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Guadalupe Nipomo Dunes Complex
Guadalupe California Recreation

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NameGuadalupe Nipomo Dunes Complex
DescriptionThe Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex is one of the most ecologically significant and largest intact coastal dune ecosystems on earth. A major portion of the nearly 22,000 acres is under public management and open for recreation. More than 1,400 species of animals call the dunes home. The dunes are easily accessible from scenic Highway 1 in the Santa Maria Valley. Visitors to the dunes are encouraged to start their adventure at the Dunes Center, a beautifully restored Craftsman house that offers activities such as guided hikes and walks, and educational resources, including interactive computer kiosks, dunes-related videos, artifacts and maps. The geological history of the dunes dates back more than 18,000 years, to the end of the last glacial period, as winds caused sand to accumulate in massive mounds along the coast. Chumash Indians later lived and hunted in the dunes, and their discarded seashells, called "shell middens,ö can still be found today. Spanish explorer Juan Cabrillo was the first European to discover the dunes in 1542. Four-hundred years later, Hollywood discovered the dunes, too, using the area to stage six movies, including Cecil B. DeMille's 1924 silent version of The Ten Commandments. The massive 700-foot set was later buried beneath the shifting sands, and efforts are currently underway to excavate and restore DeMille's awesome "City of The Pharaoh.ö
Handicapped AccessibleNo
Last Updated2/25/2011
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