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Recommended by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral industries

Sand dunes at Honeyman State Park in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (photo courtesy of Oregon Department of Transportation)

Sand dunes that have formed since the end of the Ice Age occupy approximately 140 of Oregon’s 310 miles of coast&Mac223;more than in Washington or California. The oldest dunes are not easily visible any more; they are perched on marine terraces or eroded or covered with vegetation.

The post-Ice-Age dunes in the coast segment between Coos Bay and Sea Lion Point (just north of Florence) are the most spectacular parts of the National Recreation Area. This is the longest strip of dunes along the Oregon coast, extending for about 55 mi and mostly about 2 mi but in places up to 3 mi wide.

The dunes can be as much as a mile long and nearly 500 ft high. The slipface, the steeper, leeward side of the pictured dune, shows marks of sand streams where the dune corrects its oversteepening slopes.

Access: From Honeyman State Park on U.S. Highway 101 (coastal highway), 3 mi south of Florence. Most dunes are between the park and the ocean. Or look for South Jetty Road (Sand Dunes Drive) closer to Florence.



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