Every year, hundreds of thousands of ATV thrill seekers set out to their favorite sand dune locations all over the country. Hitting the sand is becoming more and more the heart of ATV riding, because of its fun-filled way of pleasing the entire family. whether it’s learning how to ride for the first time, spending time with a few of your close friends or winning your first drag race up Competition Hill.
If you are planning your next ATV family vacation, or even just a weekend getaway, you should give sand duning a try. We have put together a complete listing of descriptions and directions of sand dune locations across the country. Check them out, and enjoy the ride!
(1) CINDER HILLS OHV AREA, ARIZONA
12 miles northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona
At an elevation of 6900 feet Cinder Hills has approximately 13,500 acres designated for off-highway vehicle recreation. Generally unrestricted use will be on areas devoid of vegetation or with sparse vegetation and without such things as sensitive plants, archaeological sites, critical wildlife habitat, excessively steep slopes, or visually sensitive areas.
FACILITIES/FEES: Camping is allowed along FR 776. No fees.
DIRECTIONS: Direct access via Hwy 89: turn right off of Hwy 89 at FR 776. Turnoff is between mile marker 426 and 427 (7.1 miles from I-40 and Hwy 89). If you are heading north from Flagstaff, and hit mile marker 427 or Girls Ranch Rd., you’ve gone too far. Access via Sunset Crater National Monument: from Hwy 89 turnoffs from I-40 drive 10.7 miles to the Sunset Crater National Monument turnoff (FR 545). Drive 6.1 miles and turn right on FR 776 (4.3 miles past the Sunset Crater Visitor Center.)
(2) HOT WELLS DUNES RECREATION AREA, ARIZONA
25 miles southeast of Safford,Arizona
At an elevation of 3400 feet, this 2000-acre area of rolling sand dunes provides a great opportunity for off-highway-vehicle enthusiasts. The Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area has low, sparsely vegetated dunes for those preferring a slower-paced ride, while several larger dunes provide a challenge for the adventurous rider.
FACILITIES/FEES: The dunes are open year round at $3 a head.
DIRECTIONS: To get there from Safford, travel seven miles east on Highway 70. Turn right on BLM’s Haekel Road and proceed 25 miles to the area. From Bowie, turn north on Central Avenue and continue two miles north to the Fan Road. Continue on the Fan Road for eight miles, then turn left on Haekel Road and proceed nine miles to the area. To there from Hwy. 191, exit Hwy. 191 near milepost marker 105 onto Tanque Road.
(3) EHRENBURG SANDBOWL OHV AREA, ARIZONA
Ehrenberg, Arizona Ehrenburg is made up of hilly, sandy terrain and a network of roads and trails. This site provides a starting point for visitors to explore a variety of designated roads and trails.
FACILITIES/FEES: Parking lot, unisex vault toilet, ramps for loading OHVs, shade and picnic table. $5 daily, or $50 annually per vehicle.
Dispersed camping is available nearby.
DIRECTIONS: Use I-10 to Ehrenberg, Arizona. Take Ehrenberg exit to South Frontage Road. Go west on frontage road approximately one mile. Turn left on gravel surfaced Ehrenberg/Cibola Road. Go south three miles to site entrance.
(4) DUMONT DUNES, CALIFORNIA
North of Baker, California on Highway 127 The Dumont Dunes Off-Highway Vehicle Area (8150 acres) is an exciting and remote area for off-highway vehicle recreation. Bordered by steep volcanic hills and the slow-running Amargosa River, the region is easily recognized from a distance by its distinctive sand dunes.
FACILITIES/FEES: Use permits are now required at Dumont Dunes. Annual Permits ($60), 7-Day Permits ($20). For more information call (760) 252-6000.
DIRECTIONS: Interstate 15 to Baker, California then north on Highway 127 for 33 miles. A roughly two-mile dirt/gravel road will take you across a small stream and past a Ranger Information/Pay station, and then up a plateau to the camping area. The riding area is south of the Amargosa River and east of State Highway 127, about 31 miles north of Baker, California.
