Oregon Dunes

When most people think of the Oregon Coast, they probably visualize towering cliffs of dark volcanic rock sculpted into strange shapes by the forces of wave and weather. Or maybe they think about narrow rocky beaches where tide pools form in deep fissures? But for nearly a sixth of its entire length – over fifty miles (80.5 km) – the coast becomes an ocean of sand, interrupted occasionally by rivers, wetlands and dense coastal forest. Needless to say, this sandy paradise is huge draw for visitors and there are facilities here for all kinds of activities, from a leisurely hike to zipping across the embankments on a high-powered ATV. Most of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is administered by the Forest Service as part of the larger Siuslaw National Forest.

  • Water and Sand

    Category: Way Find It

    This trail to an isolated vista is a bit difficult to find, but well worth it. Make sure you take your camera for this one!

  • Hiking the John Dellenback Dunes Trail

    Category: Exploring Nature Item

    You're invited to hike this picturesque trail which snakes through a variety of coastal ecosystems including a conifer forest, riparian areas and a dune sea.

  • The Formation (and Destruction) of a Dune Sea

    Category: General Article

    It's taken tens of thousands of years for Oregon amazing coastal dunes to form, but the recent introduction of a few plants has dramatically changed this ancient landscape in just a few decades.

  • A Sandy Sanctuary

    Category: Fun Fact

    Dunes may seem like an unusual place for a bird to nest, but its vital habitat for the threatened Western Snowy Plover.

  • Anatomy of a Dune Habitat

    Category: General Article

    Shaped by water and wind, coastal dunes take on unique shapes and specific functions within their ecosystem.