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Discussion Starter #1
Heading to the Oregon Coast for a week of riding next month! We reserved a camp spot at Spinreel for the first 4 days, and probably will head up to Florence for the remaining days.

I'm looking for tips / recommendations for the rest of the week, dining, sightseeing, other dunes to ride, anything you think will make for a killer trip!

I have a reciprocal state license so I don't believe I need a permit to ride, but do I need the Oregon safety card for ohv riders? Anything else I need to know?

Thanks is advance for your help.
 

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I've been riding there since 1985 and best advise I can give you is every morning before you go ride take a slow tour of the area and look for changes in the dunes system. I've saw entire dunes move overnight and what happens is people go out first thing and haul ass thinking it's how it was the day before and they fly off the top of a dunes and die. People die there every year. Please be careful and have fun because the riding is awesome.
 

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If you are a licensed driver in another state you are good. Take it easy and get to know the sand and the area. As mentioned, it changes quick. Spinreel is good place to ride from all the way to the other end. Winchester Bay has the tallest dunes. They can be very intimidating. One has to be very careful. Lots of razor backs with very, very steep backsides. Florence is a nice area as well. Lots of trails to explore. Ocean is always a must several times. Around noon the dunes loose all shadows and become very hard to read. Can go off a dune and not see the edge.
 

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I live in Washington State and ride in Oregon since WA doesn't have a license requirement I had to get a OR license if your state has a license and you have one from your state I am pretty sure OR will recognize it. The OR license is easy and free to get online.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK, thanks guys. I first rode Glamis on a Honda Elsinore (google that one kids!) and have been there on the my RZR a few times in the last two years, so I 'm not a rookie at riding sand, but I appreciate your advice and promise to be careful. :devil I have heard the razor backs can get really extreme on the Coast.

Is there any big differences between the three areas from Coos up to Florence? I like the fact I can ride right out of a campground.... and was thinking about going to stay at Driftwood or Honeyman as well.

Any reason to go further north and ride Sand Lake?
 

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The advice given so far is spot on. Go slow for your first ride of the day till you know what is on the other side of the dune as it can change overnight due to the wind. Spinreel is an excellent choice to ride offering a variety of terrain from dunes to trails. The beach is always fun to ride especially at low tide. Horsfall and Bull Run are interconnected with Spinreel so it’s not uncommon for me to do a 25 mile run just doing a loop of them. Winchester Bay is about 10 miles north up the highway and has day use areas if you can trailer up there without moving your campsite. No beach riding in Winchester. There is no connection that you can off-road between the two areas. Florence is good also but is notorious for razorbacks and witches eyes. Also you can ride the beach at Florence too. Honey an state park does NOT have sand access for off-roading between Memorial and Labor Day but Does from Driftwood campground. Sand Lake is a lot smaller and doesn’t offer much for side by sides. It’s OK for ATV’s with some trails and “idiot holes” along with about a mile of beach riding. Not worth your time after Spinreel or Winchester Bay. Having just gotten back from St. Anthony it amazes me the difference in the texture of the sand and how your machine handles in it. The Oregon dunes sand is different than Glamis etc. Take your time, see how your machine handles and become familiar with the routes you take before opening it up. Keep it safe and have fun.
 

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Don't waste your time going to sand lake. Too small and nothing big there.
I agree we go there because it is close for us but it is my least favorite dunes in Oregon. The campground is decent and you can ride from your camp site to the sand there are no real dunes there just one bowl that everyone congregates around. The trails are good for quads I go with my kids and grand kids they have quads they like it. Boring to me with a SXS you can ride on the beach but they have a 25 MPH limit on the beach.
 

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I have been riding the Oregon dunes for years and I would agree with most assessments posted.

Sand Lake is not worth the time, small and boring.

Florence is not one of the areas we frequent. Far too many razorbacks and hard to put a good flow together. Good trails and beach riding. (beach riding at all the dune riding areas is 25mph, but most riders exceed that)

Spinreel to Boxcar/Horsfall is a large area with tons of trails and beach accesses. Not a lot of decent hills, and the trails and sand roads are whooped out bad for the most part. The whoops get tiresome after a while. I prefer this area for quad riding. Great tree shots and endless trails.

Winchester is more SXS friendly in my opinion. Medium sized dunes (actually the largest in all the riding areas), and a good mixture of open duning and trails. Best scenery in my opinion.

Take the drive from North Bend towards Charleston. Nice scenery, a couple nice beaches and parks along the drive.
 

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Ignorant PA guy here.. What are razorbacks and witches eyes? I looked both up on Google and think razorbacks are dunes with steep drop offs? Watched a video on what the guy says someone warned him about a witches eye but I can't tell what he is talking about or seeing. Just looked like sand to me.
 

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Correct on razor back Nice slop one side, almost vertical on backside. Very very dangerous. People that go off one at speed do not live to talk about it

Witches eye. A area on the back side of dune blow out that looks like an eye and is deep and steep walls. One must avoid to prevent a crash and serious hurt. Also can be fatal but more likely machine and rider serious damage. They can appear in hours when the wind is blowing good.

Not all dunes will have al of this, but the Oregon dunes has enough summer winds to cause both. The last can be very hard to see until too late. And it was not there the last time through.
 

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The large one above is not a good representation, but I've seen them half that size with sharp drop offs that can swallow and entire car.
 

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Also the sheriff seemed to be cool but I gave him probable cause to pull me over because my flag wasn’t 60% red or orange. Even though it was a 3x5’ flag 10’ off the ground.
 

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Also the sheriff seemed to be cool but I gave him probable cause to pull me over because my flag wasn’t 60% red or orange. Even though it was a 3x5’ flag 10’ off the ground.
Yes, the bright colors catches one's eye much quicker. Also see guys running those 3' x 5' flags. They pull the pole so far down they are useless to be seen over the dunes. They are lower then the roof. Useless for warning.
 

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Thank you for the detailed description on this. I think I understand now. The witches eye though I have a question....Is that caused by swirling winds in a vortex like a dirt devil or tornado type rotation, or just happens because of the surrounding terrain/ shape of the other dunes? Sounds like you really have to be aware while riding on dunes.. I had no idea actually.
This just reminded me of a time in the 80's on my 350 Honda Odyssey riding in the strip mines near my camp. I rode this awesome trail of almost powdered shale where you could just fly and be sideways on every turn doing 45 to 55 mph...Came back 2 weeks later and picked up right where I left off and came over this small hill and the road was gone! It was a cliff about 100 ft straight down. I locked them up and threw it broadside and stopped about 6 ft from going over. I got out shaking so bad I swear my knees were hitting together. I mean it really shook me up bigtime. I never did that again on a trail I thought I knew like the back of my hand until I drove it once.

I saw that picture on the left when I searched and thought it was a real pic of some witch chicks bellybutton with a tattoo on it. LOL I did not enlarge it to look closer in my defense...
I have had a few Jack and Cokes though... but not that many :)
 

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That was one close and very scary moment. One never forgets those. The wind movement over and around the dunes causes the witches eye to form. Can show up and disappear in hours. The wind during the day time can really move lots of sand.
 
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