Christmas Valley Dunes, Oregon
Name: Christmas Valley Dunes
Southern Oregon, Southeast of Bend
Christmas Valley contains 11,000 acres of sand dunes available to off-highway vehicle use. The area
"open" to vehicles is surrounded by several sensitive areas with
more restrictive vehicle designations. The Fossil Lake area is closed to vehicles (and is
fenced off), and in the Lost
Forest vehicles are restricted to roads which are posted open. Although the bare
dunes are open to vehicles, since they are within a Wilderness Study Area,
vehicles are required to stay on trails that are posted open until they reach
the bare dunes.
The area is bordered by and includes private land.
Please respect their property, or you will find yourself fenced out.
Wilderness Study Area - In 1981, 16,440 acres were
designated as the Sand Dunes WSA. Although BLM later determined in 1991 that the area
was not suitable for Wilderness, the area must be protected until Congress makes the final
The dunes are composed largely of ash and pumice which blew
into the area over 7,000 years ago when Mt. Mazama erupted forming Crater
Lake. During dry times of the year, it can get quite dusty.
Elevation - 4290 ft.
Follow State Highway 31 south from Bend about 60 miles and turn east on County Road 5-10 toward Fort Rock/Christmas
Valley. After about 20 miles turn right (east) on 5-14 (Christmas Valley Hwy) to the community of Christmas Valley. Continue
east past Christmas Valley approximately 10 miles, then turn left (north) on 5-14D (Fossil lake Rd.) and go 8 miles to a "T". Turn right on
5-14E (gravel), and follow it until you see small signs for the Sand Dunes (approx. 6.85 miles to
camp). Road narrows and becomes washboarded. It is about 16 miles from the
dunes to the town of Christmas Valley.
Main Camping Area - N 43 21 38, W 120 22 26
Juniper Camping Area - N 43 21 20, W 120 23 14
Alternate Camping Area - N 43 20 98, W 120 24 11
Juniper Camp - Stay on main road until you see signs for
½ mile west of the Lost Forest.
Main Camp south of Lost Forest - Continue past Juniper camp until road ends.
is camping available to the left and a large area to the right. Access
dunes is to the right (south). Access to the Lost Forest is to the left
(north). Please be aware that this area is actually private land and
access can be taken away if users do not respect this privilege.
Whip flag that extends 8 ft. from the ground
Stay on designated routes. Any trail without an "Open
road" sign is closed.
No person shall operate an off-highway vehicle in a manner
likely to cause environmental damage. Do not run over vegetation.
Do not collect firewood from the Lost Forest.
Bring in, dispose of or possess any firewood containing
nails, screws, or other metal hardware.
Spark arresters are required on all OHV's.
Fossil Lake ACEC is closed to vehicles.
Lost Forest RNA - stay on designated trails only.
Respect private property in the area.
No trash collection. Pack it in. Pack it out.
A few portable toilets are usually available in the camping
areas during the season.
Area can be inaccessible during the winter and spring months due to extremely muddy
a remedy, Lost Forest will be forest lost - News article from the Oregonian.
The great expanse of sand dunes developed after the mass exodus of Homesteaders.
Oregon Resource Advisory Council (SEOR-RAC) Meeting - Dune Tour, May
Lost Forest Research Natural Area - 8,960 acres closed to OHVs
Fossil Lake - 4,160 acres closed to OHVs
The dunes used to be at Fossil Lake, and the are moving into the Lost Forest.
Although BLM determined in 1991 that the 6,440 acre Sand Dunes
WSA was not suitable for Wilderness, the area must be protected until Congress makes the final
If continued access to Christmas Valley is important to you, please
take a few minutes to do the following:
Congressman Walden (R-OR) and ask him to author a bill to release the Sand Dunes Wilderness Study
Area (WSA) back to
its' former use.
your members of Congress and ask them to support a Wilderness Study Release bill so that WSA's are not left in limbo
Other Photos (click to enlarge):
Rick's Dune Riding:
Dunes - Aerial Photo
Valley Dunes - Google Interactive Satellite Image
Services in Christmas Valley:
Chevron, Pacific Pride
- Northlake Tire & Rental -
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