(5) IMPERIAL SAND DUNES RECREATION AREA, CALIFORNIA (BUTTERCUP, GLAMIS, GORDONS WELL/DUNE BUGGY FLATS,OGILBY, OLDSMOBILE HILL,PATTON VALLEY)
Southeastern California, east of Brawley, California and west of Yuma, Arizona
The Imperial Sand Dunes are the largest sand dunes open to off-high-way vehicle use in the United States (there are over 150,000 acres). The dunes begin ten miles southeast of Niland and stretch all the way into Mexico, over 40 miles away. The dunes vary in width from about a quarter mile at the top end of the Mammoth Wash area, to about five miles in width below Highway 78. The Algodones Sand Dune system covers 1000 square miles, making it one of the largest dune complexes in North America
FACILITIES/FEES: $25/week or $90/year. There are camping areas at all locations.
DIRECTIONS: Glamis from Los Angeles: take the I-10 past Palm Springs and Indio to the 86S Expressway. Take the 86S past the Salton Sea were it will join with the 78. Continue past Westmoreland and Brawley. Stay on the Hwy 78 out of Brawley (do not take 86 out of town). Hwy 78 merges with Hwy 115. As Hwy 78/115 makes a big sweeping right turn, turn left on Hwy 78. Continue on the Hwy 78 to the Imperial Sand Dunes
(6) OCEANO DUNES STATE VEHICULAR RECREATION AREA, CALIFORNIA
Pismo Beach, California
(7) RASOR DUNES OHV AREA, CALIFORNIA
15 miles southwest of Baker, California and 50 miles east of Barstow, California Rasor Off-Highway Vehicle Area (22,500 acres of open riding area) is a remote area for the off-highway vehicle user. The area has rolling hills, open valleys, sand washes and sand dunes that invite the rider willing to travel to this area. Elevations range from about 2427 feet down to about 1275 feet at the Mojave River.
FACILITIES/FEES: Dispersed dry camping allowed. No facilities. Camping is allowed anywhere with the riding area that does not block travel on a road; limited to a 14-day stay. No fees.
DIRECTIONS: The riding area is between Interstate 15 and the Mojave National Preserve, about 15 miles southwest of Baker. Access roads are Basin Road and Rasor Road east of the I-15. Both of these roads are graded dirt roads, but winter weather can leave them very rough. Once exiting I-15, it is about six miles south on Rasor Rd. to the dunes.
(8) SAMOA DUNES RECREATION AREA, CALIFORNIA
Five miles west of Eureka, California A 300-acre area with only 140 acres are open for off-highway vehicle recreation and an additional 70 acres within the Eureka Dunes Riding Area that extends about one mile north of the park.
FACILITIES/FEES: No fees. There is a staging area with an unloading ramp, restroom, tables, cooking grills and a scenic overlook. From the staging area, riders have easy access to 140 acres of ªopenº terrain, containing numerous trails and the beach strand. An additional 75-acre riding area, known as Eureka Dunes, is now open to OHV use and extends about one mile north of the park.
DIRECTIONS: Samoa Sand Dunes are seen from Highway 101 in Eureka, California.
(9) NORTH SAND HILLS OHV AREA, COLORADO
15 miles northeast of Walden, Colorado North Sand Hills OHV area near Walden has 700 acres of sand dunes to play on. Plenty of great trails riding.
FACILITIES/FEES: Primitive camping is available. No facilities, except toilets. No fees, but a OHV Registration sticker required.
DIRECTIONS: From Walden, take County Road #6 15 miles northeast to BLM Rd.
(10) ST. ANTHONY SAND DUNES, IDAHO
50 miles northwest of Idaho Falls, Idaho This is a 10,600-acre playground of clear, shifting, white quartz sand known for its unique beauty and exceptional recreation opportunities.
FACILITIES/FEES: The Egin Lake BLM Campground is $8/day (additional $1/person over eight individuals). There are 48 campsites, some with water and electric.
DIRECTIONS: BLM Egin Lakes Access: take the North Rexburg or the Parker-Salem Highway exit off Highway 20. Travel 6.3 miles north to the second flashing light. Turn left and remain right continuing 2.9 miles until the BLM Egin Lakes Access.
