Cape Arago Loop (Oregon Coast) 12-Aug-2021

Our third and last hike at the coast involved traversing Cape Arago on a collection of different trails. The Cape Arago Pack Trail is the most obvious of these, with clearly signed trailheads on the Cape Arago Highway. But we’d heard about another trail – “New Trail” or “East Trail” or “East Loop” or “Perimeter Trail” – that connected with the Pack Trail and made for a slightly longer hike. That was our goal for this hike. We left Bandon under overcast skies, which wasn’t a worry since we’d be spending the early part of the hike under the canopy of the coastal forest.

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John Dellenback Dunes Trail (Oregon Coast) 30-Jul-2018

John Dellenback Dunes Trail Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Smoke from all the wildfires burning in our region finally broke our resolve and we cashed in hotel coupons we’d been saving for a special occasion (like breathing) and headed for the Oregon Coast for a few (too few) days of cool and breathable air (plus seafood). We used Bonnie Henderson’s Day Hiking Oregon Coast (2nd Edition, 2015) as our guide and, for our second hike (her #67), picked an out-and-back hike to the beach on the John Dellenback Dunes Trail (USFS #1339) in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. We started from the John Dellenback Dunes Trailhead (whose entrance is separate from that of the nearby Eel Creek Campground), circled the campground to the north through a small patch of forest, then crossed two miles of dunes to the beach. There is no fixed “trail” across this stretch of sand; we just stayed near – and to the south of – the poles marking the general path. The last half-mile or so was through a dense tunnel of coastal vegetation and marsh (crossed by a wooden boardwalk) and then we popped out on the beach. Unlike yesterday, today the fog didn’t lift when we reached the beach. But the ocean breezes were cool and breathable and that was more than enough. After some deep breathes, we headed back, this time circling the campground to the south. This stretch of beach is also closed to motorized vehicles and has very limited road access, so the only person we saw was a ranger on patrol. A very nice, Beau Geste-style hike (5.7 miles round-trip; 500 feet of elevation) across the dunes.

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