Camp San Luis Obispo

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Camp San Luis

Installation Listings

Installation Listing Category

Geographical Address

Duty Station (or best approximation)
Public Address
Georgia Ave San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Postal Code

Contact Info

+1 805-594-6500

Camp San Luis Obispo is the original home of the California Army National Guard. It served as an Infantry Division Camp and Cantonment Area for the United States Army during World War II.


Camp San Luis Obispo, formerly called Camp Merriam, was established in 1928 and is called the original home of the California National Guard. The camp is in San Luis Obispo County, which is on the Central Coast of CaliforniaState Route 1 passes through the camp about halfway between the cities of Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo. Since World War II, the camp has had an area of 15,433 acres (62 km2).[2] The camp originally comprised 6,274 acres (25 km2), and a further 9,159 acres (37 km2) was acquired during 1941. During World War II, the camp had quarters for 1,523 officers and 19,383 enlisted personnel.[2]

During the Korean war, from mid 1950 to late 1953, the camp was again used by the US Army, for signal corps training. There was eight weeks of basic combat training, shorter than the usual 16 weeks for combat arms. Then there were technical schools covering perhaps all aspects of the signal corps, from lineman and teletype, to cryptography.

Cuesta College opened for classes in 1965 on a southwest portion of the camp, rented from the California National Guard. The Cuesta College Board of Trustees purchased 160 acres (0.6 km2) of the camp and 20 acres (81,000 m2) adjoining for a permanent campus. The land was on the other side of Chorro Creek from the temporary campus. Construction was started in 1970 and the transfer from the temporary site was completed in 1978.

El Chorro Regional Park was created in 1972 when over 700 acres (2.8 km2) of the camp were given to San Luis Obispo County. The park contains barbecue facilities, a softball fieldvolleyball courts and camping sites. Dairy Creek Golf Course is located in the southwestern portion of the park. An area in the northern portion of the park is off limits due to the discovery of unexploded munitions.

Salinas Dam, which forms Santa Margarita Lake, was built to supply water to Camp San Luis Obispo. The lake now supplies water to the city of San Luis Obispo, though it is still owned by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

In 2011 portions of the Camp were converted for use as the primary Ranger and Lifeguard (State Park Peace Officer) POST certified law enforcement training facility by California State Parks.


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