Friends of the Dunes

Humboldt Coastal Nature Center

Visiting Hours

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wednesday - Sunday

Closed Monday, Tuesday

Trails and restrooms are open during daylight hours. You'll find self-guided tour brochures in the sign-in box next to the trail head. Please remember to clean up after your pet with the bags provided and, as a courtesy to other visitors, we ask that you keep dogs on a leash while on the trail.



Click on map to enlarge.

The Humboldt Coastal Nature Center is unique in our region. Its location makes it a public gateway to over 1000 acres of coastal lands, and its facilities and programming make it the only center on California’s North Coast where people of all ages and abilities experience and learn about all the diverse habitats of the Humboldt Bay area. The Humboldt Coastal Nature Center’s exhibits, trails and programs combine experiential education, conservation-minded recreational access, and hands-on restoration activities to increase public understanding of local coastal environments and to inspire community-driven stewardship of these fragile resources.

Humboldt Coastal Nature Center


The Humboldt Coastal Nature Center is an undertaking of Friends of the Dunes, a local not-for-profit that conserves the natural diversity of coastal environments through community-supported education and stewardship programs. Friends of the Dunes purchased the unique structure known locally as the “Stamps House” and the first 38 acres from the Stamps family in 2007. Now totaling 113 acres, the property bridges the gap between adjacent public tracts, linking coastal lands managed for resource conservation and public access.

Friends of the Dunes began renovation of the building into a public Nature Center in 2010, thanks to support from community donors, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the California State Coastal Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Board. In July of 2011, the first phase of renovations was completed and the Nature Center building was opened to the public. The Nature Center is in the process of becoming LEED-certified and will include interpretive information on green building and design practices.

Stamps House East Known locally as "the Stamps House", this building was once the home of Charles and Rachel Stamps. The couple built the house in 1985 as a retirement home from an earth shelter kit. They enjoyed sharing the home and access to the beach with family and friends and wanted to be sure that the property and surrounding environments could be enjoyed for generations to come.

Stamps House West After Charles and Rachel passed away, members of the Stamps family contacted Friends of the Dunes to see if they were interested in the property. After months of negotiations, it was agreed that the Stamps family trust would sell a portion of the property, along with the house, to Friends of the Dunes to be developed into a nature center. The sale was completed in 2007 and the renovation began in 2010. The Stamps family retained 17 acres adjacent to Friends of the Dunes along with the two barns on the property. Family members continue to visit the property and hold family gatherings.

Photos show the Stamps House before renovation began. The east facing facade (top) can be seen from Hwy 255 and has a view of Humboldt Bay. The West facing facade has a view of the Pacific Ocean. Both photos show how the entire roof was covered in ice plant.

Facility Rental

Facility Rental Trails and restrooms are open during daylight hours. On a limited basis, Friends of the Dunes will make the Nature Center available for meetings, gatherings and events. Please review the Rental Guidelines & Application Form. The facility includes:

Looking Ahead

The Nature Center continues to be a work in progress and its continued development depends of community support. Future plans for the site include the creation of a resource library, interactive exhibit galleries, gift shop, renovated cupola, kitchen, and two ADA accessible trails.

Click Site Plan to Enlarge.

Barr CDP

Download Barr CDP Application (PDF)

Friends of the Dunes has submitted an application to the Humboldt County Planning Department for a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) to enhance trail access at the 2.8 acre former Barr property located on Lupin Avenue in Manila. Trail improvements are designed to minimize impacts to sensitive habitat while allowing for continued neighborhood access by hikers, equestrians, and dog walkers.

During the permit process, Friends of the Dunes will accept comments from the public regarding the application by emailing While we may not be able to respond to every comment, we will consider comments that help improve the project in terms of resource protection and public access. As part of the CDP process, the county will schedule a public hearing where the public will be notified and able to provide comments about the project directly to the County.

Friends of the Dunes | PO Box 186, Arcata CA 95518 | 707-444-1397 |

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