Formed by the ancient forces of wind, water and time, these dunes are like no others in the world. This is the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America and part of the Siuslaw National Forest. Visitors enjoy thick “tree islands,” open dunes, marsh-like deflation plains and beaches. It’s an area of adventure, education, solitude or relaxation.
While famous for its off-highway-vehicle (OHV) riding opportunities, the Oregon Dunes also offers many areas for those who are not OHV enthusiasts. Wheelchair accessible sites like Lagoon or Taylor Dune Trail and Oregon Dunes Day Use open the wonders of the Oregon Dunes to all forest visitors.
Amenities: The area has six beach access points with paved parking areas; some have toilets. There are 12 dispersed campsites located directly on the sand, dispersed along the Pacific Coast and the Siltcoos River.
Operating Season: Permit required year-round.
Fee: A recreation pass or fee is required for day use. For camping, rates vary according to size of group/number of vehicles.
Think safety: Seasonal conditions run from wild winter storm surges to extreme summer low tides. Beach safety is a must! Know the tides, beware of large "sneaker" waves and rolling logs, and never turn your back to the ocean. Off-road vehicles are not allowed on the beach.
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible sites.
Other info: State of Oregon OHV permit required for riding. Rules for riding. The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area provides beach access, but the beaches are regulated by Oregon State Parks. There is a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. The Visitor Information Center is conveniently located at the midpoint of the NRA along Highway 101 at 855 Highway Avenue, Reedsport, Ore.
- Miles of sand dune formations.
- Sand dollars and glass floats on miles of broad sandy beaches, agates in quiet rocky coves and sea life living in wave-pounded basalt tide pools.
- Open viewpoints of wetlands for great wildlife observation, especially birding.
- The location of the 1979 beaching of 41 sperm whales.
- A crab dock that provides opportunities to enjoy a day of crabbing or fishing for Dungeness crab and surf perch. A fee is required. Drop your pots, take a seat and enjoy the view of the rolling Pacific Ocean while you wait.
- A fun, open area for exercising dogs.
- Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts will find two developed staging areas.
- Surf fishing into the breakers on the beach and anglers on a rocky jetty.
As a stop on Oregon's Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area offers wind-sculpted sand dunes towering to 500 feet above sea level provide numerous recreational opportunities including off-highway vehicle use, hiking, photography, fishing, canoeing, horseback riding and camping.