Lampton Cliffs Park – A vest pocket park and beach hidden away in Cambria

Lampton Cliffs Park

Lampton Cliffs Park and Beach

Lampton Cliffs Park and beach is hidden away in a lovely Cambria neighborhood. It’s short on services, but long on seclusion and natural beauty. It’s a part of the San Luis Obispo County Park Department and is a great place to watch the moods of the ocean and explore the variety of life in tide pools. Much smaller than the nearby Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, it has charms of its own.

Lampton Cliffs County Park in Cambria

Lampton Cliffs County Park in Cambria

Lampton Cliffs Park is one of Central California’s “hidden treasures” of which I frequently speak. They are real and do exist even if they are a bit off the beaten path.

There aren’t many services at this park and beach: a parking area for about 6 vehicles; pathways through the natural area; benches on the marine terrace overlooking the beach and a stairway down to the rocky beach.

So this isn’t the place for your wedding or family reunion but it is great if you would like a bit of solitude or just to watch the changing face of the Pacific Ocean. At low tides tidepooling would be great here because of the rockiness of the beach area.

By the way, I would recommend that you search out a tide chart app for your smartphone. Some are free and quite easy to use. You can time your visits to the beach to catch high or low tides depending on what you might like to see.

Satellite view of Lampton Cliffs County Park in Cambria

A static screen shot of Lampton Cliffs County Park, don’t try to navigate on the picture…

How to find Lampton Cliffs County Park

Just below I’ll give you the coordinates for the park and you can use your GPS to navigate you to the park, but if you rely on “seat of the pants” navigation here’s how to find it:

At the southern end of Cambria on Highway 1 there is a traffic light; turning to the north puts you on Main Street, to the south you will be on Ardath Drive. It’s very well marked on the highway. Stay on Ardath as it winds through the residential neighborhoods all the way to its end (it’s a bit over 1.5 miles). You then make a hard right turn onto Marlborough Lane and then take the next left onto Lampton Street where two short blocks later you will be at the parking area.

Lampton Cliffs Park and Beach Quick Facts:

  • Address: Parking is found at the corner of South Windsor Blvd. and Lampton Street
  • GPS Coordinates: 35.54226, -121.09226
  • Size: 2.1 acres
  • Services and Accessibility: No restroom; the trails are wheelchair accessible; no wheelchair access to the beach; benches
  • Organization: San Luis Obispo County Parks Department
  • Dogs: Allowed if on leash; no mutt mitt dispenser, but you must clean up after your pet.
The bench at Lampton Cliffs Park on the marine terrace

Watching the waves

The view down to the beach at Lampton Cliffs Park in Cambria at high tide

The view down to the beach at high tide

Southerly view of the beach at Lampton Cliffs in Cambria

The rocky beach

Heavy surf at Lampton Cliffs Park in Cambria

Heavy surf at the inlet by Lampton Cliffs

Kelp uprooted by heavy surf

Dried kelp uprooted by heavy surf

This is not the place for a relaxing ocean swim...

Sleeper waves – nothing to laugh at. “…a wave that is larger than the average wave height that has been observed.  These can be unpredictable waves, which may occur even on days when most of the surf looks small and unspectacular.” More info here.

An inland view of Lampton Cliffs in Cambria

A view to the east from the marine terrace

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