(11) SILVER LAKE, MICHIGAN
Silver Lake Dunes cover an area 3.5 miles long and 1.5 miles wide, about 2000 acres. Approximately 500 acres are available for Off-Highway Vehicle Use. There is a maximum noise level of 94 decibel as well.
FACILITIES/FEES: There are no camping areas with direct access to the dunes. No fees, but a dune voucher system is in place. Dry camping only. For more information call (616) 873-5018.
DIRECTIONS: Silver lake Sand Dunes are ten miles west of Hart or Shelbi exits off U.S. 31 expressway between Muskegon and Ludington.
(12) AMARGOSA, NEVADA (BIG DUNE)
100 miles northwest of Las Vegas on Highway 95, Las Vegas, Nevada Amargosa is a playground that covers about five square miles of dunes and dips, and its centerpiece is a peak that tops out at 500 feet. These hills are a well-kept secret and mostly used by locals, but expect to find plenty of other off-roaders on the weekends.
FACILITIES/FEES: No fees. There are two camping areas; East side: access from Valley View Rd. West side: access from dirt road north of Valley View on Hwy 95.
DIRECTIONS: The dunes are located north of Amargosa Valley, south of Beatty and just off of Highway 95. From the south: drive 7.6 miles from the junction of Hwy 95 and Hwy 373. Turn left on Valley View and drive about two miles west. Turn right on a dirt road leading to the dunes (usually there are various arrows near the turn painted on the pavement.
(13) CLAYTON VALLEY, NEVADA
Western, Nevada near the town of Silver Peak, Nevada Clayton Valley dune field is located in the southern part of Clayton Valley, seven miles south of Silver Peak, Nevada, and is accessible via dirt/gravel road. The dunes are 2500 acres, and the highest dune rises 280 feet above the valley floor. This is a very remote dune with very little use.
FACILITIES/FEES: There is plenty of dry camping, and no fees.
DIRECTIONS: From Tonopah (junction of Hwy 95 and Hwy 6): north on Highway 95 for 31.3 miles. South on Hwy 265 to Silver Peak. Stay on main road past the post office and the volunteer fire department. Go past this sign (it will be on your left). The pavement ends. Take the dirt road to the left of the pond towards Oasis. You should see the dunes in the distance. Take the road to the right that parallels the power lines. Drive on this road for 3.6 miles and turn left towards the dunes. Drive three miles towards the dunes and turn right on the dune access road. The staging/camping area is about one mile in.
(14) CRESCENT DUNES, NEVADA
Western Nevada near the town of Tonopah, Nevada These 3000-acre dunes are visible from Highway 95 a few miles north of Tonopah. This small dune complex is often deserted. Mostly used by local riders. There are no signs, and the area feels very remote.
FACILITIES/FEES: No fees. There is a very small camping area next to the large crescent shaped dune. The area is only large enough for a few rigs.
DIRECTIONS: From Tonopah (junction of Hwy 95 and Hwy 6): north on Highway 95 from Tonopah towards Hawthorne for 4.6 miles. Turn right on Pole Line Rd. Go north for about nine miles and turn right on dirt road leading to the dunes. The camping area is two miles in, next to the first large crescent-shaped dune.
(15) NELLIS DUNES, NEVADA
15 miles northeast Las Vegas, Nevada Nellis Sand Dunes, just like Crescent, is often deserted and used by local riders, but there is plenty of great trail riding during the cooler fall and winter months.
FACILITES/FEES: There are no fees. Camping is allowed, but there are no facilities.
DIRECTIONS: I-15 north to Apexexit 58. Turn right onto Las Vegas Blvd. There is a parking area and you will see the dunes to the southwest.
(16) SAND MOUNTAIN RECREATION AREA, NEVADA
Northwestern Nevada, 85 miles east of Reno on Highway 50, Nevada At 4700 feet in elevation, Sand Mountain has long steep hill climbs, sharp ridges, and some sand trail riding.
FACILITIES/FEES: Fees: $40/week or $90/year. Dry camping is permitted, and there are three pit toilets.
DIRECTIONS: Take highway 50 about 25 miles east of Fallon, Nevada. Turn left on the dirt access road. Sand Mountain is very evident from the highway.
