Sand Lake (Oregon)


The Basics

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Vehicles: , , , , ,
Rates: $15/night Camping areas only

Posted August 21, 2013 by

Full Review


Sand Lake Recreation Area, a popular off-highway vehicle site, includes 1,076 acres of Siuslaw National Forest . The area is situated adjacent to the ocean beaches between Cape Lookout and the mouth of the Sand Lake estuary.

The climate at Sand Lake has strong marine influences. Summers are cool and winters are moderate. Westerly winds are predominant being from the northwest during the summer and from the southwest in the winter. These winds from the ocean bring heavy rainfall in the winter and fog in the summer.

Due to the popular user demand on Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day weekends at Sand Lake , 1,200 permits are available and required for each street legal, licensed off-highway vehicle.

The dunes at Sand Lake are an example of an extensive parabola dune system. The parabola dunes are a roughly “U” shaped dune developed from breaks or “blowout” occurring as the result of wind attack on an unstable vegetated point at the edge of a coastal forest. The dunes and deflation plain are actively moving in the northeast direction. Vegetation, consisting primarily of European beach grass and shore pine, is constantly changing.

Elevation – 0 – 200 ft.


Located 11 miles south of Tillamook , Oregon. Travel east on Road 871/Sand Lake Road five miles, west on Galloway Road .

East Dunes Campground

Flush toilets, fire rings, drinking water, paved parking.
Reservations: None
Fees: $15/night
Children’s play set


DECIBEL LIMIT for Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is 93 decibels.
Increased OHV use and the popularity of aftermarket mufflers means more noise. Noise buffers are located between residential and recreational riding areas, and are closed to motorized travel. As defined by state and federal law, vehicle sound is measured by a decibel meter positioned 20 inches and 45 degrees from the exhaust outlet. Have your vehicle checked! Forest personnel are equipped to provide sound checks. Vehicles operating over 93db are subject to citation.
RED or ORANGE FLAGS (8”x 12”) must be displayed 9 feet above the ground on all vehicles when riding at the Oregon Dunes NRA.
OPERATORS of Class I and Class III ATVs that are younger than 18 must wear a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation. Children under 18 years of age may operate a Class I ATV if they possess a valid driver’s license or hold a Class I ATV operator permit; or they are accompanied by a person at least 18 years old who has either a valid driver’s license, or a valid Class I operator’s permit. Unlicensed Class III motorcycle operators must be accompanied by a licensed or permitted operator, and have attended a Class III safety training class. However, children seven years and younger may not operate a motorcycle on public lands. Unlicensed children cannot operate a Class II vehicle (dune buggy, full-size 4×4).
LIGHTS must be used in limited visibility (before sunrise, after sunset, or when you cannot see clearly ahead for 100 feet).
WORKING BRAKES are required on all vehicles.
WINDSHIELD WIPERS are required to operate on any vehicle equipped with a windshield.
FIRE EXTINGUISHERS, SEATS, AND SEAT BELTS FOR ALL PASSENGERS must be available in dune buggies and full-size vehicles.
Alcohol is prohibited in the dunes
No riding from midnight to 6 a.m.
Portable toilets required for sand camping

Have you been to this park? If you have personal experience with this place and would like to write a more helpful review, please email us and let us know!


Oscar is one of the founders of JeepsOnTrails and an avid Jeep enthusiast.