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Off-Highway Vehicle Riding

Moab OHV Trail
Photo courtesy of Moab Tour Company

Moab has numerous trails suitable for ATV's.  Much of the public land surrounding the National Parks is open to ATV travel on existing trails.  (However, please note that ATV riding is not allowing within either Arches or Canyonlands National Park.)  ATV enthusiasts can use all of the popular Moab 4WD Trails, or explore the backcountry trails that surround the Moab area.

IMPORTANT REMINDER FOR OUR COLORADO FRIENDS
Colorado does not offer reciprocity in registering OHV's to other states. Therefore, Colorado owners of OHV's brought into Utah must obtain a Non-Resident Permit for their machine. Non-Resident Permits cost $30 and are good for one year from the month of purchase. Click here to obtain a Non-Resident Permit application.

White Wash Sand Dunes

There is one area that is particularly popular for riding ATVs - White Wash Sand Dunes. The White Wash Sand Dunes are located 48 miles northwest of Moab. The dunes are quite scenic, with large cottonwood trees growing within them. Red cliffs to the east of the dunes provide a dramatic backdrop. White Wash, a popular travel route, borders three sides of the dunes. In addition to the dunes and White Wash, there are many miles of dirt roads in the area. On these roads, a rider can access Crystal Geyser and the Green River, as well as many other points. Riders should obtain detailed maps, as they are necessary to navigate this system of unmarked roads.

White Wash Sand Dunes Map

To reach White Wash Sand Dunes, drive 13 miles east of Green River on Interstate 70. Take Ranch Exit 175 to the south. This county road is known locally as the Floy Wash Road. (This exit is seven miles west of U.S. Highway 191.) From 1-70, continue southwest on the Floy Wash Road for 12 miles (be sure to bear right 4.5 miles from Interstate 70, and continue straight at 7.8 miles from Interstate 70). Go east (left) at 12.3 miles southwest of 1-70. You will drive by some oil production facilities. The Sand Dunes are visible from this intersection. There are two very large (natural) parking areas just west of the sand dunes. Larger vehicles may wish to consider parking at the area on the top of the hill.

There are no facilities of any type at White Wash Sand Dunes. Visitors must pack out all trash. There is no drinking water in the area - be sure you bring plenty of water and other supplies. If you camp, please use a previously used camping spot and keep a clean camp and fire ring.

There are several points to remember about riding in the White Wash Area. Please avoid the oil production facilities, and never chase or harass livestock. When going through gates, please leave them open or closed as you found them. Please stay on roads and trails when riding outside the dune area to maintain scenic qualities and the integrity of these routes. Bighorn sheep inhabit this area; riders should avoid stressing these animals by giving them the space they need. The cottonwood trees growing in the White Wash area are quite unique. Please avoid damaging these trees give them wide berth to reduce potential for soil compaction.

If you camp in the White Wash area, be advised that the closest dump stations are in Green River. Green River is a full service community, offering restaurants, repair facilities and grocery stores.

NEW: White Wash Sand Dunes Requires Use of Portable Toilets

Although specific campsites are not marked in the White Wash Sand Dunes area, portable toilets are required. This location is popular for camping, and sanitation concerns have prompted this requirement.  Campers are required to possess, set up and use portable toilets. Campers may not bury, or leave exposed, solid human body waste and soiled toilet paper. The disposal of solid human waste off public land is required. 

Campers are also reminded that it is illegal to dump sewage from recreational vehicle holding tanks along roads leading from the dunes. Sewage must be disposed of in an approved manner. Campers in the White Wash area may utilize recreation vehicle dumpstations at two commercial camp parks and at Green River State Park in the nearby town of Green River. A fee is charged for this service.

Age Requirements

No one under eight years of age is allowed to operate any OHV on public lands, roads or trails in Utah. Operators eight through 15 years of age may operate an OHV provided they possess an Education Certificate issued by Utah State Parks and Recreation or equivelent from their home state. Resident operators 16 years of age or older may operate an OHV if they possess either a valid driver’s license or an OHV Education Certificate.

Education Certificates are issued to anyone eight years of age or older who completes Utah State Parks and Recreation’s Know Before You GO! OHV education course. Education Certificates are issued for snowmobiles, ATVs, and motorcycles. For information on this training opportunity, contact the OHV Education Office at 801-538-7433.

OHV Registration

Residents

Any OHV being operated or transported on public lands, roads or trails of the state of Utah must display a current OHV registration sticker. Dual sport off-highway motorcycles may be registered as street legal vehicles if they possess the proper safety equipment, have passed a state safety inspection, and carry the proper insurance, or they may be registered as off-highway vehicles. All OHV registrations are handled by the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles.

Non-Residents

Owners of ATVs, UTV's and unlicensed off-highway motorcycles brought into Utah by non-residents must obtain a non-resident permit for their machine. (Street legal, licensed off-highway motorcycles are not required to obtain a permit.) Non-resident permits cost $30 and are good for one year from the month of purchase. Some states offer reciprocity, meaning there is a mutual agreement between states not to charge non-residents fees.

State Reciprocity

The State of Utah has a reciprocity agreement with several other states. This reciprocity agreement allows residents of those states to ride currently registered OHVs in the state of Utah without having to purchase our 'Non-Resident Permit'. This reciprocity also allows Utah residents the same privilege in those states. Many states do not have this reciprocity agreement with Utah;

The following is a list of states that do not have a reciprocity agreement with Utah. If your state is listed below, you MUST purchase our 'Non-Resident Permit'...

