Tour of Nevada Sand Dunes
Ready to roll into Nevada with our Polaris RZR XP and Ford F-350 Superduty
My son is in 5th grade and has an
assignment to do a report on one of the United States. Well, he picked Nevada,
and we concocted a plan to do a tour of Nevada and bring along one of our
UTVs to help us explore all that the Silver State has to offer. We spent ten
days off-roading, visiting nationals and state parks, touring museums and
wandering around old ghost towns.
Our route took us through the state capitol, Carson
City, then east on US 50 "The Loneliest Highway". Along US 50, we stopped
at Sand Mountain Recreation Area, several Pony Express Stations and over
nine mountain passes before reaching Highway 93 just east of Ely. From
there we will swing into the Great Basin National Park before heading south
on Highway 93 which is also known as the Great Basin Highway. We visited
Cathedral George State Park and Delamar Ghost Town on our way south. After
an overnight in Mesquite, we visited Logandale, Valley of Fire State Park and Nellis
Dunes before stopping in Las Vegas. We made a trip over to the
Hoover Dam for a tour, then did some tourist stuff in Las Vegas for a few
Heading back north, we visited the Amargosa Sand
Dunes, Beatty, Rhyolite, Clay Valley Dunes, Tonopah, Crescent Dunes, Hawthorne and Yerington. Near
Yerington we headed off-road to see the ghost town of Pine Grove
before looping back up towards Carson City.
We stopped at just about every Historic Marker along
the way and visited local museums and visitor bureaus as well to make sure
up all the rich history that the Silver State has to offer.
Our truck and UTV rack with Polaris RZR XP
We received a lot of comments on our
Facebook page, questions via
email and a ton of people asking questions every time we stop about our UTV
truck rack. I snapped a few pictures along the way that really illustrate
how the UTV sits as compared to a cab over camper. The top of the roll cage
is slightly higher that the camper, but it feels more stable.
The truck is a 2011 F350 Superduty crew cab shortbed. The rack was built by
Roggy Enterprises, and the truck features frame mounted camper tie-downs
up front, air bags and a 2.5"
ICON Vehicle Dynamics leveling kit. Air bags are a necessity and the
ICON shocks really made the ride super plush.
We thought quite a bit about what to take on this trip (motorhome+trailer,
truck+trail or truck+rack) and this setup was absolutely the perfect
solution for this trip. We drove about 200 miles on dirt roads and in some
tight parking lots that would have been a challenge with a trailer and
impossible with a motorhome. The biggest downside is the cost of the motels
(I do like shower and a bed though....).
I feel that we were much more flexible to pull over quickly at Historic
markers and random things that interested us.
Polaris RZR XP
Our UTV of choice for this adventure was our
2011 Polaris RZR XP 900.
Our RZR XP features Pro Armor doors and harnesses, STI Tires & Wheels,
DragonFire Racing bumpers, spare tire carrier, flying v brace, a-arms and
high clearance radius links, Fox shocks, Beard seats, Lowrance GPS, PURE
Polaris rock skids and trailing arm guards, Unisteer power steering, Muzzys
exhaust and Rugged Radios. Our XP continues to exceed our expectations in a
wide variety of terrain and we even raced it at
King of the Hammers
in February. It also fits nicely on our truck rack!
Sand Mountain Recreation Area:
Tour of Nevada - Day 1 - Photo gallery on Facebook
Sand Springs Pony Express Station - Covered by sand for over a
hundred years, Sand Springs Station lay undisturbed until 1976. It was
rediscovered by a team of Archaeologists, then excavated and stabilized
in 1977. The Pony Express holds a special place in the imagination
and folklore of America. The "Pony" lasted only 19 months, from April
1860 to November 1861, but it quickly became a legend. At a time before
there were airplanes, telephones, railroads or even a telegraph, the
Pony carried the mail 2,000 miles in just 12 days in the summer and 14
days in the winter. As the Civil War loomed, it provided the Union with
a vital link to its far-flung Western territories, including the silver
mines of the Comstock and the gold fields of California.
Racing against time, the Pony had to overcome vast distances, hostile
Indians and a harsh climate. But it could not overcome progress. When
the transcontinental telegraph was completed on October 24, 1861,
messages could be sent from coast to coast in just minutes. The Pony was
doomed and it died only twenty-seven days later.
Sand Mountain Recreation Area, Nevada - Located in Churchill
County, just north of U.S. Highway 50, "The Loneliest Road in
America," Sand Mountain is 25 miles east of Fallon, Nevada. Managed
by the U. S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM),
the sand dunes of the 4,795 acre recreation fee area provide challenge
and excitement for off-highway vehicle riders, hikers & sandboarders.
Nevada Tour Day 2 - Photo gallery on Facebook
Logandale Trail System:
Logandale Trail System - Located about 65 miles northeast of Las
Vegas, the Logandale Trails System covers 45,000 acres of desert, washes
and vivid sandstone cliffs west of Logandale and north of Valley of Fire
State Park. The Logandale Trails System (LTS) contains over 200
miles of trails, suitable for a variety of OHVs. Sand, rocks and desert
trails make this a great place to explore in a UTV. We will
definitely be back!
Nellis Dunes - The dunes are
just north of Nellis Air Force
Base and only 15 miles northeast of Las Vegas. This area has been
proposed as a Clark County OHV Park, but is currently controlled by BLM
and is mostly day-use.
Nevada Tour Day 5 - Photo gallery on Facebook
Amargosa Sand Dunes
- Amargosa or Big Dune is a playground that covers about five square miles
of dunes, and its centerpiece is a peak that tops out at 500 feet. Expect to
find steep hill climbs and sharp ridges at the dune which is located about
100 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
Clayton Valley Dunes:
Clayton Valley Dunes - Clayton Valley dune field is located in the southern part of
Clayton Valley, 7 miles south of
Nevada, and is accessible via dirt/gravel road. This is a very remote dune with very little use.
If you like to dune all by yourself, this is the dune to visit.
Nevada Tour Day 8
- Photo gallery on Facebook
Dunes - This small dune complex near Tonopah is often deserted. Mostly used
by local riders. There are no signs, and the area feels very remote.
These dunes form under winds that blow consistently from one direction
and form crescent shaped dunes.
Nevada Tour Day Nine - Photo gallery on Facebook