hiking the Oregon Dunes

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

I’m please to report I finally got there.

photo by Artbandito

The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (or NRA) is located on the Oregon Coast, stretching approximately 40 miles north from the Coos River in North Bend, to the Siuslaw River, in Florence. …

… a unique area of windswept sand that is the result of millions of years of wind, sun, and rain erosion on the Oregon Coast. These are the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America. Some dunes tower up to 150 meters above sea level, providing numerous recreational opportunities …

There are plenty of places to get on the dunes, but best for hikers is the John Dellenback trailhead at the Eel Creek Campground.

At a wild guess, I hiked about 5mi (8km) on this route.

Only hikers and leashed pets are allowed on this part of the dunes. (Others are swarming with off-road vehicles.)

Oregon Dunes - John Dellenback Trail

The rough trail is marked, yet it’s still difficult to find the Pacific Ocean. Look for some sort of gap in the coastal foliage:

Oregon Dunes - John Dellenback Trail

The wild Oregon coast. Gorgeous.

Oregon Dunes - John Dellenback Trail

Wonderful, wonderful … the Oregon Dunes are definitely one of the best hiking destinations in the world.

Oregon Dunes - John Dellenback Trail

more photos from my day hike

3 Replies to “hiking the Oregon Dunes”

  1. This is by far the best place to avoid large crowds and off road vehicles. I have hiked this trail several times over the past 20 years (worth going back to) and we are usually alone or see very few people once you get past the first large dune and start heading toward the beach. We have had the beach to ourselves every time except once when we saw two other people. It is a beautiful peaceful place to wander around.

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