John Dellenback Trail

MODERATE 105 reviews

John Dellenback Trail is a 5.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lakeside, Oregon that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.5 miles Elevation Gain: 311 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly


nature trips


bird watching



partially paved


wild flowers


Dogs are not allowed on the beach seasonally. Check park guidelines before bringing your pup.

17 days ago

26 days ago

Beautiful and easy hike. However, we live at a high elevation, so sea level seems easy . The ecosystems from rainforest to dune to Oceanside are incredible. Weather was sunny, no wind, just perfect. The trail markers are large posts with a blue stripe. They helped to guide us as we explored the vastness if the dunes. Enjoy!

1 month ago

Great trail with lots of diversity. I like staying to the left of trail on the dune Ridgeline as the sand is harder packed.

2 months ago

5 months ago

Fantastic Hike on an overcast warm day!! Follow the trail to the dunes and then follow the posts to the ocean! It took us 2hrs and 20 min.

5 months ago

Too dry, not marked, didn’t like it at all

5 months ago


7 months ago

We hiked this on Wednesday 5/29/19 under sunny skies and mid-70 F temps. We started around 10am. There were 2 other people on the trail in front of us and we passed 4 more on the way back. Truly a secluded experience. The first mile of the trail is through trees and is somewhat shaded. At the first fork continue straight. The left trail is the return trail and leads you to dry sandy trail through dunes while the right fork leads through a compacted dirt path through the woods and rhododendrons. After coming out of the woods you’re confronted with a vast expanse of dunes in front of you or you can turn left, skirt the dunes, and complete the short loop back to the TH. We went straight into the dunes. The next 2 miles or so are across sand and the trail is whatever you make of it. You follow posts In the sand that are about 4 feet tall with a blue painted stripe around the top. Maybe 100 yards between posts? My buddy and I ascended the tallest dune on the left of the “trail” and hiked along the ridge until we hit the wooded section buffering the ocean and the dunes. My wife and friend walked the “trough” from post to post. The ridge was very windy but the sand firm and the views outstanding. The swales and ridges were really cool and it would’ve been a lot better at sunrise/sunset to see the shadows, but it was around 11am when we hit this section and the ridges were harder to see. Down in the “trough” where my wife was the sand was a little softer and the elevation changes more numerous. If you’ve hiked on dry sand at a beach, you’ll know what it’s like. For that reason I recommend hiking along the ridge. Once you hit the tree line, you make a 90 degree turn to the right for about a 1/4 mile. Looks like they detoured the trail from what I had seen previously recorded on this app. The last stretch of trail to the ocean was muddy in spots with some standing water but we were able to navigate around them with no problems. The beach was desolate and secluded with the only life in sight being the 2 hikers in front of us, sea birds, and vegetation. After a snack we returned the way we came but once back across the dunes you enter a different wooded section to complete the nature trail loop hike. I do not recommend completing the loop since you’re hiking in dry sand for most of the remaining section of the loop. Dry sand that was worse than anything on the 2 mile dune traverse. Just return the way you came when you first started the hike. I absolutely loved this hike, my wife didn’t. We live on the east coast and frequent N.C. beaches annually so walking in sand is not unique. Walking on top of 200 foot sand dunes is though. Had the weather been hotter or no wind, this could’ve been like walking through a desert but it was windy and cool enough to be enjoyable. Definitely a different type of hike than one normally would experience.

7 months ago

This was such a cool hike. The sand dunes were so unique. You have to follow the poles, painted blue at the top, since there’s no “trail” in the sand, but it was easy to navigate. The last mile through the vegetation to the beach was a little overgrown and wet, but passable. I was glad I was wearing long pants. It was worth going all the way to the beach for the variety. I highly recommend this hike!

8 months ago

The trail starts in a forest and leads you for about a mile through a wooded area edited opening up into the Oregon Dunes. From there, one can take a walk through the dunes towards the ocean and find some shade in small tree-lined oases. The hike through the sand dunes is an experience unlike any other hike, and climbing the high dunes provides a good cardiovascular exercise especially if you run up the hills. The trail is not in the Tugman State Park but is part of the National Forest Service-maintained Oregon National Dunes Recreational Area, which requires a day pass ($5 per car and day) different from the Oregon State Park Pass; the NW Forest Pass and the National Park Pass are accepted.

8 months ago

10 months ago

Beautiful dunes walk, just eye out for the posts.marking the way. The last portion of trail had standing water of 6inches or more so did not complete. Bring waterproof shoes or anticipate we feet. There is a sign noting no dogs on the beach from roughly March-Sept ( I think)

11 months ago

Quick one mile hike if you just walk the loop. We walked a bit further to the top of the dunes and there was a great view of the ocean.

