Oregon Dunes Loop

Tahkenitch Lake, Oregon

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This fun and fascinating trail involves sliding down the face of a sand dune and then hiking a mile across the sand to the ocean. The trail follows a classic Oregon Coast dunes profile, beginning in the high and mostly barren dunes and then dropping steeply down to a sandy basin (“deflation plain”), on which there grows a dense but stunted forest. The trail then emerges into a foredune area of much lower dunes, with a fairly dense cover of European beach grass, before reaching the beach. Most trails are designed to be safe and prudent. The Oregon Dunes Trail—at the beginning, at least—is designed to be pure fun. The path’s initial segment climbs a stairway to the top of the highest sand dune and then drops abruptly over a nearly vertical (and slightly scary) sand slope down to a trail marker, far below, in the middle of a sandy basin.
Best Easy Day Hikes: Eugene, Oregon

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Easy Day Hikes: Eugene, Oregon

by Art Bernstein, Lynn Bernstein (Falcon Guides)

This fun and fascinating trail involves sliding down the face of a sand dune and then hiking a mile across the sand to the ocean. The trail follows a classic Oregon Coast dunes profile, beginning in the high and mostly barren dunes and then dropping steeply down to a sandy basin (“deflation plain”), on which there grows a dense but stunted forest. The trail then emerges into a foredune area of much lower dunes, with a fairly dense cover of European beach grass, before reaching the beach.

Most trails are designed to be safe and prudent. The Oregon Dunes Trail—at the beginning, at least—is designed to be pure fun. The path’s initial segment climbs a stairway to the top of the highest sand dune and then drops abruptly over a nearly vertical (and slightly scary) sand slope down to a trail marker, far below, in the middle of a sandy basin.

© 2011 Art Bernstein, Lynn Bernstein/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Tahkenitch Lake
Length: 2.1
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Duration: 1 to 1.5 hours
Season: Any. Expect heavy rain and high surf in winter. The trail through the deflation plain may not be passable in winter and spring due to standing water (suggest rubber boots). Ask a ranger at the Oregon Dunes Information Center in Reedsport if the trail is passable.
Local Contacts: Siuslaw National Forest
Local Maps: Siuslaw National Forest, USGS–Tahkenitch Creek. Excellent detail maps available at the Oregon Dunes Visitor Center in Reedsport.
Topo Map: Oregon Dunes Loop Topographic Map
Guide Book: Best Easy Day Hikes: Eugene, Oregon Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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