Walk from the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center along Oso Flaco Lake’s 2½ mile boardwalk to the Pacific Ocean and view first-hand the first blushes of spring as the native flora and fauna emerge from winter’s rest. Huell appreciated and highlighted many of California’s backroad treasures, including Guadalupe, Oso Flaco Lake, and the surrounding ancient dunes in his television shows “California’s Gold” and “Visiting with Huell Howser.” The annual February walk follows the path that Huell took while filming one of his popular episodes.
Oso Flaco, meaning “Skinny Bear,” was named in 1769 when Gaspar de Portola’s expedition passed through the region and you will hear the rest of the interesting story on your walk! The canopy and understory of willows and wax myrtles along the first part of the riparian walk support an incredible array of diverse life near the ocean. You will see lace-like Spanish moss hanging from the tree limbs and hear the migrating songbirds. There will be silver dune lupine, coyote bush, deer weed, and dunes paintbrush, along with a wide variety of reptiles and mammals.
From the viewing platform at the end of the boardwalk, the entire San Luis Bay from Point San Luis to Mussel Rock will be seen. This dune area is close to the nesting area of the western snowy plover.
Huell was a beloved man who connected deeply to many different people through his shows. He highlighted and helped conserve many off-the-beaten-path heritage sites throughout California that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. He was an original Stewardship Traveler. Huell visited the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center on several occasions and served as the lead on the Dunes Center’s capital campaign early in the organization’s history and was appreciated dearly. We hope you join us in honoring his memory, conservation, and enjoying Oso Flaco Lake this February.