Rent a UTV Off-Road Adventures is located in east El Paso Texas. We are near a popular desert area locals have dubbed “RED SANDS.” Red Sands is NOT an off-road park or official off-highway recreational area. In fact, we DO NOT recommend you visit the area on your own. Red Sands is not managed or maintained by anyone and many areas are actually closed to the public. In spite of this, Red Sands has been a popular area for off-road enthusiasts since the early 1960’s! Professional Baja-Style races and organized trail rides are often hosted in this area by various clubs and organizations. Since Red Sands is not an offical off-highway recreational area, it does not have any official borders and technically does not exist. Red Sands is sort of a general term used by locals to categorize the entire desert area in east El Paso that lies south of Hueco Tanks State Park off of Montana Ave (US Hwy 62/180). Red Sands is comprised of both private and public lands which extend for miles, featuring rolling sand dunes, hills and hundreds of compact dirt trails. Red Sands was once submerged under an ancient sea approximately 34 million years ago. Over the course of millions of years the ancient water receded and through various processes of erosion the area you see today was created. Ancient fossils and precious American Indian Artifacts, such as arrowheads, pottery and more are scattered throughout the region.
Here are a few safety tips to consider when exploring the Desert
- If your vehicle is not equipped with 4×4 (and off-road tires), DO NOT attempt to drive into the desert in East El Paso, because YOU WILL get stuck in the fine sand.
- When riding ATV’s, UTV’s, ROV’s anywhere in the desert use appropriate safety equipment. In Texas, you are required to wear a helmet and eye protection on ATV’s / UTV’s. You must also display front and rear lighting at night. Additionally, you can be cited by Law Enforcement for having a passenger on a single passenger ATV. You can also be cited for riding recklessly or consuming alcohol while operating an off-road vehicle.
- Its always a good idea to equip your off-road vehicle with a whip & flag. Some accidents occur because riders fail to see each other behind sand dunes and around blind corners on narrow trails. A whip & flag allows other riders to identify your position and will prevent a collision.
- When riding in the desert, please be aware that you are not the only person out there. Anticipate that there will be other riders around blind corners and on the other side of sand dunes. The desert area in East El Paso is not controlled or regulated like a traditional off-highway park. There are no traffic control patterns or devices in place. You ride at your own risk in the desert.
- When riding in the desert, do not ride over ANY sand dune without first stopping at the top of the dune to check the other side. MOST sand dunes at are sloped on one side and have drop-offs on the opposite side. You can easily go air-borne and crash! Additionally, there could be other vehicles or people on the opposite side of the dune that you can’t see. So, stop at the top of the dune and ensure its safe, before proceeding.
- Blindly Discharging Firearms without a proper back-stop near people or structures is extremely dangerous and could land you in hot water with Law Enforcement. The desert areas in East El Paso are frequently visited by local off-road enthusiasts. Stray rounds can easily result in serious injuries or loss of life to visitors in the area. We encourage you to take proper safety precautions and always check with local authorities for safe and responsible areas to target practice.
- Do not DRINK & DRIVE or DRINK & RIDE! El Paso County Sheriff’s Office frequently patrol desert areas and you may be subject to arrest if you are intoxicated while operating a vehicle.
- Desert areas in east El Paso are not easily accessible by ambulance and other first responders. YOU RIDE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Always have a buddy with you and carry a cell phone, preferably with GPS capability. If you need help DIAL 911
Over the years, the desert areas in East El Paso have been home to thousands of off-road enthusiasts who truly appreciate the area and have gone to great lengths to organize community desert clean-up events to preserve the local eco-system. Unfortunately, despite their great efforts, many folks continue to litter. Broken beer bottles, nails from burnt pallets, wire from burnt tires, and other debris continue to plague the area. The desert in East El Paso is a beautiful area that sadly many folks take for granted. As a community, we can do better. Help us spread the word and please follow these simple suggestions when visiting local desert areas.
- Bring a trash bag and use it. Pack out what you packed in.
- Please throw your trash away in a dumpster. Please do not leave your bags of trash in the desert. Nobody is going to pick it up for you.
- Please do not burn tires or pallets. The combustible material will burn away, but the nails in the pallets and the steel wire in the tires will not burn away. The metal objects left behind will eventually end up in someone’s tires or just remain trapped in the sand to further pollute the area. Additionally, burning tires is illegal. The fumes are toxic and dangerous to your health.
Be an “ECO-HERO” and help spread the word that littering in the desert is NOT cool.
Always encourage those around you to use trash bags.If you see someone illegally dumping tires, building materials, furniture, or other large debris in the desert, please report it to authorities by dialing 911.