The 17-year UTV evolution and progression
Did Sand Hollow help make the UTV progression or was it the UTVs that helped create the Sand Hollow experience?
Sand Hollow state park opens: April 2003
Yamaha Rhino makes the first UTV turned sport: Late 2003
With its bright red sand dunes that start from the beautiful blue desert lake and heads straight up the mountain, it is making a dune play area. To get your day started with play immediately, as you unload your UTV, be careful not to get stuck before you start. There can be some deep sand if the wind has been blowing for a while, and believe me it does blow. The town of Hurricane, Utah, might be named this for a reason.
You can start heading different directions as soon as you pass through the tunnel, which has the top cement littered with markings from countless flags and antennas being dragged along the top from your UTV & ATVs, and motorcycles.
This is where the rock crawling experience comes in, and it can be as extreme as you could possibly want. I have watched videos of UTVs crawling up some of the more extreme areas…do you think you could do that?
Then, when you get there in person you realize these guys and gals that tackle this terrain must for sure, have some of their marbles lose, rolling around inside their head.
Just looking at some of the obstacles and the extreme angles, you just can’t believe a Side x Side is capable of conquering this type of terrain. Then, off in the distance, you hear the distinct exhaust sound coming up the trail and right over the area you just looked at, and they drive right up until it like it was not a big deal at all… ha!
You have all your buddies prodding you on and yelling that you can do it – no problem! I think they are saying your Polaris Turbo can do it, but not one thought from them about the fact that you might just be afraid of heights, and the fear of rolling back down where you just came up.
And, by the way, you have barely touched the surface of what is available here at Sand Hollow. You can head out and do some high- speed desert riding down to the Gypsum mines, and then well into Arizona and back, making your day rides well into the 70- mile range.
The trails head every direction from the exit out of the tunnel – they head up and sideways until you have spent some time playing around. Use the lake as your landmark area, because it gives you a good lookout and reference point.
The trails have some markings, but it is not really easy to stay on any main course without someone in your group that can work a GPS.
You have to wonder who was the first group of Side x Siders that decided to climb some of the insane looking sharp edged-straight trails up the hill, and thought that was a good idea to go conquer. It reminds me of the groups that go climb mountains and you ask them why and they say “because it’s there”.
Middle of December and the temperatures are hanging around 55 degrees and sunny, bringing with it some of the best riding you could hope to play in the desert where Sand Hollow lives. If you have been down there on days when it gets in the ’80s, it feels like 100 degrees, so this is a great time of year to experience this scenery.
Sand Hollow has become so much more to see and experience with UTVs, becoming some of the best rock crawling machines out there…. the only limit is YOU!
Skip to 2020 and we now have the Polaris XPs and the Can-Am specific rock crawlers, along with Yamaha making its YXZ additions for rock crawling. Kawasaki has been a great crawler for quite a while and now has the rock tough KRX 1000. It makes you wonder how the new Honda Talons will give the game one more leap of evolution.
When you get to start making Sand Hollow your yearly trip, you will be able to experience new trails, sand dune riding, and high- speed desert riding as fast as your machine will go with family and friends.
We have found that our Rugged car to car radios have been a great investment, and with hands- free communication, you can keep track of your buddies and not eat all their dust in the meantime.
The land is vast and there are many opportunities to get lost out here in the desert.
When you ride to the top of some of the mountains and look back toward the lake, the view is breathtaking… there are so many different colors in your 20- mile radius. It makes you realize that the desert can come alive and the beauty is just incredible. Now top that off with the snow on the highest peaks.
I have now been going to the state park for the last six years with UTVs, and each and every year has been so unique in what to see and experience. Believe me, it will test every living thing inside of you.
From day rides to camping overnight in the campground, to staying in the hotels in Hurricane, it can be a new riding experience every time. Or you can go try and tackle what you did not dare the last time.
After five or six trips there, you have not even scratched the surface of where you can go and challenge yourself, from sand dunning, rock crawling, and high- speed desert riding. Then drive into town and have some dinner, without ever getting out of your UTV… the towns are all UTV friendly.
I hope you all get to experience what comes about with this area in the next ten years – maybe self-driving UTV’s you just hang onto for dear life?
Let’s all have fun and clean up after ourselves, so this helps to keep the opportunity to ride our UTVs well into the future.
Maybe we will run into one another at some point in the dunes.
Till we ride again…