Shutdown: ATVs blocked from public access to the Oregon Dunes

Shutdown: ATVs blocked from public access to the Oregon Dunes
Photo courtesy paraflyer on Flickr (Creative Commons).

COOS BAY, Ore. - The Oregon Dunes are a haven for ATV riders, but with a government shutdown now in effect, folks heading there for some fun will find that some of their access has been cut off.

There are, however, still ways to get to the dunes - you just have to know where to go.

At the Oregon Dunes KOA near North Bend, for example, they are offering day-use parking for $5 per vehicle, at least until they run out of room.

Owner Kathy Gross told us they are also seeing more campers come their way after finding themselves locked out of government-run campgrounds. And some of them are folks that are new to the KOA.

"It's crabbing season, so we've gotten a new genre of campers coming in to the park," said KOA owner Kathy Gross. "That's a whole new clientele."

Gross said while her KOA campground stands to make a little more money during the shutdown, she worries that folks will simply give up on camping altogether because they think everything is closed. And that could turn many private campgrounds into ghost camps.

"Are the people going to come? Or are they going to assume that everything is shut down? That is the problem," she said.

Steve's ATV Rental, located next to the Oregon Dunes KOA, also wants folks to realize that there are still places open for business.

"We do have a few people that have been calling us and asking us - are things still going and can we still ride? And we tell them 'yes,' come on down," said Stephanie Roman, a cashier at Steve's ATV Rental.

Roman told us they have a small area where they will allow folks to park for free.

The nearby Myrtlewood Factory also has access to the dunes. They normally offer parking for folks with ATVs at a $5-per-day fee and that has not changed since the shutdown.

There is also a county campground nearby, Riley Ranch, that is open and has access to the dunes.