Trip Reports

DuneFest 2014

DuneFest 2014

DuneFest 2014
Top of Banshee Hill

By Katelyn Crowley,

For five years now I’ve seen pictures, videos and articles about DuneFest through my Dad. Each year I grew more and more interested and curious about this event in the Oregon Dunes. My curiosity was finally satisfied this year when I was able to tag along with my Dad to see what DuneFest 2014 is like first hand. I had been to the Oregon dunes before, but never accompanied by 10,000 people for five days at a well-choreographed event like DuneFest.

Every summer since 2001 the Winchester Bay/ Reedsport Chamber of Commerce has put on DuneFest in the Winchester Bay Dunes. From 8:00 in the morning until after dark, the well-oiled machine that is DuneFest is running full-tilt. At any given time during the day multiple events will be running simultaneously. As a beginner at DuneFest I was stunned at the expanse of the event. Around every turn and in every available opening were motor homes, trailers, vendor tents, manufacturer semis and vehicles of every origin.

DuneFest 2014
Main Stage Area at DuneFest 2014

The unique collaboration across vehicles truly amazed me. The dunes were constantly crawling with the buzz of ATVs, dirt bikes, sand rails, UTVs, jeeps, trucks, buggies, and pretty much any combination of those vehicles you could concoct. You can see anything from a Camaro jacked up on huge tires to a stretch Escalade limo, and everything in between. People from all over bring their fastest, biggest, weirdest, and most extreme vehicles to show them off in the sand. You can find everything and anything with an engine at DuneFest.

The BeastPolaris RZR XP4 1000
UTVGuide’s Customized RZRs

I got to enjoy the dunes while riding in my Dads two UTVs that are anything but stock. We brought out the Beast, a big bore, turbo, long travel RZR XP along with his TMW-built RZR XP 4 1000. These two UTVs were a blast to ride in, handling the obstacles the Oregon dunes offer with ease and in style. Having these two UTVs made getting around DuneFest much easier, allowing me to experience the full extent of this off-roading festival.

These UTVs also gave me the chance to get a feel for the Winchester Bay dunes. The dunes are lined and littered with grasses, trees and shrubs, making the dunes almost trail like. This combination presents unique challenges and opportunities for off-roaders, which I came to enjoy. A clear favorite at Winchester Bay dunes is Banshee hill, one of the tallest and steepest hill climbs in the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area. This steep dune has plenty of obstacles to weave through as you climb up or speed down the hill. If you aren’t in the mood to tackle Banshee Hill or ride the dunes, not a worry! DuneFest has an event for everyone to enjoy.

DuneFest Freestyle Show

DuneFest 2014 Freestyle ShowDuneFest 2014 Freestyle ShowDuneFest 2014 Freestyle ShowDuneFest 2014 Freestyle Show
Freestyle Shows at DuneFest 2014

What I enjoyed most about DuneFest was the variety of events that were offered to all ages, making the off-roading event worthy of its mantra, “The Most Fun a Family can have in the Sand.” Some crowd favorites at DuneFest are the sand drag races, freestyle performances, tire toss, ATV and UTV races, poker run, barrel racing, and the show and shine. These events encourage both adults and kids to get out on the dunes, on the track or at the main stage, creating a family oriented occasion for everyone to enjoy.

My personal favorites were the freestyle performances by Colton Moore, Marco Picado, and Robert Hazlem, the drag races and the show and shine. The three pros stunned the crowd and myself with their crazy backflip tricks. Doing tricks on a quad or dirt bike upwards of 30 feet in the air is hard enough as it is, yet these three dared to complete insane stunts upside down and within 20 feet of each other. If watching crazy backflip tricks isn’t your thing, the drag races are another exhilarating event for those who love speed, sand, and the smell of race fuel.

DuneFest 2014 Sand DragsDuneFest 2014 Sand Drags
DuneFest Sand Drags

There was always a diversity of vehicles tackling the 300-foot drag track. There were UTVs, ATVs, drag jeeps and sand rails all battling for the title of the fastest machine. Some beginner’s tips from me to you are to always be up wind from the drags, if not you may get showered by the massive sand roost these vehicles throw out. Also, plugging your ears is recommended if you don’t want your ears buzzing for the next hour. If you’re looking to see the coolest paint jobs and most tricked out vehicles, then the show and shine is an event for you.

DuneFest 2014 Show & Shine
Guy Fieri’s Beautiful Polaris RZR XP4 1000 at the Show & Shine Competition

I loved the show and shine because all the colorful, unique, and polished vehicles are all in one place for you to admire. You may get the occasional glimpse of one of these vehicles cruising through the dunes, but at the show and shine you can get up close to them and really see how incredible they all are. This year at DuneFest, Guy Fieri, the Food Network TV personality, came prepared to the show and shine with nine decked out UTVs for his friends and himself. His Polaris XP4 1000 with a bright yellow paint job was a crowd favorite in the UTV class. My personal favorite was a bright red sand rail that was a combination of a classic Ford and a modern sand rail. The mix of the classic body style and modern technology had a stunning outcome.

SSV WorksElka SuspensionGMZ Race ProductsRugged Radios
DuneFest 2014 Vendor Row

One of my favorite places to frequent at DuneFest is vendor row. Parts, accessories, clothes and food can all be found right next to the dunes in vendor row. It’s a great place to stop and get a quick snack or product before hitting the dunes again. Some companies like SSV Works, Elka Suspension, Muzzy Performance Products and Rugged Radios were even doing on-site installations and tuning of their products. DuneFest also had a huge manufacturers representation. Polaris, Can-Am, Arctic Cat, and John Deere were all there giving free demo rides throughout the duration of the event. This was a great opportunity to get behind the wheel of the hottest new vehicles, right there in the dunes.

