The Oregon Sand Dunes are one of the largest expanses of coastal sand dunes in the world. They stretch for 40 miles along the Oregon coast and is designated as a National Recreation Area or NRA (the other NRA) as a part of the Siuslaw National Forest.
Within the larger park system, there are many different road access points, usage areas, and activities. Everything from horse back riding, to off roading, fishing and hiking. There are also camp sites and some have camping cabins (my favorite way to camp).
Even without all the added recreation options the dune are impressive. Some as tall as 500 ft and ever shifting with the wind and rain. They are dotted with trees and takes, tide pools and local flowers that are brave enough to grow in shifting sand.
We went down last for our anniversary trip in March, the weather could have been better. Dry and low winds but slightly cloudy made for the prefect day of walking around. And boy is it hard walking around on them, let alone trying to race up them. I didn’t win.
In some areas there are trails but in a lot of the park you just head out straight into the dunes. It feels other worldly and rumor has it they inspired Frank Herbert to write his science fiction epic Dune.