Bordered by the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by lakes and lush forests, this expanse of towering sand dunes is a truly spectacular sight.
For one of the best spots to experience the rugged beauty of the Oregon coast, visit the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Sand dunes sculpted by the wind tower over the Pacific Ocean for miles and miles.
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, more commonly known as NRA, stretches nearly 40 miles (64 kilometers) along the Pacific coast. It is part of Siuslaw National Forest, which encompasses approximately 634,207 acres (256,654 hectares) of Oregon wilderness. Travel from NRA’s northern border at the Coos River in North Bend continuing south to the Siuslaw River in Florence.
The Oregon Dunes are the result of millions of years of wind and weather erosion on the state’s coastline. They are one of North America’s largest regions of coastal sand dunes, some of which soar 500 feet (152 meters) above sea level. Have your camera ready; they are a truly enchanting sight that you will want to document.
The sandy expanse of dunes makes this a popular destination for off-road vehicle riders. Bring your motorcycle or quad or rent one at the park. Enjoy a guided tour through the dunes on a sand rail ride. Three trails, ranging from a flat sand road to soaring dunes, offer riders a variety of experiences within the park.
Take advantage of the endless water sports that the area offers. Visit some of the more than 30 lakes and ponds in the NRA, along with several streams and rivers. Go water skiing or scuba diving in one of the larger lakes, such as Woahink or Tahkenitch. Enjoy the scenery while sailing or canoeing. Cast your line into the water and see what fish you catch.
One of America’s most famous routes, Highway 101, runs right through Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Follow this highway along the entire western coast of the United States. Some of the country’s most iconic destinations, such as the Golden Gate Bridge in California and Olympic National Forest in Washington, can be found along Highway 101.