Sat Oct 20 2018

Gorgeous views of the dunes, beach, and coastal foliage.

Mon Jul 30 2018

Love this gorgeous place. We hiked to the beach with the pup. Broad expanses, sand formations, shadows from the drifting fog. Followed the trail markers on the way out, on the way back took the high dunes. Peaceful adventuring in an amazing location. Will be back.

Sun Jun 24 2018

Lots of sand. Best in morning.

Sun May 27 2018

Loved the views. Marker on trail in disrepair. Notice should be posted when trail to ocean flooded.

Thu Mar 08 2018

This trail is a great coastal trail because it goes thru several different environments (forest, dunes, beach). It is well marked, but very wet towards the last wooded area before the beach. Many puddles were 4-6 inches deep and unavoidable.

Wed Feb 21 2018

I hiked the trail on a moody February day after a light snowfall over the dunes; that made for a very interesting, if unusual, experience. There are four distinct sections on that trail. The first section (about .4 miles) starts from the parking lot and meanders through a forested area before reaching the dunes. It is part of an "Interpretive loop" that circles around the Eel Creek campground. The second section (1.5 miles) is the crossing of the dunes. No "trail" to speak of here and a little loitering around is a good way to experience the diversity of the dunescape (climb the top of large ones, go around pools of water, circle "witches eyes, etc.). Wooden poles are placed at more stable spots (small hills anchored by grass) to give the general direction toward beach access. Take time to locate them as they may be far apart in some spots. The third section (.5 miles) is the crossing of the band of trees and brushes that separate the sand dunes from the beach. It is not easy to find the "entrance" to the path; use GPS, keep an eye for the wooden poles with the blue band, walk a bit north or south from where the entrance "should be". On the february day of my hike, several parts of the path were under water (up to a foot) and I had no choice but to wade through these pools. The second half of the crossing was better as a planks pathway provided an elevated route through the marshy area. The fourth and last section is the beach which I decided to follow south all the way to the Tenmile Creek estuary (2 miles / 4 round trip). As always on a beach walk, be aware of tides and rogue waves. This is a truly great trail; you can tailor it to your stamina and time allowance to make it the best experience for you.

Thu Oct 26 2017

a fantastic trail that allows many paths through the dunes. The views are amazing!

Sun Jul 16 2017

After trail enters dunes, difficult walking due to loose sand. Need to be in good shape to make the entire distance. Part of trail through low vegative area where walking is easier. At one time and possibly current, one of the best examples of a "witch's eye" about 1/4 of the way out. That is a large cone like depression with slopes near 33 degrees all around. Don't worry - safe (sand has acheived max angle of repose) but will be alarming to those who have never seen this phenomenon before. Side in shadow appears vertical although it is not.

Sat Jul 08 2017

Absolutely loved this trail wasn't hardly any people when we went which was nice.

Tue Jul 04 2017

I have yet to attempt hiking to the beach from this trailhead. However, this is one of my FAVORITE HIKES WITH KIDS IN THE AREA. The trailhead has shaded parking, picnic tables and toilets. The initial portion of the trail is a short loop (about a mile). There is a creek crossing, views of a pond, native vegetation and a few informative plaques about the dunes on the southern portion of the loop. Half way around the loop opens onto the dunes. It's relatively sheltered from the wind and a great place to let the kids kick off their shoes and run wild for a while. Hike up to the top of the large dune for some fantastic views before heading back around the loop to the trailhead. I'd recommend packing sunscreen, water and a snack and planning about 2 hours for this great little outing.

Mon Jun 26 2017

Very nice well maintained trail.

Sun May 28 2017

Love this place and I go a few times a month.

Sat May 27 2017

We did not walk to the ocean due to time of day. However we walked the dunes and it was a great experience. The dunes are large and footing on the sand can be challenging at times but worth the effort

Mon May 08 2017

awsome views lots dune hikeing take your time soak it all in. will be hikeing it again soon

Thu May 04 2017

Great view! Good workout in sand.

Sat Dec 31 2016

We did this hike on Christmas day. It was lovely. Unfortunately the last part of the trail leading through the coastal forest to the beach was flooded and inaccessible. But for me it was the beautiful dune scenery that made this hike special.

Tue Oct 25 2016

Great hike so glad we decided to go all the way to the beach. 5 miles round trip and just follow the markers. We spotted some coyote prints in the sand neat! I would definitely do this again.

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