HomeSand DunesNorth Sand Hills OHV Area (Cowdrey, Colorado)

North Sand Hills OHV Area (Cowdrey, Colorado)

Overview Of North Sand Hills OHV Area

Open: Seasonally. Closed To Motorized Use from December 15 to April 15 
Latitude / Longitude: 40.87415, -106.22282
Usage: Moderate – Heavy
Managed by: BLM
Fee: Free
Camping: Campground + Dispersed
Location: North-Central Colorado

From Walden CO
Travel North 10 miles on Hwy 125
Turn right (east) on County Rd 6
Drive 3.5 miles on County Rd 6
Turn right on County Rd 6N
Drive 2 Miles on 6N to staging area

Here’s a nice write up of camping and riding the dunes from some Jeep off-roaders: Chicks On The Rocks. They have some great pictures of the dunes too, so be sure to check it out!

North Sand Hills OHV Area

The North Sand Hill Dunes are part of 1,400 acres designated Special Recreation Management Area with about 300 acres of beautiful, deep, soft sand. The surrounding area is open to off-road use as well, with miles of trails and forest service roads through the scrub and surrounding hills.

The 300 acres of dunes are split between two main dune areas connected by a series of trails making it easy to travel between the two. The riding is primarily in the two large open bowls with some smaller hills around the edges and trails through the scrub.

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These are the only ATVing sand dunes in Colorado, this makes them pretty popular. Expect crowds on weekends and holidays.

Located at a moderate elevation of 8,400 feet, they don’t get as hot as some lower level dunes. Expect temperatures in the high 70s – low 80s during the hottest part of the summer. Ideal riding conditions are June and October, especially October when the aspen begin to turn to gold. The surrounding hills have some nice aspen groves, which is also your best bet for dispersed camping. It offers a bit of shade and respite from the off-roading noise that goes well into the night.

BLM Website: North Sand Hills OHV Area

Related Post: ATV Time Travel Adventures To Colorado Ghost Towns

BLM North Sand Hills Campground

Fee: Free
ADA Accessible: No
13 Pull- through Sites
Fire Rings
Pit Toilets
No Water Available
No reservations Available
14 Day Dispersed Camping Limit

BLM Website: North Sand Hills Campground

For more great riding ideas in Colorado, check out 10 Best ATV Trails In Colorado and Exploring The Alpine Loop – ATV Colorado. The Wagon Wheel Trail System in Meeker and Rangely Colorado made our 10 Best ATV Trails list and also made the cut for 10 Best ATV Trails in Colorado.

Dirt bikers will enjoy the Tenderfoot Mountain Motorcycle Trail System – Dillon Colorado

  • Whip flags are not required, but strongly recommended.
  • All OHVs must have a visible Colorado OHV use permit sticker This applies to both Colorado residents and non-residents.
  • All OHVs must be registered.

Purchase Colorado OHV Permit

OHV use permits can be purchased where hunting/fishing licenses are sold or you can purchase online:

Colorado OHV Permit – Cost is $25.25

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Rules & Regulations

Colorado law requires:

  • OHV operators must carry their registration card and show it to any peace officer on request.
  • If a non-resident owned vehicle is owned by a resident of a state that has no registration program, then a Colorado registration through Colorado Parks and Wildlife is required
  • Colorado residents register all off-highway vehicles (OHV) including motorcycles, ATVs and UTVs. Registration is done through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Proof of ownership must also be provided.
  • Non-residents can register their OHVs if they choose, but it is not required. Proof of ownership will also be required if you do choose to register.
  • Registration renewals are required annually and are valid from April 1 through March 31 each year.
    A current Colorado OHV registration sticker must be displayed when an OHV is in a person’s possession in an OHV staging area or operated on any designated OHV trails or routes in Colorado.
  • All licensed and registered OHVs (including motorcycles) must also posses and display a current Colorado OHV use permit sticker if operating in Colorado. This requirement applies to both Colorado residents as well as OHVs licensed and registered in other states.
  • Colorado Sound Law (went into effect July 1, 2010)
  • To operate an Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) in Colorado, the following sound limits must be met:
  • 99 dB(A) if manufactured before 1/1/1998
  • 96 dB(A() if manufactured after 1/1/1998
  • OHVs will be tested using the SAE J 1287 stationary 20″ pipe test.
  • New OHVs sold in Colorado cannot exceed the 96 dB(A) sound standard (unless an OHV is designed for and used in a closed-course competition facility).
  • OHVs designed for and used in closed-course competition facilities may require modifications for sound and spark arrestor standards when operated outside of a closed-circuit course.
  • Colorado State Parks, in conjunction with Stay The Trail, offer free sound testing for your OHV.

Check out these fun Colorado ATV Jamborees:

Photos By BLM

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