Map & Guide
Map and Guide of Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (NRA) within the Siuslaw National Forest (NF) in Oregon. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).
United States Department of Agriculture OREGON DUNES NATIONAL RECREATION AREA MAP & GUIDE Welcome to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area! In 1972 Congress recognized the unique value of the Oregon Dunes by designating the National Recreation Area to be managed by the U.S. Forest Service for “public outdoor recreation use and enjoyment by present and future generations, and the conservation of scenic, scientific, historic values…” Formed by the ancient forces of wind, water and time, these dunes are like no others in North America, and extend for 40 miles along the Oregon coast between Florence and Coos Bay. Wind sculpted dunes tower almost 500 feet above the ocean shore and blend with rivers, lakes and temperate rainforests to create a remarkably diverse ecosystem. Explore the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America. Enjoy hiking through forests and dunes, riding an oﬀ-highway vehicle through a landscape of sand, or watching a sunset from a scenic beach. How about picnicking, camping, boating or fishing on one of the 30 lakes or rivers? Perhaps you’re a birder, beachcomber, berry or mushroom gatherer, or looking for accessibility? There are many opportunities to enjoy this special area. Please remember to share the responsibility of stewardship for this rare, ecologically complex, and beautiful national treasure. Tread Lightly! Oregon Dunes Visitor Center Visitor information and bookstore 855 Hwy 101 Reedsport, OR 97467 Phone: 541-271-6000 Visit our website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/siuslaw @siuslawnf @SiuslawNF Camping Most developed campgrounds on the forest can be reserved in advance. Reserve online at www.recreation.gov or call toll free 1-877-444-6777 (International: 518-885-3639, TDD: 877-333-6777). Sand camps are sites are located directly on the sand, dispersed along the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Camping access is by Oﬀ Highway Vehicle (OHV) on soft sand only and is allowed by reservation only through www.recreation.gov. Passes At some popular sites, a day-use fee may be required but many sites do not require fees. Recreation fees help maintain facilities and provide services. Day-use fees are $5 per vehicle per day. You can purchase your pass online at discovernw.org or on site (cash or check only). Other passes are also accepted. Popular passes include the $30 Northwest Forest Pass (good for 1 year for national forest sites in OR and WA), or the $80 America the Beautiful Annual Pass (good for 1 year for more than 2,000 Federal recreation sites.), and the $35 Oregon Pacific Coast Passport (good for 1 year at coastal Oregon State Parks and Federal sites). Other passes available include the Senior Pass (62+ older), Access Pass (permanent disability), Military Pass (current U.S. military members and dependents), and the 4th Grade Pass (free for 4th grade students). Learn more at https:// store.usgs.gov/pass. Siuslaw National Forest How did all this sand get here? Like you, these sands traveled long and far. How far and how long did you travel to get here? For the grains of the Oregon Dunes, it has taken about 55 million years, starting with the building of the Coast and Cascade Mountain Ranges. Following the mountains’ formation, glaciers, rivers, wind, and rainfall began to grind these peaks down to tiny grains of sand and carry them to the ocean. There, currents push the sand onshore, where winds sculpt each grain into dunes. Wind Carves the Dunes The Foredune is a low hill parallel to the ocean. It exists because European beachgrass slows the wind, causing sand to drop out and pile up. Behind the foredune, the wind scours out the Deflation Plain all the way down to the water table and provides an area for plants to thrive. Summer winds carve wave patterns in the sand called Transverse Dunes. As the seasonal winds change direction, so do the patterns in the sand. At times the forest marches forward, other times the dunes smother the forest. Sometimes dunes leave pockets of forest, called Tree Islands, surrounded by sand. Oblique Dunes are the largest and most spectacular dunes, sometimes growing as tall as 180 feet and pushing inland 3 to 16 feet per year. Dune Invaders! European beachgrass was planted along the West Coast in the early 1900s to stabilize sandy coastlines and protect roads, water supplies, jetties, and homes. The grass thrived in its new environment. Beachgrass gains the upper hand The grass slowed the sand’s movement, and it piled up in a huge long foredune along the beach. Behind this dune, plants found a better place to grow. In just 50 years, huge mats of vegetation formed where there was once open sand. Now, plants and animals that need open sandy areas struggle to survive, and the open sand disappears from view. Land managers battle back European beachgrass is tough. It spreads quickly and thrives when buried under sand. Managers are exploring ways to control the grass, including hand-pulling, bulldozing, and spraying herbicides. Who will win the battle? Only time will tell. Sharing the Beach with the Western Snowy Plover Where the Coast Mountain Range meets the Dunes and Ocean Where is your home? For a local bird, the coastal sand is home, nursery and grocery store. The Western Snowy Plover needs dry, open sand along the beach to survive. As the European beachgrass invades the open sand, it reduces nesting areas and provides homes for predators. This bird is now threatened with extinction. The mild wet climate creates a lush rainforest, lakes and rivers…and home for many birds. If you think no one is home, look again! Siltcoos Imagine blending into your home so well no could see you! The plover’s feathers and nests blend into the sand. This disguise protects the birds from predators; but people, who cannot see the birds, sometimes walk through the birds’ sandy nests thinking no one is home. You can help the Snowy Plover! From March 15-September 15 please observe all posted regulations No dogs, vehicles, bicycles, kites, or drones are allowed on plover beaches. Walk on wet, hard-packed sand only. Learn more at http://go.usa.gov/x9AfP. Often seen at… South Jetty Osprey, Marsh Wren, Coopers Hawk, Tundra Swan Great Blue Heron Oregon Day Use Stellars Jay, Wren-tit, Bald Eagle Eel Creek Campground Northern Flicker, Chestnut Backed Chickadee Bluebill Trail Mallards, Northern Harrier, White-tailed Kite Legend In an EMERGENCY, dial 911 During Earthquakes... If outdoors, STAY OUTDOORS. Avoid buildings, lights and power lines. After an Earthquake a TSUNAMI is possible Before and during a Tsunami... Immediately MOVE INLAND to HIGHER GROUND and stay there. STAY AWAY FROM THE BEACH! Never go down to the beach to watch a tsunami come in. If you can see the wave you are too close. If the water moves AWAY from the shoreline, move inland to higher ground immediately! Further information regarding tsunami safety, evacuation, safe relocation and the tsunami ready program is available at www.tsunami.gov. For emergency planning information and how to put together an emergency kit and other preparedness initiatives to be ready for disasters, visit www.ready.gov. Tour Guides Under Forest Service Permit Guided Vehicle Tours • Sandland Adventures • Sand Dunes Frontier • Spinreel Rentals