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Oso Flaco Dunes Trail
Near Guadalupe, California

Oso Flaco means "skinny bear", from an incident on the Portola expedition in 1769. The Spanish explorers ate a bear that had apparently been poisoned by the Indians and was starving.

Despite this sad tale Oso Flaco is a wonderful place. The lake is freshwater backed up behind dunes. A boardwalk leads to the very long and wild beach, the same one as at Oceano, but OHV's are prohibited.

Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes - Oso Flaco Lake
Wikipedia: Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes

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Oso Flaco Trail Begin

Oso Flaco Trail Begin

The Oso Flaco trail begins at the edge of the rich agrcultural Santa Maria Valley

Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area, California

Date photographed: June 11, 2010
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Oso Flaco Trail Thicket

Oso Flaco Trail Thicket

The Oso Flaco Trail goes through a dense thicket of willows before reaching the lake

Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area, California

Date photographed: June 11, 2010
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Oso Flaco Lake

Oso Flaco Lake

On the boardwalk across Oso Flaco Lake, named for a "skinny bear"

Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area, California

Date photographed: June 11, 2010
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Oso Flaco Dunes Boardwalk

Oso Flaco Dunes Boardwalk

The Oso Flaco boardwalk leads through a beautiful area of rolling dunes

Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area, California

Date photographed: June 11, 2010
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Oso Flaco Dunes Vegetation

Oso Flaco Dunes Vegetation

Stable dune vegetation along the Oso Flaco boardwalk

Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area, California

Date photographed: June 11, 2010
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Oso Flaco Dunes Ponds

Oso Flaco Dunes Ponds

Small ponds are scattered through the dunes along the Oso Flaco boardwalk

Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area, California

Date photographed: June 11, 2010
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Fence Across the Dunes at Oso Flaco

Fence Across the Dunes at Oso Flaco

North of Oso Flaco the dunes are open to vehicular recreation, from here south they are protected

Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area, California

Date photographed: June 11, 2010
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Active Dunes Near Oso Flaco

Active Dunes Near Oso Flaco

Adjacent to the low stabilizied dunes along the boardwalk at Oso Flaco is an area of high active dunes

Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area, California

Date photographed: June 11, 2010
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Oso Flaco Trail End

Oso Flaco Trail End

The Oso Flaco trail ends at a long and usually lonely beach

Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area, California

Date photographed: June 11, 2010
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Surf Fishermen at Oso Flaco

Surf Fishermen at Oso Flaco

Surf fishermen at the Oso Flaco access to the long beach that runs from Pismo to Point Sal

Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area, California

Date photographed: June 11, 2010
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Previous locality: Arroyo Grande Next locality: Guadalupe/Pt Sal