Overview of Juniper Dunes Wilderness and OHV Area
Open: Year Round
Latitude / Longitude: 46.32887, -118.952
Managed by: BLM
Location: South Central Washington / 7 miles NE of Pasco
Camping: Free dispersed camping
- No amenities
- No fires allowed
- Camp stoves are permitted
This area is hard to reach and has a rough road, so a high clearance 4 x 4 vehicle is necessary. It’s recommended that you park at the end of Juniper Road and check it out on foot or OHV before continuing with vehicle or trailer.
Wilderness Road is treacherous and travel is not recommended. Sometimes after a rain, the dirt/sand on Wilderness Rd. can be compressed enough to drive safely all the way to the gate, but in dry conditions the sand is soft, so it’s possible to get stuck.
Vehicles with trailers should never attempt the Wilderness Rd portion.
- Exit onto Hwy 12 East (towards Walla Walla).
- Just under 2 miles, exit onto Pasco Kahlotus Road (ramp north towards Kahlotus).
- Continue NE on the Pasco Kahlotus Road for approx 5 miles.
- Turn left onto Peterson Road. First 2 miles is Private Road.***Note: there is a huge yellow mailbox on the opposite side of Pasco Kahlotus Road at the entrance to Peterson Rd.
- Continue straight approx 4 miles on Peterson Road. At the Juniper Road intersection, turn right. Park in this area or continue for approximately 2 more miles.
- There is a second large parking area with a metal information Kiosk at this point; this puts you next to the play area dunes. Be aware of sandy conditions in this parking area.
- From here use an area map to get to the Wilderness Gate +1 mile away via Wilderness Road. Please sign in at the kiosk.
Respect Private Land
Although Juniper Dunes are BLM public land, access is allowed though Peterson Rd, portions of which are privately owned. To ensure continued access to this area, off-roaders need to respect private land owners.
Juniper Sand Dunes
Beautiful remote sand dunes area with no amenities. Gets a lot of use by locals and people in the know, but not as crazy as Moses Lake.
Juniper Dunes is comprised of three adjoining areas totally 19,600 acres.
One section of 3,920 acres is entirely open to off-highway vehicle use with another section of 8,620 acres designated an Area of Critical Environmental Concern which limits travel to existing trails and roads.
The third section consisting of 7,100 acres is designated a wilderness area, it is fenced in and closed to all motorized traffic as well as mechanical vehicles such as bicycles and game carts.
- Helmets, whip flags and current state registration and tabs/stickers are required on all OHVs.
- If your state does not have ATV registration, you can purchase a 60 day temporary pass for off-road use for $15.75. The ORV may be titled without being currently registered to get this permit.
Washington ATV / OHV Registration & Licensing
- Washington state requires all OHVs to be registered.
- Out of state registration is legal and accepted if the other state grants reciprocity to Washington.
- Non-residents can purchase a 60 day temporary ORV Use permit for $15.75.
- All ATVs / OHVs must be registered.
- Off highway vehicles must have a current license plate or ORV Tag.
- Residents can also purchase a 60 day temporary ORV Use permit for $15.75.
Washington State .gov: ATV / OHV Licensing & Registration Laws
Juniper Dunes ATV/OHV Use Area Rules
- Current state registration and tabs/stickers are required on all OHVs.
- You must wear an approved safety helmet on all land within the Juniper Dunes Recreation Area. Street legal, four-wheeled vehicles are exempt.
- No passengers are allowed on motorcycles, ATVs or OHVs unless it is designed by the manufacturer to carry a passenger.
- Whip flags are required. Mast must be at least 6 feet tall and the flag must be 6 inches x 12 inches. The flag can be red or orange and pennant, triangle, square, or rectangular shape. Flag must be mounted within 10 inches of the tip of the whip. Decorative or club flags must be mounted below the safety flag.
- Safety flags are required on all roads including: Peterson Road, Juniper Road, Smith Canyon Road, and/or Wilderness Road. Safety flags are not required for street legal, four-wheeled passenger vehicles on these roads.
- No burning of wood pallets.
- Do not race or drive recklessly or carelessly on Peterson Road, Juniper Road, Smith Canyon Road, and/or Wilderness Road.
Washington State ORV Laws
- Washington state does allow for All Terrain Vehicles to be licensed as street legal providing they meet certain safety requirements. Washington State Street Legal Requirements
- No child under 16 years of age may operate an ORV without direct adult supervision and the adult must possess a valid license to operate a motor vehicle.
It is a criminal offense to:
- Operate an ORV while under the influence of intoxicating liquor and/or drugs.
- Operate an ORV in such a manner as to endanger human life.
- Hunt, run down, or harass any wildlife from an ORV.
- Fail to obey any Department of Fish and Wildlife sign
- Launch a boat or personal watercraft from the beach in the Moses Lake Sand Dunes.
- Carry, transport, or convey a loaded weapon in or upon any non highway vehicle except by permit issued by the director of fish and wildlife under chapter 77.32 RCW: Provided, it is not unlawful to carry, transport, or convey a loaded pistol in or upon a non highway vehicle if the person complies with the terms and conditions of chapter 9.41 RCW
It is an infraction to:
- Operate any ORV without a valid ORV use permit.
- Operate an ORV in a manner as to endanger property of others.
- Operate an ORV without a headlight/taillight between dusk and dawn.
- Operate an ORV without an adequate braking device.
- Operate an ORV without an approved spark arresting device.
- Operate an ORV without an adequate muffling device.
- Operate an ORV on the shoulder, inside bank or slope of a highway.
- Operate an ORV on lands restricted to pedestrian or animal travel.
It is a civil infraction to:
- Operate any motorcycle or ATV without an approved helmet.
- Operate any ORV (except motorcycle) without a flag that is 108 inches from the ground and is orange or red.
- Discharge any firearm in the off-road vehicle areas with the exception of the seasonally closed area of the Moses Lake Sand Dunes during lawful hunting seasons.
- Burn pallets, tires, or any wood with metal fasteners.
- No Parking of any vehicle/ ORV between the posted signs and shoreline.