This is a hike that, on a day when the weather is cooperating, is a transformative experience—it's just that beautiful. I lucked out when my arrival to the John Dellenback Dune Trailhead coincided with a break in the rain and clouds I'd seen all morning. It's easy to miss the turn-off, so be sure to look out for the single brown sign that is located 10 miles south of Reedsport and 16 miles north of Coos Bay.
Once you've parked, follow the hiking trail signs that lead you through a lush, green conifer forest. You might even spot a few slow-moving newts along the path, so watch your step. Soon the sand comes into view and you head toward the ridgeline from where you can see your 2.7-mile path out to the beach. If the weather has been clear, the walk through the sand can feel a lot longer. Since it'd been raining overnight and all morning, the mid-November sand was packed pretty hard and it made for a quicker out-and-back hike.
The colors are astounding and the patterns will blow your mind. I was out there for about three hours and didn't see a single other person or even another human's tracks in the sand. I did see many animal paw prints and I hoped I'd see the animals come out of their hiding places.
This spot in the sand dunes is an exceptional day trip and a hike that just may crack your top ten list.