Before we talk about safety when in the sand dunes, ponder this: what are your favorite dunes to shred up while riding in your ATV or off-road motorcycle? The most common dunes are crescentic, though linear and parabolic dunes are quite common as well. Star and dome dunes are rarer types generally found in the Sahara and Saudi Arabia, respectively.
No matter which is your favorite, learn where to find the types of dunes that give you the biggest thrill, and follow tips for staying safe when riding up sand dunes.
Where to Ride Sand Dunes
While some of the tallest dunes on are in China, you don’t have to travel that far from home to track down some killer dunes. Check out these areas:
- Cinder Hills, Arizona (12 miles northeast of Flagstaff)
- Hot Wells Dunes Recreation Area, Arizona (25 miles southeast of Safford)
- Dumont Dunes, California (North of Baker on Highway 127)
- Rasor Dunes, California (15 miles southwest of Baker)
- North Sand Hills, Colorado (15 miles northwest of Walden)
- Amargosa, Nevada (100 miles northwest of Las Vegas on Highway 95)
- Kermit Sand Hills, Texas (10 miles north of Kermit)
Tips for Safety When in the Sand Dunes
With the perfect dunes right in front of you, be sure to enjoy your daytrip without breaking your equipment (or your bones) by following these tips for safety when in the sand dunes:
- When changing direction, move your weight forward, push the bike/ATV down into the turn, and gas it. You should float on the sand like a speedboat.
- Stop on flat, hard patches whenever possible. When an ideal place to stop isn’t available, go for a downward slope rather than an upward one.
- Look ahead—tricky cambers, tufts of grass, and other vehicles’ tracks can topple your ride.
- Never go alone. It’s always safer to ride dunes with at least a buddy or two. Besides, if you go alone, there’s no one to take pictures or videos of your sick moves to show off later.
Gear Up for Safety When in the Sand Dunes
Wear the right gear! It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or a pro; you’re never too cool to wear the right safety gear. Make sure you have all of the following before you hit the dunes:
- Chest protection
- Fully supportive boots
- Long sleeves/pants, even on the hottest days
- Safety helmet! Goggle/mask combos are the best for protecting your eyes and your entire face while shredding it up with your friends in the sand dunes.