Sand Lake Estuary

Mileage:1-3 miles RT

Elevation Gain/Highest: 20ft/20ft

Map: US Forest Service

Favorite Eats After Hike:  Pelican Pub & Brewery or Pack A Cooler

Find out current conditions and as always, practice Leave No Trace.  Pretty Please.

My Hike:

12/29/2016 This was our second stop on a road trip to the Oregon Coast and our first walk of the day.  I was using the book, Day Hiking Oregon Coast, as my guide and this was just a short distance from our overnight stay in Tillamook.

We turned onto Sand Lake Rd and followed the signs for the day use area.  As we passed the campground, it was easy to tell there were not a lot folks here today.

There was a privy with ADA picnic tables available and no pass needed. Pet friendly, too.

Stepping out onto the beach access, it was a large lagoon that expanded out to the sea on the right.  The tide was coming in but it looked like we would be able to walk around to the ocean side.  There were several boats out fishing and one guy with a crab net on the shore.

There were a few spots as we walked where the water comes into small inlets and we had to time our crossing.  Two gentleman with dogs even offered a piggyback ride!

We eventually made it around and were welcomed by the sandy shore and crashing waves we sought. We could see the large rock of Cape Kiwanda in the distance.

We walked until we reached an access point with the Sand Lake Recreation Area, popular with dune buggies and ORVs.  There were a few out but minimal noise.

We cut back on the dunes above the beach on intersecting trails that are designated for non-motorized traffic.

We rambled through the beach grass and coastal pine until we got back to the beach of the estuary. The tide was higher and we found ourselves walking up in the trees around the outlets.

What a fun little place to have away from the crowds of the more popular beaches!



Directions: Drive 10 miles north of Pacific City or 11 miles south of Tillamook on HWY 101 10 to County Rd 871 (Sandlake Rd). There is a brown FS sign. Turn west and travel 4 miles to a stop sign where Sand Lake Rd turns left. Travel for another 1 mile and turn right on Galloway Rd. Site is at the end of Galloway Rd in the Sand Lake Recreation Area, just past the campground.  Look for a sign for Fisherman’s Day Use. No pass needed.

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