceano Dunes [Linda Hanes]

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The Coastal Trail alignment shown on these maps has
not been sanctioned by any agency of the State of California

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