An ATV adventure in the Hurricane Sands

Lynn Blamires
ATV Adventures
(LYNN BLAMIRES courtesy photo)
Making a no-return descent from the rock lip.
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I don’t usually choose to ride in the sand, but so far this year, I have ridden the White Wash Sand Dunes near Green River, Utah, and earlier this year, I rode the Hurricane Sands in Washington County. These two dune areas drastically contrast with the Little Sahara dunes near Delta because they feature fascinating sandstone formations and more marked ATV trails.

Hurricane Sands trails were offered as one of the featured rides at the Tri-State ATV Jamboree in Hurricane last March. I signed up for this ride along with friends from the Northern Utah ATV Trail Riders.

We turned south off Highway 9 onto Sand Hollow Road, staging near the entrance to Sand Hollow State Park. We followed the road for several miles before making our entrance into the sand. While the Hurricane Sands have dunes to play in, I like the fact that the trails actually go somewhere.

One of the first things I noticed was the red color of the sand. This is red rock country so it is little wonder that it is also red sand country.

We rode trails that were a mixture of sand and slick rock winding our way through silent sandstone sentinels. We soon came to the most unusual of these structures known as The Flintstone House. This big rock had a flat top with the middle hollowed out. It was large enough for half a dozen people to enter and look out framed windows formed by wind and sand. It was one of those features where you take a picture and send it back to family with a note that says, “Wish you were here.” It was a highlight of our ride.

We stopped occasionally to play in what could only be described as large sand boxes. There is a real freedom in just taking off and running with the wind in your face.

One such stop found us at a solid rock lip that topped a steep sand slope descending several hundred feet to another riding area. Descending this slope was a challenge. It was steep enough to require some throttle to keep the back end stable. Trying to climb back to the top was twice the challenge. Only a few riders were up to that test. Fortunately, there was another, less daunting route back to the top.

All of us rode with whip flags on our machines. It makes it easier to spot another rider, and flags are required in the Hurricane Sands.

From time to time, we caught glimpses of Sand Hollow Reservoir — the jewel of the Hurricane Sands. It makes this sand box unique.

As we came toward the end of our ride, some wanted to stay and play while the rest of us wanted to head back. The ride leader pointed out the general direction of the trucks and we took off. I wasn’t worried because I had a GPS and I thought I knew how to read it.

I was in the lead and following my track back when I reached a point where my track went both left and right. Well, I turned right and continued my track. Because of earlier riding experiences, I have mirrors mounted on my machine. I thought because I lead rides it is good to be able to check to see if anyone is following. In this case, I checked. I had a few followers so I kept going until I was overtaken by a rider who yelled, “You are going the wrong way!”

Feeling foolish, I asked the guys behind me if they knew I was lost. They did, but they just wanted to get in more riding, which made me feel more foolish. I turned around and found the rest of the group waiting for me to lead them back. There is something wrong with this scenario, but I am not quite sure what it is.

The best time to ride this area is in the early spring and late fall. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down, and if you are leading the ride, make sure someone is following.

You may reach Lynn Blamires at quadmanone@gmail.com.

Lynn Blamires

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