The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is an amazing natural phenomenon. Eighty miles of sand dunes line the Pacific shore, many reaching hundreds of feet high. Unfortunately for lovers of untrammeled nature and quiet, much of the dunes area is open to off-road vehicles, also called ATVs or OHVs. These vehicles are noisy and create tracks all over the dunes. There are several areas of dunes that are closed to these vehicles, and one of the most accessible is at the Oregon Dunes Day Use Area, just 11 miles south of Florence.
The day use area has several accessible overlooks that offer great views of the dunes and Pacific Ocean beyond. There is a short loop trail that takes visitors with just a short time to spare down to the dunes themselves. For those with more time, there are longer hikes out and back to the beach about a mile away, or there is the spectacular Oregon Dunes Loop. Picnic tables and rest rooms complete the amenities at this easy stop off of Highway 101.