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Vandenberg Environmental

With a wealth of valuable cultural and ecological treasures, the base is recognized for leading the way in protecting and preserving its 42 miles of pristine coastline, 9,000 acres of sand dunes, 5,000 acres of wetlands, more than 1,600 irreplaceable prehistoric archaeological resources, 14 rock art sites, a National Historic Landmark, five Native American villages, a National Historic Trail, 26 Cold War-era complexes, and protecting and monitoring more than 15 different endangered or threatened species.

Western Snowy Plover Season (March 1 to Sept. 30)

Under the Endangered Species Act, the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Biological Opinion requires the 30th Space Wing Commander to enforce restrictions on all three beaches annually, March 1 through Sept. 30, to protect the threatened Western Snowy Plover and its nesting habitat.

During this time, dogs, horses and kites are prohibited, and personnel are barred from entering the closed sections of the beaches.

Beach restriction violators can be fined up to $5,000 in federal court. Violators of the Endangered Species Act (e.g. crushing eggs or chicks) can face fines up to $50,000 in federal court and imprisonment for up to one year.

Entry into a protected beach area counts as a violation. If violations exceed 10 for Wall Beach or Minuteman Beach, they will be closed for the remainder of the nesting season.

During plover season, the general public can still find plenty of beach access available at a designated portion of Surf Beach at the end of Highway 246. Recreational beach access is also available at portions of Wall Beach off 35th Street and Minuteman Beach on north base for the Vandenberg community.

Open hours at Surf Beach are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Beach access at Wall and Minuteman will continue to be allowed from sunrise to sunset.

To ensure continued access to these beaches, read and follow the rules on the posted signage to avoid violations and beach closure.


Beach Status: Winter Season
No snowy plover restrictions between Oct 1 to Feb 29

  • Surf Beach: Open
  • Wall Beach: Open
  • Minuteman Beach: Open

‚ÄčBeach Hours:
Surf Beach - Open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wall and Minuteman beaches open daily from sunrise to sunset.

Beach Restrictions:
Certain restrictions still apply during the winter season, so while visiting the beach, please remember the beach rules:

  • No littering
  • No pets off-leash
  • No camping
  • No beach fires
  • No fireworks
  • No kite flying
  • No feeding wildlife
  • No horses or ATVs 

Lifeguards are not present at the beach, so remember to never swim alone and be cognizant of your surroundings for safety.