It was great while it lasted. McGrath State Beach in Oxnard opened for weekend camping in late September for the first time in a year, but officials today said all that has come to an end. The reason? Flooding.
Since a levee broke in the '90s, the state beach's campgrounds and day use areas, which lay next to the Santa Clara River, annually flooded for an average of three to five months in fall and winter. The water would then drain after significant rainfall broke a naturally occurring sand berm. But with last year's dry winter, that didn't happen and the brackish water stayed put all summer long.
It wasn't until Ventura County began a pumping operation that the campgrounds, day use, and parking lots could be reclaimed. That has since ceased as McGrath enters its off season.
All that said, however, don't cross this state park unit off your list yet. The beach part is actually open, but you can't enter through the park's main gate in Oxnard. To access the sand and surf, head to Surfers Knoll in neighboring Ventura and walk south.