Ma-le'l Dunes CMA

NPS Press Release announcing designation of Lanphere and Ma-le’l Dunes as National Natural Landmark.

The Ma-‘e’l Dunes offers a range of recreational opportunities that allow visitors to experience a diverse and dynamic coastal landscape of forests and salt marshes, sand dunes and beaches.

The northern portion of Ma-le’l is part of Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge (HBNWR). Trail access is limited pedestrians only. The road to the northern parking lot is closed to vehicles Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in order to provide visitors with more of a “wilderness” experience.

The southern portion of Ma-le’l, managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) allows for dog walking and equestrian use on designated trails. Please protect natural and cultural resources by observing visitor guidelines.Please Remember these rules and regulations as you explore Ma-le'l Dunes:

  • The area is open from sunrise to one hour after sunset.
  • North Ma-le'l entrance road is open to vehicles Friday through Monday. Tuesday through Thursday it is open by walking or biking in from the Ma-le'l South Trailhead parking area.
  • Dune vegetation is fragile cannot tolerate trampling. Hiking is allowed only on designated trails and in open sandy areas.
  • Horses are allowed only on designated BLM trails and on the waveslope to protect the fragile dune ecosystems. Please remove manure from the parking area.
  • Dogs are allowed only on BLM property and must be leashed in the developed recreation sites (parking/picnic area), otherwise dogs are allowed off-leash but under the owner’s control at all times.
  • Firearms are not allowed.
  • Motorized vehicle use is not allowed.
  • Overnight camping is not allowed.
  • To protect rare salt marsh plants, boat launching or landing is not allowed.

For more information please contact:

Adventure is at Your Fingertips


Geographic Coordinates

40.866436, -124.1595


The Ma-le'l Dune Unit is located south of Lanphere Dunes at the upper end of the North Spit of Humboldt Bay, west of Mad River Slough. A refuge for those looking for a different kind of hiking experience.

Take Young Rd off of Hwy 255 in the northern part of Manila and follow signs.