Jockey's Ridge State Park

Tidewater + Outer Banks, North Carolina

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Jockey's Ridge State Park


  • View of Jockey's Ridge from the viewing platform at the end of the boardwalk.- Jockey's Ridge State Park
  • A large dune in Jockey's Ridge State Park.- Jockey's Ridge State Park
  • There's a variety of beachy vegetation between the dunes.- Jockey's Ridge State Park
  • Jockey's Ridge is a nice place for photography.- Jockey's Ridge State Park
  • The slopes of the dunes are mellower on the southern side.- Jockey's Ridge State Park
  • Kids exploring the dunes.- Jockey's Ridge State Park
  • Sunset at Jockey's Ridge State Park.- Jockey's Ridge State Park
  • Many people gather to watch the sunset at Jockey's Ridge.- Jockey's Ridge State Park
  • The tops of the dunes provide a great vista of Nags Head.- Jockey's Ridge State Park
  • Smaller sand dunes are protected enough to allow vegetation growth.- Jockey's Ridge State Park
  • One can view the ocean and sound from the tops of the dunes.- Jockey's Ridge State Park
  • Evening light can turn the whole area into shades of pink and purple.- Jockey's Ridge State Park
  • Looking down from one of the dunes.- Jockey's Ridge State Park
  • Jockey's Ridge is a must-visit spot on the Outer Banks.- Jockey's Ridge State Park
Overview + Weather
Awesome sunset viewing. Hang gliding.
The sand gets very hot around midday.
Tidewater + Outer Banks, NC
Pets allowed: 
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description


Jockey's Ridge State Park is home to the tallest sand dune system on the East Coast of the United States. The ever-shifting nature of these dunes due to wind prevents their habitation by plants and ground animals. It may be right off the main highway in Nags Head, but Jockey's Ridge truly looks like another planet.

From the parking lot, visitors can walk down the wheelchair-accessible boardwalk or take the nature trail to the main dune area. At the end of the boardwalk, there is a viewing platform looking out across the dunes. Many people choose to leave their shoes here and walk barefoot across the sand beyond. Exploring the dunes is fun for everyone—kids love to run, jump, and roll down the dunes. One can even slide down on a sandboard or saucer.

Because of its elevation and unique landscape, Jockey's Ridge is a great place to see the sunset or practice your photography. Evenings are often the best time to go in the summer, when the sand has cooled from the summer heat. The park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(11 within a 30 mile radius)

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Related Content

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