Polaris RZR Demo Rides at DuneFestCan-Am at DuneFest 2014
Manufacture Demo Rides

Being with my Dad, an off-road journalist, gave me some unique opportunities to experience DuneFest to its fullest. On several occasions my dad and I went out to the dunes to take pictures and videos of some impressive vehicles. We did photo shoots with Rugged Radios and their Manx Buggy, Rigid Industries and GMZ trucks, TMW, K&T Performance, Muzzys Performance and SSV Works UTV’s as well as a Moto Life truck that’s body was a rusty old Ford, but has a trophy truck running gear and a turbocharged engine.

Turbocharged Polaris RZR XP4 Truck at DuneFest 2014
Photoshoots in the Dunes

My favorites to photograph were the Moto Life truck and K&T Performance RZRs. The Moto Life truck had a really interesting vibe to it. It had a rusty blue green body with some matte black finishes. Don’t let this “old beater” fool you; it has gobs of horsepower and can launch its self over dunes. The photo shoot itself became an event; tons of people began lining the dune we were shooting on. It was incredible how well the truck preformed even though it wasn’t working at its full capacity due to some complications with the turbo. Another favorite of mine was a blue K&T performance turbo RZR we shot. This turbo UTV could throw a massive roost in the air, making for some great pictures. It also had a really colorful and bright paint job, which looked great in the dunes.

Throughout my experience at DuneFest one thing stood out to me, the camaraderie shown between off-roaders. If someone saw anyone else stuck, broken down or hurt, there was no hesitation to step up and help, regardless if they knew you or not. As cheesy as it sounds, everyone was like a family, and that’s what truly drew me into DuneFest. After experiencing DuneFest first hand I’ve realized no matter how many pictures you see and articles you read, you can’t fully comprehend the enormity of DuneFest until you’re right there in the Winchester Bay dunes. After reading this I hope I’ve either sparked your interest in DuneFest or compelled you to experience it first hand like I did.

More Photos:

Sand Drags

DuneFest 2014 Sand DragsDuneFest 2014 Sand Drags

DuneFest 2014 Sand DragsDuneFest 2014 Sand DragsDuneFest 2014 Sand DragsSTM Powersports billet clutch

DuneFest 2014 Sand DragsDuneFest 2014 Sand DragsDuneFest 2014 Sand DragsDuneFest 2014 Sand Drags

Show & Shine

DuneFest 2014 Show & Shine

DuneFest 2014 Show & Shine

DuneFest Show & ShineDuneFest Show & Shine
Top Two for the Shine & Shine – UTV Class

Side X Side Last Man Standing

DuneFest Last Man Standing SxS Race

Side X Side Last Man StandingSide X Side Last Man StandingSide X Side Last Man StandingSide X Side Last Man Standing

Muzzys Performance 1132cc RZR XP 1000
Muzzys Performance takes first place

GMZ Race Products Tire Toss

GMZ Race Products Tire Toss GMZ Race Products Tire Toss GMZ Race Products Tire Toss

OEM Demo Rides

DuneFest 2014 Polaris Demo Rides

Can-Am Demo Ride at DuneFestPolaris Demo Ride at DuneFestPolaris Demo Ride at DuneFest

Helicopter Rides

Aerial View of DuneFest

Aerial View of DuneFestAerial View of DuneFestAerial View of DuneFestAerial View of DuneFest

SxS Barrel Racing

DuneFest 2014 Barrel Racing

SxS Barrel RacingSxS Barrel RacingSxS Barrel RacingSxS Barrel Racing

Can-Am MaverickArctic Cat Wildcat TrailArctic Cat Wildcat Trail

Vendor Area

Vendor Area at DuneFest2014

SSV WorksElka SuspensionMuzzys PerformanceJohn Deere

Can-AmGMZ Race ProductsPolarisPRP Seats

Rugged Radios

In the Dunes:

TMW Off-Road

Rugged Radios

UTV Guide – The Beast

UTV Guide – RZR XP4 1000

SSV WorksSSV WorksSSV WorksSSV Works
SSV Works

Muzzys Performance

Turbocharged Polaris RZR XP4 1000

Turbocharged Polaris RZR XP4 1000Long Travel Polaris RZR XP 4 1000Turbocharged Polaris RZR XP4 1000Turbocharged Polaris RZR XP4 1000
K&T Performance – Turbocharged Polaris RZR XP4 1000

Random Stuff at DuneFest 2014 Truck Truck

GMZ Race ProductsGMZ Race ProductsGMZ Race ProductsGMZ Race Products
GMZ Race Products

Rigid Industries
Rigid Industries

Can Am Maverick Max takes on the Winchester Bay Dunes during DuneFest 2014



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Can Am Maverick Max takes on the Winchester Bay Dunes during DuneFest 2014



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Can Am Maverick Max takes on the Winchester Bay Dunes during DuneFest 2014



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Can Am Maverick Max takes on the Winchester Bay Dunes during DuneFest 2014



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Can-Am Maverick MAXCan-Am Maverick MAX
Can-Am Maverick MAX takes on Winchester Bay Dunes during DuneFest 2014


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