Cities Journal

North Carolina’s Mammoth Dune Will Leave You Breathless

The dunes of Jockey’s Ridge change a lot, even taking on the character of deserts: hot, bright and windy.

Despite the volatile terrain, the tallest sand dune on the country’s Atlantic Coast provides a scenic spot for viewing sunsets.

Temperatures can get pretty high, with the sand often much hotter than the air. For the full experience of the 80- to 100-foot dune, try kite boarding or sand boarding, which are both allowed by permit during parts of the year. Hang-gliding lessons are also available.

The park on Nags Head in North Carolina’s Outer Banks is bounded by Roanoke Sound to the west, home to big cordgrass, black needlerush, marsh pennywort, marsh-elder, cattail and lance-leaved sagittaria. A daylight-use park only, morning visitors might also spy the tracks of somewhat dangerous animals such as foxes and lizards across the sand.

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