AL AK CO CT FL GA HI IL IA KS KY ME MD MA MI MS NE NV NH NJ NC RI SC SD TN TX VA WV WI WY

Note: This list is updated frequently by the state of Utah. Click here to see the latest list from the Utah State Parks website.

Permits are available in person at authorized vendor locations throughout the state of Utah. The following authorized vendors are located in Moab:

Moab Information Center
Main & Center Street
435-259-8825

Dead Horse Point State Park
SR 313 (off us 191)
435-259-2614

Elite Motorcycle Tours
1310 Murphy Ln
435-259-7621

Maverik Country Store
435 N Main
435-259-8718

Maverik Country Store
985 S Hwy 191
435-259-0775

When applying in person, you will need the following:

  1. Proof of residency: driver's license or other state issued identification.
  2. Proof of ownership

Revenues generated from OHV user fees are dedicated to construction, improvement, operation and maintenance of OHV trails.

For assistance with questions concerning OHV's, along with online registation forms, visit:

Utah State Parks and Recreation
stateparks.utah.gov/ohv
1594 West North Temple, Ste 116
801-538-7433

Equipment Requirements

All OHVs are required to have certain equipment in working order while being operated in Utah, including:

  • Brakes sufficient to stop and hold the machine
  • A headlight and taillight while being operated between sunset and sunrise
  • A brightly colored whip flag attached to the OHV and at least eight feet off the ground while being operated on designated sand dune areas
  • A muffler and spark arrestor (snowmobiles are exempt from the spark arrestor requirement).

Helmet Requirements

Properly fastened helmet, having at least a “DOT Approved” safety rating for motorized use are required for all OHV operators and passengers under the age of 18 years. A properly fitting, safety rated helmet is the most important piece of safety gear available to an OHV rider.

Street Legal ATV Requirements

If you would like to operate your Street Legal ATV on Utah's streets and highways, click here to read about the regulations and equipment requirements. Note that off road permits still apply if you are going to use your ATV off road.

Safety Tips

By following a few simple rules, OHV riders can make certain that every trip is a safe and enjoyable experience.

  • Always ride in control. Ride within your abilities and your machine’s capabilities. Never attempt anything that is beyond your skill level.
  • Always wear the appropriate safety gear. At a minimum, this should include a helmet, shatter resistant eye protection, long sleeves, long pants, gloves, and boots that cover the ankle.
  • Only carry passengers if your OHV is specifically designed to do so. ATVs and off-road motorcycles are designed to be ridden by only one rider. Carrying passengers can alter the balance of the machine, causing a loss of control.
  • Riders under the age of 16 should be supervised by a responsible adult at all times.
  • Riders should be able to straddle the machine with a slight bend to the knees while both feet are on the footrests. Riding a machine that is too big is a major cause of injuries to young riders.
  • Always tell someone where you are going and when you will return. Provide them with a map of your intended riding area.
  • Be prepared for any emergency. Always carry a tool kit and spare parts, a first aid kit, and survival equipment when you ride. Carry plenty of extra food, water and fuel.
  • Check the weather forecast before leaving home. For winter riders, always check the avalanche forecast before venturing into the back country. Avalanche information is available from
    the Avalanche Forecast Center at (801) 364-1581.
  • Never, ever drink and ride. Alcohol and OHVs don’t mix, but create a deadly and illegal combination.

Utah OHV Brochure

OHV Brochure

Utah's off-highway vehicle laws and rules have been formulated to promote safety and protection for people, property and the environment. The information in this pamphlet highlights Utah's OHV laws and rules. It answers frequently asked questions about OHV activities on public lands, roads, and trails, and provides important contact information. Riders are cautioned that additional laws and rules apply to the operation of off-highway vehicles.

Detailed Maps

Moab Information Center

Once you arrive in Moab, detailed trail maps and guides are available for sale at the Moab Information Center (MIC). Located in the center of Moab, on Main & Center Street, the MIC staff is always happy to assist you.

GPSGPS - Moab Info Ctr
Lat/Long (WGS84)

38° 34' 22.4" N
109° 33' 0.1" W

Mail Order

Detailed trail maps and guides may also be purchased online from the Canyonlands Natural History Association, the company that stocks the information center. They can be reached on the internet at cnha.org or at 800-840-8978.

OHV Vehicle Rentals

Because of the popularity of Off-Highway Vehicle Riding in Moab, the town has quite a few companies that rent vehicles. Click here for a complete list.

Guided OHV Trips

If you'd rather sit back and enjoy the ride, book an OHV tour with one of Moab's experienced guides. Click here for a complete list.

Public Lands

These lands are administered by the Bureau of Land Management. If you have any specific questions about current conditions or regulations, contact them directly:

Bureau of Land Management
Moab Field Office

82 East Dogwood
Moab, Utah 84532
435-259-2100
Website

Preserve & Protect

Moab's roads and trails are famous because they offer a combination of challenge and scenery that cannot be found elsewhere. Please remember that riding on public lands is a privilege, not a right. Protect this privilege by staying on designated roads and trails. Cross-country travel damages plant and soil resources, and leaves ugly long-lasting scars. Enjoy your recreational activity in the Moab area while staying on roads and trails.

Respect the Desert

 

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