(17) WINNEMUCCA DUNES, NEVADA
Northern Nevada near the town of Winnemucca, Nevada
This is the largest dune field in Nevada. The dunes do not reach heights of more than 100 feet, but span almost 40 miles. The dunes are a mix of sand trails and open dunes that are stabilized by vegetation near the periphery of the dune field.
FACILITES/FEES: No fees. There is a Main Camp on Highway 95, ten miles north of Winnemucca on west side of highway.
DIRECTIONS: From Reno, take Highway 80 northeast for 167 miles to Winnemucca. North on Highway 95 for approximately 9-1/2 miles. Look for a street called McRae Road on the right. Go past McRae Road on Highway 95 a few hundred yards. Take the next left turn and drive over cattle guard. Turn right. There are no signs directing you from the highway to the camping area.
(18) DUNES VEHICLE RECREATION AREA, NEW MEXICO
South of Farmington, New Mexico There are over 800 acres of fun waiting for off-road enthusiasts at the Dunes Vehicle Recreation Area south of Farmington. The off-highway vehicle area contains a wide variety of topography including large sand dunes, steep to gentle hillsides, and sandy arroyo bottoms. Innumerable roads and trails exist in the Dunes, created by nearly 40 years of off-road vehicle use.
FACILITIES/FEES: No fees. A vault toilet is provided for public use and is located in the bottom of the recreation area.
DIRECTIONS: The Dunes Vehicle Recreation Area is about 1.5 miles south of the City of Farmington on NM 371. The Dunes is confined to the east and the south by steep sandstone walls and to the west by the Navajo Nation boundary.
(19) MESCALERO SAND DUNES, NEW MEXICO
36 miles east of Roswell, New Mexico.
Mescalero has 610 acres, of mostly vegetated dunes near the Pascoe River.
FACILITES/FEES: No fees, and there is dry camping allowed. Restrooms and picnic tables available.
DIRECTIONS: 36 miles east of Roswell, 1.5 miles south on Hwy 380. Turn south from Hwy 380 on gravel road located between milepost 193 and 194.
(20) LITTLE SAHARA STATE PARK, OKLAHOMA
Four miles south of Waynoka, Oklahoma.
There are 1450 acres of completely rideable sand. The dunes were created over 11,000 years ago from terrace deposits and well-sorted quartz left by the Cimarron River when it flowed across this area during the Pleistocene Age. This makes for extremely fine quartz sand.
FACILITIES/FEES: $7 access fee. There are over 200 campsites with full hookups available. First come, first serve RV campsites w/ electrical hook ups $15 per day. RV campsites W/ 50 amp electrical hook ups at $16 per day, and tent sites $8 per day.
DIRECTIONS: Four miles south of Waynoka on Highway 281. You will see the Dune signs from the highway.
(21) BEAVER STATE PARK ORV AREA, OKLAHOMA
One mile north of Beaver, Oklahoma
Beaver State Park is located in the Oklahoma panhandle. This area offers 360 acres of sand dune trails for motorcycles, dune buggies, ATVs and 4x4s. There are Nature Trails, Horseshoes, Volleyball and a playground.
FACILITIES/FEES: There are electric and water hook-ups, primitive campsites and a dump station. Primitive: $8, Semi-Modern: $19.00. For more info call (405) 625-3373.
DIRECTIONS: Take the US-270 in Oklahoma one mile north of Beaver. You will see trails from the exit.
(22) CHRISTMAS VALLEY SAND DUNES, OREGON
Southern Oregon, Southeast of Bend, Oregon
Christmas Valley contains 11,000 acres of sand dunes available to offhighway vehicle use. Several sensitive areas with more restrictive vehicle designations surround the area ªopenº to vehicles. The dunes are composed largely of ash and pumice which blew into the area over 7000 years ago when Mt. Mazama erupted, forming Crater Lake. During dry times of the year, it can get quite dusty.
FACILITES/FEES: No fees. There is plenty of dry camping with
DIRECTIONS: Follow State Highway 31 south from Bend about 60 miles and turn east on County Road 5-10 toward Fort Rock/Christmas Valley.
