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Oso Flaco Lake

One of the most scenic natural areas along California’s coast located just north of Guadalupe, California, is Oso Flaco Lake. The lake’s name means “skinny bear,” named from a fatal expedition by Gaspar de Portola in the area in 1769. Oso Flaco Lake is a shallow, freshwater lake that covers 75 acres and features a varied landscape that provides a beautiful walk, over dirt trail, wooded areas, and boardwalk over the lake. This is one of the two coastal access points in Santa Maria Valley, with the other being the Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve.

With tall, marshy grasses and blue water, it is a peaceful escape offering songbirds, lizards and varied wildlife. The trail around Oso Flaco lake winds through arroyo willows and wax myrtles sustained by Oso Flaco Creek. The path then becomes a boardwalk over dunes culminating in a viewing platform, offering a panorama of the entire San Luis Bay. Enjoy the miles of serenity and local wildlife offered at Oso Flaco Lake. 

Plan your trip to Oso Flaco Lake with Santa Maria Valley as your home base. Stay in one of our charming hotels, visit our unique wineries, and taste our mouth-watering barbecue. Once your belly is full and your taste buds are happy, take a day trip to the stunning Oso Flaco Lake. 

Oso Flaco Nature Preserve

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