“Run along this rare, public access beach on Vandenberg Air Force Base.”
— John McKinney
Birding · River/Creek · Swimming · Views
The beach is a rare public access area on Vandenberg Air Force Base, thus it can be closed for military exercises and rocket launches.
The beach is also a habitat of the snowy plover bird, which may result in beach access being restricted or completely closed off from the 1st of March until late September.
After arriving at the parking area at Ocean Beach County Park, you'll head toward the shoreline over short dunes covered in tufts of grass. Once you reach the shore, turn left to head down the coast while noting the mouth of the Santa Ynez River enter the Pacific to the north.
After running along the sandy beach for about 1 mile you'll begin running in front of some large cliffs that make the trail feel desolate and dramatic. Since this beach is one of the very few public access sites within Vandenberg Air Force Base, the unique opportunity arises to catch a glimpse of rocket launch towers and pads on top of the cliffs as you continue south along the beach. You'll soon pass the striking Point Arguello, which overlooks the rough ocean below that has been the cause of numerous shipwrecks throughout history.
After passing Point Arguello you'll come across a small reef near Point Pedernales that stops you from running any further along the coastline, thus ending the Ocean Beach Trail.
Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store
Flora & Fauna
European beach grass, hottentot fig, ice plant, sand verbena, are all plants that can all be found along this run. Harbor seals and snowy plovers may also be spotted on the run.