Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
46.00 ft (14.02 m)
Trail type
1.40 mi (2.25 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Ma-le’l Dunes are a beautiful Natural Landmark that lie just north of Eureka, California.  The Dunes lie between Arcata Bay and the Pacific Ocean.  These natural wonders are part of the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge.  The trail forms a loop where hikers will get to experience the dunes inland before walking through a pass to the ocean where they will then stroll along the ocean.  

Hikers will start from the north end of the where they will walk into a wooded area before taking a right turn 0.1 miles in where they will follow a valley between two dunes.  Hikers should enjoy the wildflowers and flora that dot the trail.  Roughly 0.5 miles hikers will follow the Lutguk Trail to the ocean (the trail finds a small saddle where they will find a cleared path to the beach.  

Hikers will then follow the trail to the south for a half mile.  Hikers will be able to walk along the beach and even in the ocean if they so choose. Once hikers make it to a clearing in the dunes, they will follow that trail back to the trailhead to create a loop. If hikers wish to extend the hike they can walk further to the north or to the south depending on when they want to add the distance.  

There are no amenities at the trailhead so hikers should come prepared with water and snacks.  The trail is open from sunrise to sunset. While dogs are allowed, hikers should be aware of where they are required to be on leash.  This is a beautiful area in the spring and summer when there are wildflowers in bloom. As a reminder, dune vegetation is very fragile. Hikers should refrain from walking on the plant life and stick to trails or open sandy areas.



Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Beautiful Dunes. Costal Walk. Costal Wildlife.


Trail can be difficult to find.

Highest point

41.00 ft (12.50 m)


Vault toilet
Family friendly
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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