By: Dave Helgeson
Places to Ride:
Nellis Dunes OHV Recreation Area, near Las
Challenging Hill Climbs
Looking over the entire Nellis Dunes
Nellis Dunes larger dunes
Nellis Dunes Northern Section
Sounds of Freedom
The slogan “What happens in Vegas, stays in
Vegas” must be true, because until I stumbled
onto them, I had never heard of Nellis Dunes.
Nellis Dunes is 15,000 ride anywhere acres of
varied desert terrain right on the edge of Las
Vegas, just 20 minutes from the strip. Actually
the term sand dunes is somewhat of a misnomer as
the area is more desert than dunes consisting of
gravel, hard pack, hills, valleys, washed out
gullies, sand dunes, and trails running in every
direction. This area offers something for riders
of every skill level. There are tight twisty
trails, hill climbs, rolling sand dunes, large
flat play areas, user-made tracks with nice
berms and easy trails through desert scrub. You
will find the sand dunes in the southwest part
of the area. There are no large dunes to climb,
given the dirt and rocks in the balance of the
riding area, paddle tires are not advised. Since
this area is very near Nellis Air Force Base,
the anti-access crowd can’t complain about noise
either as the brave men and women of the US Air
Force are having as much fun above the area as
those of us flying on the ground. Even when you
have it pinned on a hill climb, you can still
hear the fighters roaring above.
A whip flag is recommended when the area is
Best time to ride is fall through spring as
summers are hot, and there is no shade or water.
Standard BLM rules apply: Camping stays in the
same location are limited to 14 days. Primitive
campsites must be located at least 200 feet from
roads and water sources such as springs, ponds,
creeks or waters provided for wildlife or
livestock. Gray water may be dumped at least 200
feet from any water source. Dumping sewage on
public land is not legal. Because there are many
primitive campfire pits already on the
landscape, please use existing pits. Before
building a fire, please check local fire
restrictions as campfires may be banned during
certain times of the year.
Take exit 58 off of I-15 onto Las Vegas Blvd
North (Hwy 604).
Head south from the intersection, the first
parking area will be on the left. If you are
looking to ride mainly on the sand, continue
southwest a mile or so on Las Vegas Blvd North,
you will soon see the sand dunes off to the
All major services are available in nearby North
Las Vegas or Las Vegas.
If you fly into Vegas and need to rent a ride,
Rules and Regulations:
All terrain vehicles (ATVs) operated on public
lands must have a muffler, spark arrester, and
working headlights and taillights for nighttime
use. Children under 16 operating off-highway
vehicles must be supervised by an adult.
A person may operate an off-highway vehicle on
any public land, trail, way, or unpaved county
road unless prohibited by the governmental
entity which has jurisdiction over the public
land, trail, way, or unpaved county road.
There are no driver license or minimum age
requirements for off-road vehicles.
For Additional Information:
Currently Nellis Dunes are managed by the BLM.
There is a proposal under consideration to
transfer the property to Clark County.
BLM Southern Nevada District Office
4701 North Torrey Pines
Las Vegas, NV 89130
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F
Public Room Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F
500 S. Grand Central Pkwy.
Las Vegas, NV 89155
Be safe, enjoy, and I hope to see you on the