After about 20 miles turn right (east) on 5-14 (Christmas Valley Hwy) to the community of Christmas Valley. Continue east past Christmas Valley approximately ten miles, then turn left (north) on 5-14D (Fossil lake Rd.) and go eight miles to a ªTº. Turn right on 5-14E (gravel), and follow it until you see small signs for the Sand Dunes (approx. 6.85 miles to camp). Road narrows and becomes wash boarded. It is about 16 miles from the dunes to the town of Christmas Valley.
(23) OREGON DUNES NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, OREGON
(COOS BAY, WINCHESTER BAY, and FLORENCE DUNES) Western Oregon near Florence, Reedsport and Coos Bay, Oregon These three main off-highway vehicle-riding areas have been set aside to provide riders with a variety of experiences. There are sand roads and designated rides between South Jetty to the Siltcoos River (Florence Area), small areas with the highest and most dramatic dunes in Umpqua Riding area (Winchester Bay), and large areas with varied riding opportunities between Spinreel and Horsfall (Coos Bay/North Bend).
For nearly fifty miles, from the mouth of the Siuslaw, to Cape Blanco at Coos Bay, the largest area of dunes in the country lies between the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountains. In places, the dunes extend 2.5 miles inland, and some are as high as 500 feet.
FACILITIES/FEES: There is a 93-decibel sound limit. There is a lot of camping available all over the three locations. Bathrooms available as well.
DIRECTIONS: The dunes are found south of Florence and north of the neighboring communities of Coos Bay, Charleston and North Bend. The Siuslaw River marks the northern boundary of the dunes, at Florence. The Umpqua River flows into Winchester Bay and the ocean, at the town of Reedsport, halfway along the stretch of dunes. U.S. Highway 101, the coastal highway leading north from California, provides the main link to the National Recreation Area trails.
(24) SAND LAKE RECREATION AREA, OREGON
Northwestern Oregon near Tillamook, Oregon Sand Lake Recreation Area includes 1076 acres of Siuslaw National Forest. The area is situated adjacent to the ocean beaches between Cape Lookout and the mouth of the Sand Lake estuary. The climate at Sand Lake has strong marine influences. Summers are cool and winters are moderate. There is a 93-decibel sound limit.
FACILITIES/FEES: Camping sites with fire ring, toilets and paved parking $10/night.
DIRECTIONS: Located 11 miles south of Tillamook, Oregon. Travel east on Road 871/Sand Lake Road five miles, west on Galloway Road.
(25) KERMIT SAND HILLS, TEXAS
Ten miles north of Kermit, Texas North Sand Hills OHV area near Walden has 700 acres of sand dunes to play on. 25 square miles of sand and trails. The width of the dunes varies from three miles to 20 miles. The dunes are mostly privately owned, and not regulated.
FACILITIES/FEES: No fees. Primitive camping is available. No facilities, Kermit Day Use/Camping Area
DIRECTIONS: From Kermit, take Hwy 115 northeast about ten miles past the junction of FM 874. You will see dunes from the exit.
(26) RED SANDS, TEXAS El Paso, Texas
This is not an official ride area, but it is completely legal and has a lot of red sand and trails. The sand is similar to that of Kermit, but not quite the size. FACILITIES/FEES: No fees, and plenty of free primitive camping.
DIRECTIONS: 15 miles down highway 62/180 east in El Paso, Texas.
(27) CORAL PINK SAND DUNES STATE PARK, UTAH
Southern Utah, near Kanab, Utah The park is a 3730-acre recreation area with over 2000 acres of sand open to OHVs. The area open to OHVs is about six miles long and approximately one mile wide. Sitting at an elevation of 6000 feet, the park enjoys mild winters and warm summers. The Coral Pink dunes have laid down several hundred feet of sand along the 200 mile long Sevier Fault. A ªnotchº between the Moquith and Moccasin mountains directs the windblown sand to this corner of Southern Utah The park is open year-round, but spring, early summer, and fall are the most ideal times. Memorial and Labor Day weekends are usually very crowded.
FACILITES/FEES: $5 day use. $14 a night for RV parking, picnic tables and a barbeque. There are a couple of campgrounds with primitive camping.
DIRECTIONS: From Kanab, Utah: take Highway 89 north for ten miles to Hancock Road, designated a Scenic Back way. Hancock Road is seven miles long and meets at a ªTº with Yellowjacket Road. Turn left (south) onto Yellowjacket. The main park entrance is five miles up on the left.
