Florence and Vicinity

If you stop at one of the pullouts near Devil’s Elbow and look south, you’ll be treated to an amazing sight. Immense fields of sand stretches out before you. This is the official beginning of one of the coast’s most interesting natural features – the forty mile (64 km) long Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area. It’s here that the famous rocky shores of Oregon vanish – at least temporarily – and are replaced with mountains of shifting sand which shelter dense coastal forests and expansive wetlands. As you contemplate the view, you might notice the rooftops of the town of Florence, situated at the mouth of the Siuslaw River. The town was originally established in the mid-1800s to provide lumber for the gold rush settlements of California, but today it’s your gateway to the Oregon Dunes. There are tons of recreational opportunities here, including hiking, camping, horseback riding and ATV rides. Further south, you can find the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area Visitor Center located in Reedsport. The visitor’s center is probably the best place to stop to get your bearings and a good understanding of this natural wonder.

  • Oregon Route 126: From Florence to Eugene

    Category: General Article

    Commonly known as the Florence-Eugene Highway, OR 126 is 60 mile (96.5 km) stretch following the northern bank of the Siuslaw River and wending through the pristine rain forest of the Coast Mountain Range.

  • Endangered Oregon: Counting on Success

    Category: General Article

    For the Steller Sea Lion, the fourth largest pinniped in the world, the future was once very bleak. Here's how this marine mammal came back from the brink and scientists are using math and technology to help protect it.

  • Sea Lion Caves

    Category: Landmark Place

    This popular tourist attraction has an old and rather mysterious history. Learn how this giant sea cave and popular haul out area for Steller Sea Lions was discovered and can still be enjoyed today.

  • Cox's Rock

    Category: Way Find It

    This island was named after the discoverer of the popular Sea Lion Caves. Can you find this island using GPS?

  • The town of Florence had to be named after someone's mom or daughter, right? Don't count on it.