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.