One of the best things about an ATV is it's versatility. It's in the very name: All Terrain Vehicle. You can take your ATV just about anywhere, and most of the time you don't even need any modifications. We've read in the past about using your quad for everything from racing to hunting to exploring. Good riding can be found on a track, in the forest, the desert, even in the snow. So it's not surprising, with this sort of adaptability, that ATVs are found almost anywhere.

Some of the top recreational spots for four wheelers are sand dune areas. Coral Pink, Imperial, and Little Sahara are just a few big names in the western United States, with riders streaming in constantly whenever they are open. There are people who spend every possible moment riding the dunes, and many families take regular trips to ride and spend time together.

If you are new to the dunes, there are a few things you need to know. Before we even talk about the quad, you've got to get one thing straight: you will get sand everywhere. Yes, everywhere. By the time you're done there will be sand in parts of your body you didn't know you had. You will probably eat some sand, breathe some sand, and be cleaning sand out of your clothes, vehicle, and body for a good while to come. Some people hate that, but if you can get past it, you'll find a whole new way to have fun.

Riding in loose sand can be quite a bit different than firmer ground. Control is of the utmost importance, simply because it can be so easy to lose. Especially if you're just starting out, you'll find yourself fishtailing, spinning out of control, and struggling just to steer. That challenge is what makes dune riding fun! You can get special paddle tires to help with traction, which are especially helpful as you learn, but it's also possible to navigate the dunes with your standard knobby tires.

Most dune areas are just a wide open expanse of sand. Nothing feels quite as much like freedom as that! Rather than being stuck on a trail, you can pick a direction and start riding. With this freedom comes some real danger though. You aren't the only one celebrating their emancipation, so watch carefully for other riders, particularly beginners who haven't learned to control the quad yet. Since dunes can limit your line of site, always attach a safety flag. You know the type: bright red flag on top of a long pole. Watch for other flags to give you a heads up if you're about to meet another ATV coming over the other side of the dune.

If you've never tried sand dunes, the time has come. Maybe you'll never get passed the sand in your... uh, ears... but at least give it shot. The exhilaration of speeding over the sand is well worth it to countless riders out there. Who knows, maybe you'll find your new family tradition.