Sand Lake Recreation Area


Area Status: Open

 

photo looking south to Haystack Rock from beach at Sand Lake

The Sand Lake Recreation Area is located along Oregon's North Coast, 15 miles southwest of Tillamook, OR between Cape Lookout and Cape Kiwanda. It covers 1,076 acres of open sand dunes, surrounded by forests and adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. The Sand Lake Recreation Area is popular with OHV riders but offers a variety of recreational opportunities.

Map of Sand Lake Recreation Area

The Sand Lake Estuary, adjacent to the Sand Lake Recreation Area, provides opportunities for fishing, swimming, crabbing, kayaking, hiking and wildlife viewing. The near-natural state of this 900 acre estuary provides a home to many species of water fowl and access is available at Fisherman’s Day Use area near the Sandbeach OHV Campground.

The sand dunes begin at the estuary and extend to the northeast about 3.5 miles. The dunes are surrounded on three sides by a coastal mixed-conifer forest and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. The dunes are an example of an extended parabolic dune system. Dune vegetation is mostly European beach grass and shore pine. Find out more about coastal dunes from our Geology of Dunes page.

The climate at Sand Lake has strong marine influences. Summers are cool and winters are moderate. Westerly winds predominate - from the northwest during the summer and from the southwest in the winter. These winds from the ocean bring heavy rainfall in the winter and fog in the summer.

Off Highway Vehicle Recreation

photo of quads riding in foredunes at Sand Lake

The Sand Lake Recreation Area is popular with Off Highway Vehicle enthusiasts. It offers riding on open sand dunes with access from campgrounds/day use areas that are open year round. Sand Lake has three developed campgrounds, a dispersed camping area, and a day use staging area that allow access the sand dunes and beach. A fee is required at all campgrounds, the day use lot and the open sand. Campgrounds fill up every weekend May through September.

Know the regulations before you arrive! The State of Oregon establishes and administers OHV permits and regulations. Regulations are strictly enforced by the Tillamook County Sheriff and the U.S. Forest Service.

OHV Riding and Camping
OHV Sand Camping

 

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Expect limited or no services and be prepared to pack out all waste.
Permit Info: State of Oregon OHV permit required for OHV riding. 
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Restrictions: Alcohol ban in OHV riding areas
OHV Rules for Riding
No OHV riding from midnight to 6 a.m.
Campers in dispersed areas must have a portable toilet
Information Center: Hebo Ranger District

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities

RV Camping

Recreation areas with activity RV Camping:

Estuary Fishing

Recreation areas with activity Estuary Fishing:

OHV Camping

Recreation areas with activity OHV Camping:

This popular OHV area is open year around. Sand Lake has three developed campgrounds, a dispersed camping area, and a day use staging area. Sand camping is allowed at Sand Lake Recreation Area in areas open to motorized use.

A fee is required at all campgrounds, the day use lot and the open sand. Campgrounds fill up every weekend May through September. Reservations are available at Sandbeach OHV Campground from April through May.

Here are the OHV Rules for Riding

OHV Open Area Riding

Recreation areas with activity OHV Open Area Riding:

A valid recreation pass is required for day parking or sand camping. Any of the day use passes described on the Recreation Passes page will cover the fee.

Here are the OHV Rules for Riding

Class of Vehicle All classes: I, II, III

Picnicking

Recreation areas with activity Picnicking:

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Location

 
  Latitude : 
45.2971091

  Longitude : 
-123.958053