Riding the Dunes – RV Adventure

Oregon Dunes
Oregon Sand Dunes

Today’s Rvers have many more opportunities for adventure than not too many years ago when a hike, a bicycle ride or a game like horseshoes was all that awaited the RV traveler. With the development of off road vehicles you are no longer restricted to the well traveled byways.

sand rail
Sand Rail on the dunes

Millions of square miles await your discovery. One of the growing sports with off road vehicles is riding the dunes on several types of high powered machines.

Quads and sand rails seem to be the most popular.

Florence, Oregon

Oregon dunes on the ocean

The largest coastal sand dunes in the world are located in Florence on the central Oregon coast, an 80 mile stretch of sea and sand along hwy 101.

Vast hills of shifting sand and a desert atmosphere make the dunes an incredible experience. Whether you are a novice rider or one of the best there is an experience for you. If riding is not your thing there’s a guided tour on a big purple buggy, or for a little more excitement a sand rail tour.

Big Buggy
The big dune buggy

An excellent area to ride and play, everything from quicksand (depending on the  time of year) to steep hills and deep gullies as well as flat meandering trails for slower, more relaxed riding.

Riding along the ocean and on the sea wall is always a favorite with sea & wind constantly changing the landscape.

Boondocking on the Oregon Dunes
Camping on the Dunes

Camping is not a problem with govt. campgrounds to private RV parks. Even boondocking if you want,  there is also some BLM areas close by. All types of dune riding machines are available to rent.

Wichester B ay RV Park
Winchester Bay RV Park






For more dune riding follow hwy. 101 south to Winchester bay and Coos Bay, as well as a couple of other smaller parks along the ocean. These are not as extensive as the one at Florence but can be fun!

St. Anthony Sand Dunes

St Anthony sand dunes


Located in eastern Idaho 50 miles northwest of Idaho Falls. This 10,600 acre playground of clear, shifting, white quartz sand is known for its unique beauty and exceptional recreation opportunities.

ST Anthony dunes
Prevailing winds carried the sand from the nearby Teton and Snake Rivers and deposited them as dunes among the hills. These hills were once active volcanic vents pouring great depths of lava over the earth.
The area as well as the dunes are huge compared to those in Oregon. There are huge bowls as well as sand walls that seem almost vertical.

St Anthony Devils Dune
Devil’s Dune

Devil’s dune is claimed to be an almost 600 foot vertical climb with a sharp ridge back at the top.



St Anthony’s has something for all levels of rider and is definitely suited for the faster and more experienced.
Camping is not a problem with a variety of options from govt. camp grounds to RV parks and BLM boondocking.

Imperial Sand Dunes (Glamis)

Imperial Sand Dunes

Located in the southeast corner of California bordering Arizona and Mexico, the Imperial Sand Dunes are the largest mass of dunes in the state. Formed by wind blown sands from ancient Cahuilla Lake. The dune system stretches for over 40 miles north in a band averaging 5 miles wide.

Glamis riders
Riders on Imperial Dunes

Widely know as “Glamis” it is a favorite destination for sand dune enthusiasts.


The dunes offer fabulous scenery, opportunities for solitude, and home for rare plants and animals.
Imperial Dunes is a BLM rec site and has limited service, meaning only dry camping with some vault toilets, dump station. I  am not sure about fresh water so better fill your tank before setting up camp.

US Mexican Border fence
The US and Mexico Border Fence southern part of Imperial Dunes

The suggestion for this article and most of the information is courtesy of my good friend Ralph who has been enjoying this sport for many years.



This fall we are planning a tour of the US Pacific coast with a stop in Florence and the Oregon dunes on our way south. I am looking forward to it, should be great fun.

Night riding on the dunes
Night riding on the dunes.

My only dune riding experience was an afternoon ride on a small area of sand dunes north of Vegas with my wife and grand daughter a few years back.

These are just a few of the sand dune riding areas in the USA, there are many more in other desert areas.  Check out duneguide.com for more information on these and other areas.

RVs at the Imperial Dunes
Boondocking at the Imperial Dunes

I hope you enjoyed this article, another adventure for the RV Traveler riding the sand dunes. If you have any comments or suggestions for a new article I would love to read it.

I have created a comprehensive list of equipment and items you may need for your RV travels click here to check out my list.


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Thanks for visiting.

Gord B.

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