San Onofre Beach Road Washes Out, Access Closed Indefinitely - Stab Mag

Live Now: Episode 3 Of Stab In The Dark With Kolohe Andino

Framegrab: OC Register

San Onofre Beach Road Washes Out, Access Closed Indefinitely

Southern Cal’s longboard scene cops one on the chin.

elsewhere // Feb 4, 2024
Words by August Howell
Reading Time: 2 minutes

After a bout of heavy rains doused Southern California this past week, the dirt road leading to the popular longboard mecca San Onofre State Beach has washed away.  

California State Parks personnel say the vehicular access to the long-trodden road break will be closed indefinitely. There reportedly is a plan to put a paved concrete lot on top of the cliff that could host a smaller amount of cars. 

Reportedly, the beach had been eroding for years, with every washing carving away more sand. The closure has occurred just as several Southern California cities near San Onofre are considering how to retain sand (and tourism dollars) and their local beaches. 

However, the OC Register, reported that it’s possible the recent damage may “have come from a fairy shrimp vernal pool habitat that sits above on the cliff. A drainage system, for decades, has funneled water coming down to a concrete outlet near the ocean, where water would simply flow back to the sea. But recently, the drain broke and runoff water was instead flowing down at the toe of the slope, eating away at the roadway. With the latest storm sending high-velocity streams of water from the hillside, the dirt road washed away.”

Shrimp, of all things. 

Nestled just north of the anatomy-resembling nuclear power plant and south of the Trestles trifecta, San Onofre has been a break from the area’s urban jungle for many decades. It’s been a timeless scene for most of California’s surfing history: survey the waves between the palm trees on a sunny summer day and you’ll see a wealth of families surfing together. There’s a thriving longboard and SUP scene (but they get relegated to a wave called Dogpatch). Sure, the waves hardly ever get higher than three feet, but even the most die-hard thruster purist can find the place idyllic if they hop on a log for once. 

Though the waves will still be there, the place won’t be the same for some time. 

“It’s devastating,” California State Parks Superintendent Scott Kibbey said to the OC Register. “We’re trying to wrap our heads around a solution to find a way to fix this as soon as possible. It’s impassible. You can not drive a vehicle around that right now.”

The jury is still out if this will make the Carl’s Junior parking lot extra crowded.


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Checking The Mail With Our SSOTY Winners

Gallery: "And the wooden block goes to..."

Feb 21, 2024

Why Did Sawyer Lindblad Get A Paddling Interference Today At Sunset, If Jack Robbo Didn’t In 2019?

A critical analysis of WSL judging past and present. 

Feb 21, 2024

Brisa Hennessy Has The Best Sunset Rizz, Caity + BLSJ Sample New Sticks

Day three recap of the Hurley Pro.

Feb 21, 2024

Stab In The Dark With Kolohe Andino, Episode 3

Four boards face off for two Finals spots and Jon Pyzel infiltrates the set to…

Feb 21, 2024

Can We Reverse Engineer The 100-Foot Wave?  

We calculated the buoy reading for the surf to reach triple digits.

Feb 20, 2024

Stab High Site + World Surfing Reserve Playa Hermosa Is Under Threat

What’s happening in Costa Rica?

Feb 20, 2024

Brazil + San Clemente Crumble, Florence Puts The Mandoline To Work

Ewing, Slater and Medina sliced on day two of the Hurley Pro @ Sunset.

Feb 19, 2024

Soupy Sunset Skewers Three Wildcards, Jordy Smith Nicks Top Score Donning A Single Bootie

Day one recap of the Hurley Pro.

Feb 18, 2024

The D-Bah Session Heard Around The Internet

Cue the arrival of Dane Henry.

Feb 17, 2024

What The Super Bowl Taught Us About Filipe, Carissa, And Steph

And how the WSL Finals may cost us even more champions.

Feb 16, 2024

Nathan Florence, Matt Meola, Rob Machado Start All-American Light Beer Company

"It's cheap, it's light, and you can drink it all day if you want. We’re…

Feb 16, 2024

Stab Edit Of The Year 2024: Sierra Kerr In “Pre-Kerrsor”

Plus, we ask Sierra if World Titles belong exclusively to Gen Z now.

Feb 16, 2024

Watch: The Emphatic Progression Of A 21-Year-Old Australian Surf/Skate Talent

Oscar Berry floats lofty rotations, compares boardsports, and reflects on the Melbourne wavepool contest.

Feb 15, 2024

A Pipe Hangover, A Mega-Swell, And An Old Guard Desperate For Validation

This is your 2024 Hurley Pro Sunset preview.

Feb 15, 2024

Full Frame: Two Nearby Spectators Ended Up On Kook Slams Shortly After This

James McKean tail taps Shippies’ bottom stair, image by Paul Hoelen. 

Feb 14, 2024

Post-Pipe Predictions: Millennial Women Won’t Win Another World Title + If It Swells (XXL) The Woz Is Riding It

The Stab team waxes prophetic.

Feb 13, 2024

Breaking: Filipe Toledo Withdraws From 2024 CT

“Competing at the highest level for the past decade has taken a toll on me,…

Feb 11, 2024

“Pipeline’s For The Fucking Girls” — Caity Simmers And Barron Mamiya Win First CT Event Of 2024

In undeniably top-tier Pipe/Backdoor.

Feb 11, 2024