Off-road riding from the forests to the sea
Oregon has many OHV trails open to ATV and UTV owners. In fact, number of wide-open spaces in Oregon allows for incredible adventure. While many of the OHV riding areas offer unique visitor experiences, some even add the historic educational value. With the possibility to see post ice age fossils including camels and the occasional wooly mammoth in a 6500-acre dry lake bed near Christmas Valley Sand Dunes, you already have a reason to go. Your kids will appreciate the trip and never know that you are actually teaching them about the areas past.
Sand dunes are a large part of the Oregon riding experience, but there are also high desert areas with scrub brush and some pine forests, for those who love to ride for miles on open land. Some other areas include old gold mining towns like the Noonday trail system. While this section is only about seven miles long, the historical value of the ride and ending up in Mount Bohemia, famous during the gold rush days, up along the Champion creek makes adventuring through Oregon a must for the energetic traveler. Dust will also no doubt be a factor in some of the more open areas, so prepare with masks or bandanas to keep the grit out of that picnic lunch.
With more than 45 different OHV and private riding areas, the possibilities are endless in Oregon. Below are three of our favorites.
If you are looking for an off-road adventure in Oregon but you don’t feel like towing an ATV or UTV all the way there, Destination Yamaha has a location in here. Take advantage of the experience by renting a machine and getting everything you need for an amazing off-road experience aboard a Yamaha ATV or UTV on some of the best terrain in the state.
The name Browns Camp is only one of the names given to this area by locals and state officials. Some know this as the Tillamook State Forest, and it is considered a great staging area for novice or amateur riders. The trails on the Browns Camp area are a combination of hard pack trail with dust during the dry seasons and between rains as well as mud, rocks and a few creek crossings. These diverse terrain components give riders enough variety to keep everyone on their toes during the weekend adventure. Being the Eastern most OHV campground you have a very secluded and immersive experience here. Most all of the trails are looping so you can easily find your way, but all trails are well marked for those who like to make a plan before the days ride. When preparing to visit the Browns Camp OHV, actually located in Gales Creek, Oregon, it would be wise to prep meals and plan fuel stops well before arriving. There is the Gales Creek Shell station for those last-minute items you might need, but remember all of the camping is pretty much primitive unless you have a self-contained RV as there are no hook-ups here. The only fee you will incur is if you camp as parking as well as riding for the day are free. The fee for setting up camp is only $20 for a tent or RV, which includes two vehicles.
Dune riding is very popular among the side-by-side community and the Oregon Dunes get plenty of traffic during the riding seasons. The Florence segment of the Oregon Dunes has been considered the most beautiful section for those who love a less crowded riding experience. The northern most section of the Oregon dunes stretches from the South Jetti to the Siltcoos and has some of the largest sand dunes in the entire region. There are small and large hills with some shaded areas to hide in. The unique vegetation and small trees make this riding experience very unique.
As with any great riding area you might want to reserve the primitive camping spots that are available well before your trip. The access to this area is best through either the north gate or the Driftwood II campground. There are hosts on site at the campgrounds and the gates close at night, so be sure to bring everything you think you may need. Don’t forget to bring your family and friends with you, either. The dunes are a fantastic place to get people to experience the off-road lifestyle.
Family riding has always been best at places like Elderberry flats in the small town of Rogue river Oregon. This OHV riding destination provides not only a vast number of marked trails, but it allows the adventurer to camp along the creek line. This destination provides picnic tables as well as campfire rings for that complete immersion of a family outing. While there are several unsigned or unmarked staging areas along the West Fork Evans Creek road, the most popular is the Elderberry Campground staging area. As with any OHV location in Oregon, you are required to purchase an OHV sticker, but other than that this is a no fee use area. Trails will consist of smooth hard pack road bed and more spirited trails with mountainous terrain.