GUIDE TO THE OREGON DUNES

GUIDE TO THE OREGON DUNES

The dunes themselves total approximately 40,000 acres and stretch 54 miles down the Oregon Coast from Florence in the north to Coos Bay in the south. UTV Action’s guide to the Oregon Dunes tells you everything you need to know about the whole area.

They all vary from one to three miles wide. Since it’s continuous sand dunes, there are no figures on how many acres each ride area contains, but Winchester and Coos Bay are pretty much equal in size and larger than Florence. Here’s what you need to expect at each of the three dune hot spots so you can plan your next trip to the Oregon Dunes.

WINCHESTER (WINDY) BAY

Our guide to the Oregon dunes begins with Winchester or “Windy” Bay. It has some of the tallest dunes, including a 500-footer. The area also has openings with various-size rolling dunes, from smaller to challenging.

The famous Banshee Hill is here—a narrow trail shooting straight up through the pines that’s a white-knuckle ride for most! The third beach staging area has a great section where little kids can practice that’s usually naturally damp, so even knobbies will work and parents can watch. You cannot ride on the shoreline here, but you can access it on foot.

Staging/campgrounds with dune access:

Half Moon Bay Campground: www.co.douglas.or.us/parks/

Triangle Road: www.co.douglas.or.us/parks/

Discovery Point Campground: www.co.douglas.or.us/parks

Umpqua Dunes: www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/siuslaw

Third Beach: www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/siuslaw

Events: Northwest Raptor Rally in May and Dunefest in July: www.dunefest.com

Local amenities: Great food and hotels in the little town of Winchester Bay just outside the dunes, and more food, gas and hotels in Reedsport a few miles north on Highway 101.

Directions: 60 miles off I-5  via scenic Highway 126 or 38 and Highway 101.

GUIDE TO THE OREGON DUNES
The Coos Bay area can be accessed off I-5 after traveling 60 miles west on the two-lane scenic Highway 126, 42, 38 or 101. It’s the furthest-south dune area, in case you want to make a trip from California or Arizona.

COOS BAY

The dunes at Coos Bay are small-to-moderate size and offer great thrill cruising. Lots of water features and some tree chutes, plus steep, out-of-the-pocket hill-climbs can be found. Generally, some good lips for jumping can be enjoyed by the brave. The several-mile-long beach can be accessed down a whooped-out road through the forest. There are pockets of smaller bowl dunes along the way.

GUIDE TO THE OREGON DUNES
Looking for big gatherings and bargains on all things UTV? Plan your trip around the UTV Takeover at Coos Bay or Dune Fest at Winchester Bay.

A new OHV legal route from the Northern tip of the Coos Bay Dunes at the Spinreel Campground, into the town of Lakeside, Oregon.

From the dunes, the route is; North on Spinreel Rd under Highway 1 where it turns into Wildwood Drive. From there you are allowed to turn right on Airport Way and then right again on South 8th Street. From there you can turn left on Park and go as far as Tenmile Lake County Park.

The new route gives you access to Wulfy Beach Marina, McKays Market, Tenmile Grub Lakeside Cafe, Lakeshore Lodge, and the Coffee Spot, Do It Best Hardware and Oregon Trailers.

GUIDE TO THE OREGON DUNES
If you are looking for a bit more solid ground to camp on, paved camp spots are found at all three dune areas. As a bonus, if the dunes are blown out with too much wind, the campgrounds are typically sheltered from the wind. This is Umpqua Dunes Campground.

Staging/campgrounds with dune access:

Box Car Hill Campground: www.boxcarhilloregon.com

Horsefall Campground: www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/siuslaw

Riley Ranch: www.co.coos.or.us

Spinreel ATV Rentals and Campground Pingreel: www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/siuslaw

Myrtlewood Factory: www.myrtlewood-hauserrvpark.com

Oregon Dunes KOA/Steve ATV Rentals: www.koa.com/campgrounds/oregon-dunes/

Events: UTV Takeover, October 7-11: www.utvtakeover.com

Local amenities: Hotels, gas, and food are within 5 miles.

ATV shops, restaurants, etc. in North Bend just a couple of miles away. Box Car Hill Campground and Staging has its own grocery/convenience store.

Directions: About 60 miles from I-5 via two-lane scenic Highway 126 or 38.

GUIDE TO THE OREGON DUNES
The Florence Dunes (“Flotown”) is 60 miles off I-5 via scenic Highway 126 or 38 and 101. It’s the closest dune area to Portland and Seattle.

FLORENCE (AKA FLOTOWN)

Florence Dunes are known for bowl and dune-face carving, a drag strip, mile-long flats, heart-pounding tree shoots and a miles-long beach run.

As for hills, comp hill and show-off hill (a steep face depending on the time of year with its own parking lot) are the big ones. There’s a fun, playful trail through the grassy dunes that parallels the beach called Coast Guard Road.

Florence also has incredible beauty, since some of the dunes’ trails go through thick pine forest and by a couple of small lakes. Unique to Florence are three islands surrounded by crystal-clear aquifer water and one of the most spectacular beaches on the Oregon Coast.

Sand camping is available at all three sites. Watching guys drag their big trailers deep into the sand is entertainment in itself. Most of these were dragged in or out by tractors at UTV Takeover in Coos Bay. But, we’ve seen guys miles into the sand with their remote camp setups. Reserve public spots here: www.recreation.gov. Or call (877) 444-6777 or (606) 515-6777.

Staging/campgrounds with dune access:

Driftwood Campground: www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/deschutes

Goose Pasture: www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/siuslaw

Sand Dunes Frontier Campground/Rentals: www.sanddunesfrontier.com

South Jetty: www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/siuslaw

Local amenities: ATV shops, food, hotels, gas a mile away in Florence, including Florence Yamaha/Polaris.

Events: No major events

Directions: An easy 55 miles west from I-5 via a very scenic drive on two-lane Highway 126.

There’s something unique about chasing your buddies in and out of the trees. There are great berm shots and jumps everywhere.
Ripping down the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean has to be on your bucket list. Don’t get too close, though. The saltwater will rust unpainted components and corrode your engine cases.
If you like camping in the woods and riding sand dunes, you get the best of both worlds at the Oregon Dunes. If you like fishing, you can do that nearby. This is Riley Ranch at the Coos Bay Dunes on county property. You can reserve spots here: www.co.coos.or.us.
The narrow wooded trails open up into the wider dune areas to the east or out to the shoreline if you head west. The Oregon Dunes Recreation Area is one of the most unique ride spots on the planet. Call the Oregon Dunes Visitor Center at (541) 271-6000

See where to stay at the Glamis dunes here: https://utvactionmag.com/where-to-stay-at-glamis-sand-dunes/

Check out our list of KOA Kampgrounds you can ride out of all over the country HERE.

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