Sutton Recreation Area

Sutton Recreation Area is a U.S. Forest Service collection five miles north of Florence on the Oregon Coast.  It occupies the canyon of Sutton Creek as it crosses the forested dune land west US101 near milepost 185 on US101.

Sutton Beach Road

Sutton Beach Road leaves US101 and winds westward and downhill through forested dunes.  Sutton Campground is found on a spur to the right.

Sutton Beach

The road ends at a day use park signed Sutton Beach.  The park offers ample parking, flush rest rooms, water (fountain out of order in August 2019), trash cans, and interpretive signage.

Holman Vista Day Use

A short trail from the Sutton Beach parking lot leads to Holman Vista Day Use, a boardwalk vantage point built around a giant old spruce atop a dune hillock.  It affords a semi-panoramic view of the deflation plain through which Sutton Creek winds, and the tall foredune separating it from the ocean.  To the north, the greenery-clad bulk of Herman Cape pushes seaward, and US 101 climbs a cut in the slope past expensive view homes.

Where's the beach?

Another trailhead leads out onto the deflation plain, but there is no maintained trail to the beach, making the "Sutton Beach" name of this park puzzling.  One could bushwhack along the east bank of southerly-tending Sutton Creek, or cross the creek and bushwhack through the shrub-clad dunes to the beach, but I try to be more environmentally responsible than that.

Trail network

Sutton Recreation Area has a trail network of loops and linear sections, linking Sutton Beach with Sutton Campground, with the length of Sutton Creek, and with a boardwalk Darlingtonia californica observation area that is not the one at Darlingtonia State Natural Site across US101.  The Alder Dune Trail connects, and leads to Alder Dune Campground, a USFS facility a mile-ish to the north.  Most of these trails lead through mature forest growing on former dune land.  It's not a sandy slog, but it's a forest rather than a duney-beachy experience.

Sutton Campground

Sutton Recreation Area features a campground.  Information at,, and Outdoor Project.

More at 100 Steps, USFS Darlingtonia Trail, USFS Holman Vista Day Use, USFS Sutton Trails, Google Image Search.

Begun 2019.