(28) LITTLE SAHARA RECREATION AREA
Western Utah, 115 miles Southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah Little Sahara Recreation Area features 60,000 acres of sand dunes, trails, and sagebrush flats. The recreation area is about 12 miles long (north to south) and ten miles wide. Sand Mountain, a wall of sand climbing nearly 700 feet, is the primary focal point for hill climbing. The sand dunes, on the northern side of the recreation area, have plentiful riding ªbowls.º The low-lying dunes southwest of Black Mountain provide good terrain for beginners or for those who just want to get away from the crowds. Black Mountain provides a network of dirt trails up, over, and around a peak, offering excellent trail riding.
FACILITIES/FEES: $8 per day, $75 a year. There are four campgrounds (White Sands, Jericho, Oasis and Sand Mountain) with plenty of sites for RV’s and primitive camping. Water and dump station available. For more info call (435) 433-5960.
DIRECTIONS: Approximately 115 miles SW of Salt Lake City via Nephi, Utah.
The entrance road to Little Sahara is four miles west of Jericho Junction.
(29) SAND HOLLOW STATE PARK, UTAH
Fifteen miles east of St. George, Utah Sand Mountain provides 15,000 acres of perfectly sculpted dunes. The red sand is an incredible backdrop for Sand Hollow reservoir. The dunes are currently under BLM ownership, but they are transferring to Utah State Park control. area, have plentiful riding ªbowls.º The low-lying dunes southwest of Black Mountain provide good terrain for beginners or for those who just want to get away from the crowds. Black Mountain provides a network of dirt trails up, over, and around a peak, offering excellent trail riding.
FACILITIES/FEES: $8 per day, $75 a year. There are four campgrounds (White Sands, Jericho, Oasis and Sand Mountain) with plenty of sites for RV’s and primitive camping. Water and dump station available.For more info call (435) 433-5960.
DIRECTIONS: Approximately 115 miles SW of Salt Lake City via Nephi,Utah.
FACILITES/FEES: There is plenty of dry camping available, and full RV hook-ups. $21 for camping in the improved campground (no direct OHV access), $9 for primitive camping (OHV area), and $7 day use.
DIRECTIONS: From St. George: I-15 north to Hwy 9 east (Hurricane exit). Go 3.5 miles on Hwy 9 and turn right on Turf Sod Rd. Travel one mile and turn left on the new Sand Hollow access road for two miles, turn left and proceed to the park.
(30) MOSES LAKE, WASHINGTON
Four miles south of Moses Lake, Washington
The Moses Lake Sand Dunes covers over 3000 acres. The sand dunes area is located on the southern tip of Moses Lake with rolling sand dunes and great fishing and waterskiing opportunities available.
FACILITIES/FEES: No fees. Camping is allowed, but there are no improvements.
DIRECTIONS: Four miles outside Moses Lake city limits in the sand dunes. Drive south on Division Street or take exit 174 off of I-90 and follow signs south.
(31) BEVERLY SAND DUNES ORV PARK, WASHINGTON
Beverly, Washington This area of approximately 300 acres has challenges which gladden the hearts of many ORV enthusiasts. Free-flowing sand covers more than half of the area. Larger dunes also dot the landscape. Crab Creek, the south-ern boundary of the riding area offers good picnic spots.
FACILITIES/FEES: No fees. There is plenty of free primitive camping. For more information call 509) 754-2011. DIRECTIONS: One mi east of Beverly on Crab Creek Rd. You will see the dunes from the road.
(32) KILLPECKER DUNES, WYOMING
Southern Wyoming Killpecker Dunes, at 600,000 plus acres, is one of the largest sand dunes in the country. However, only a quarter of these are open to ATVing. The dunes feature two large (non-sand) loops, as well as recreational activities.
FACILITIES/FEES: Camping is allowed in the parking area. Pit toilets and running water are available. Must have an OHV sticker to ride at Killpecker.
DIRECTIONS: Tri-territory Road (County Road 4-17), which leaves U. S. Highway 191 approximately 12 miles north of Rock Springs. o