Pismo Beach, or Oceano Dunes, is one of the most popular camping destinations in California, and this causes many to ask if you can go off road there too.

Right now, driving off road at Pismo Beach and the Oceano Dunes is legal, but by 2024 it will be outlawed and against the rules. For anybody going there soon, this is an 8-mile-long beach with excellent sand dunes for a rugged and adventurous off roading experience.

Off-roading is becoming increasingly popular in California, so it's no surprise that the locals have embraced this park. We have found details about Pismo Beach and plan to explain the exact rules for off roading here in this guide. Keep reading to learn more.

Key Takeaways

  • Off roading is allowed at Pismo Beach, but California plans to change that and restrict off roading there by 2024.
  • It’s common to see a lot of RVs and campers at Pismo Beach because it's a hot spot for campers to enjoy a weekend with the family.
  • Expect lots of ups and downs when riding off road at Pismo Beach because the sand dunes are more unpredictable.
  • Both OHVs and street legal vehicles are allowed to drive on Oceano Dunes and Pismo Beach.

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Table of contents


Can You Off Road At Pismo Beach?

Pismo Beach is a popular destination for off road enthusiasts. It's a beautiful beach with a long, sandy shoreline and the Pacific Ocean is just steps away.

The sand dunes are perfect for camping and off roading. This is known as the Oceano Dunes State Recreational Vehicle Area, and it’s an eight-mile-long beach for off roading.

Pismo Beach is a beautiful beach in Central California. They have many trails that are perfect for off roading. It is also a popular destination for off roaders.

But it’s worth mentioning a recent law change means time is running out for off roading at Pismo Beach. Starting in 2024, no more ATVs or UTVs will be allowed.

However, there are some restrictions on where you can go and what you can do at this beach, so make sure to read the rules before you head out there.

Rules For Off Roading At Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach Off Road Park is one of the best places to off-road and explore the area. It’s a great place for people who want to go on an adventure with their family or friends or for those who want to get away from urban life and enjoy nature.

Before heading there, take a moment to plan to trip better and learn about the rules to ensure a successful off-roading journey is ahead.

Camping Is Allowed On The Beach

Camping on the beach at Pismo Beach is allowed due to its location near the Pacific Ocean.

This makes it an ideal spot for people who enjoy camping, hiking, surfing, or kayaking on the shoreline because there are not many other places nearby where you can camp legally without a permit from Pismo Beach State Park.

So many visitors are coming to Pismo Beach because there are few other places nearby where you can camp legally without a permit.

Use Off Road Sand Tires

The sand dunes at Pismo Beach can be very dangerous because they change so quickly, and it is hard to predict what the terrain will look like.

Dedicated sand tires will ensure you have a better chance of getting through the dunes without damaging your vehicle or injuring yourself. This is our recommendation, and it should be an actual rule to protect riders.

Register The OHV Properly

Pismo Beach is in California, so registering an OHV typically needs to be done. Getting everything registered before showing up for a ride is our best advice.

This will keep us out of trouble. This needs to be done using the vehicle title to get the necessary permit for riding in public areas like Pismo Beach.

What OHVs Can You Ride At Pismo Beach?

Well, it depends on what type of off-roading you're doing. Right now, motorcycles, four-wheel drive, all-terrain vehicles, and dune buggies are allowed, along with campers and larger vehicles.

The four-wheeler or ATV is the most popular OHV to ride at Pismo Beach, which can be ridden on sand and dirt. It can be ridden on the sand but cannot go as fast as some other vehicles because it has less power than them.

Bikes and motorcycles struggle to ride at Pismo because it’s mostly deeper sand dunes. This typically leaves ATVs, UTVs, pickup trucks, Jeeps & SUVs, and RVs for camping.

Can You Drive Street Legal Trucks At Pismo Beach?

The answer is yes, but with some restrictions. The California local police force does enforce rules regarding driving still in the area and on the sand in Pismo Beach. But it’s perfectly legal and allowed to do so.

Pick Up Trucks

Pickup trucks are heavy-duty, but they can drive off-road at Pismo because it does not restrict any vehicle type. There are two adjacent 8-mile trails, and it’s common to see the OHVs riding separately.

Jeeps & SUVs

Jeeps and SUVs have been designed with low ground clearance and wide tracks that do not get stuck easily. They handle with excellent precision too.

They can drive in the dunes just fine without any problems. However, you will need a set of sand tires for your vehicle if you want to drive in the dune without getting stuck or damaging your car's suspension.

RVs & Motorhomes

Pismo Beach is a popular destination for campers because it has all the amenities that they need to enjoy their outdoor experiences.

It has a wide variety of activities, including camping. This is why it's common to have lots of RVs and motorhomes, but they must be driven carefully.

The sand can be tough for a larger RV to handle, and they can also get stuck.

What To Expect Off-Roading At Pismo Beach

Off-roading is a popular activity at Pismo Beach. It’s a fun way to explore the area and have a good time with friends and family.

It’s possible to get up close to nature by going off-roading in the forest, or you can go for a drive along the beachfront road.

There are many things to do at Pismo Beach when you go off-roading, but safety should be your number one priority while doing any activity on the beach.

Pismo Beach is a popular camping hotspot. The campground offers a variety of affordable camping options for visitors who want to enjoy the beach without spending too much money on accommodations.

The sand gets very deep in places, and it's not recommended for vehicles with low ground clearance or that have high ground clearance but no rocker panels.

The best part about off-roading is that it can be done anywhere in the world - whether in a desert, forest or even at your front door. And this is one reason we live trips to Pismo Beach so much.