Dune buggy riders take advantage of these huge dunes and ride for hours every day. We can hear them from our campsite at South Jetty Thousand Trails Campground. We decided to partake in this adventure through a company called SandLand Adventures, which offers dune buggy rides to visitors. It was a blast.
|Our seats for the ride|
|The Sandland Giant Dune Buggy|
In 1972, Congress set aside 32,186 acres of the total dune complex as the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (ODNRA), to be managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The area offers solitude for hikers and campers and is one of the most popular off-highway-vehicle (OHV) riding areas on the West Coast.
Recent studies have determined that the youngest dunes, which were formed over the last seven thousand years, are nearest the ocean. The higher dunes to the east were formed more than 20,000 years ago, and the tops of some of the higher dunes were last active more than 100,000 years ago. Analyses of the chemical makeup of individual sand grains point to the Umpqua River, just west of Reedsport, as the primary source of the Oregon Dunes, with contributions from the Siuslaw and other, smaller rivers.
|Off We Go|
It was quite windy out there on the dunes. I had to tie my hat down with my scarf to keep it from being blown away.
Rolling down the beach. Before Hwy 101 was completed, people would use the hard sand down the Pacific Coast as a highway. It is still considered a roadway with a speed limit of 25mph. The police have been known to come down and will give a ticket out if one is found speeding.
Some of the dunes are very misleading - the sand blows and forms peaks and dips. From the other direction it looks just like rolling hills and the riders cannot see the dips until they are upon them. Talk about flying through the air.
|A lake in the dunes|
There were some trails where they were almost straight down and a lot of the people put their hands up like they were were going down a roller coaster. It was really a lot of fun.