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By: Dave Helgeson

Places to Ride: Florence, Oregon

Taking a Dip at Florence.
Taking a Dip at Florence

Sunset at Florence!
Sunset at Florence!

Riding the beach.
Riding the beach.

Flying High!
Flying High!

Drag racing down the beach.
Drag racing down the beach.

Acres of sand!
Acres of sand!
If you are planning a trip to the scenic Oregon Coast, be sure to take your ATVs with you. The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area offers several areas to ride, but one of our favorite is the Florence area. The area offers several large dunes, easy ocean beach access, numerous small inland lakes, and trails through the woods. There is something for everyone in the family there. Drag along the ocean beach on the smooth wet sand along the lakes. Hill climbers will find the tallest dunes a challenge. Intermediate riders and children will enjoy the low rolling hills and trails. Like jumping? There are razorbacks of various sizes throughout the area. If you don’t like being airborne, be sure and keep a lookout for razorbacks while riding the area. The blonde sand and frequent overcast skies make the razorbacks difficult to see at times. If you want to experience everything the dunes have to offer, plan on spending a couple of days. Be sure and watch at least one sunset from on top of a tall dune.

Getting There:

The dunes that are open to riding are located south of the town of Florence, Oregon.

Florence can be found about half way down the Oregon Coast at the intersection of Hwy 126 and Hwy 101, just over an hour west of Eugene. To reach the riding area, head south from Florence and watch for the turnoffs to the staging areas. You will find staging areas at South Jetty and Siltcoos.

A map of the staging and riding areas can be viewed at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/siuslaw/recreat ... coos.shtml

Camping:

The only Forest Service campground with sand access to the dunes is Driftwood II. Other campgrounds available in the area are Oddfellows, Sand Dunes Frontier, and Woahink Lake Resort. Honeyman State Park Campground has seasonal sand access from November-April. Our favorite is Sand Dunes Frontier. They have large sites that will hold several RVs and all the toys they haul with them. The rates are reasonable with close/direct access to the dunes. The largest dune is just west of the campground.

Services:

Food, lodging, and fuel are all available in Florence. There are also several ATV dealers in town offering parts and repairs. If you didn’t bring your own ride, Sandland Adventures and Sand Dunes Frontier both offer ATV rentals or tours.

Rules and Regulations:

  • A valid operating permit from Oregon or a state with a reciprocal agreement.
  • Operators of ATVs that are younger than 18 years of age must wear a helmet.
  • Mufflers in Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area must be maintained at 93db.
  • Lights must be used in limited visibility, such as before sunrise, after sunset, or when you cannot see clearly ahead for 100 feet.
  • Red flags displayed nine feet above ground are required when riding in the Oregon Dunes.
  • Working brakes are required.

For complete regulations, visit: http://www.oregon.gov/OPRD/ATV/links.shtml

For More Information:

Siuslaw National Forest
4077 S.W. Research Way
P.O. Box 1148
Corvallis, Oregon 97339 (541) 750-7000
Fax: (541) 750-7234
Web Site: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/siuslaw/contact/index.shtml#dunes

Be safe, enjoy, and we hope to see you on the trails.


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