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Pets allowed
Allowed
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
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.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Awesome sunset viewing. Hang gliding.

Cons

The sand gets very hot around midday.

Features

Geologically significant
Flushing toilets
Picnic tables

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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