Photo courtesy of Denis LeBlanc
Finding easy access to the dunes in a scenic area of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area without motorized vehicles breaking the peace can be a bit of a challenge. This little-known hike offers great access to magnificent dunes that are relatively distant from any motorized staging area, and it also offers the bonus of two beautiful lakes to explore and photograph.
From the Hall/Shuttpelz day use parking area the trail forms a gentle loop around Hall Lake with a side trail up a short hill to Shuttpelz Lake. Starting at the south side of the parking area, the trail goes into the woods and crosses a small bridge as it rounds the south end of Hall Lake. All along the west side of the lake the dunes rise up nearly one hundred feet and are a great area to explore in relative solitude. The dunes stretch for over a mile from here to the Pacific Ocean. Continuing around Hall Lake to the north side, there is a signed trail up to Shuttpelz Lake which also offers dune access and views. The trail around Shuttpelz lake has been overtaken by the dunes and is not passable. Returning to the Hall Lake Loop, the trail continues along the east side of the lake back to the parking area.