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Tearing Up The Sand Dunes Outside of Vegas

February 8, 2013 at 12:22 PM | by | ()

So, you've come to Vegas to let loose. Well, we have one way that really kicks some serious butt. If you're looking to race around the desert, enjoy the outdoors, all while cruising in one of the coolest machines ever then we have the solution for you! Dune buggies! No doubt, one of the most enjoyable tours we have taken.

Previously, we had kicked up some dust ATVing, but this was NOWHERE near the same thing. First, these dune buggies were more powerful than the ATVs. Second, these machines made you feel just that much more safe, which allows you to take a few more chances. This is where the real fun came in, rushing over sand hills, small jumps, and going almost vertical makes for an awesome driving experience. It is something everyone really must try.

Most tour companies offer a dune buggy experience about 15-40 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, so there is no long bus rides involved. We rocked the Mini Baja Chase Tour offered by Sunbuggy Tours. This "chase" option is incredibly fun as the object is to race after the speeding lead buggy in a 'capture the flag'-type scenario. A lead buggy takes off and leads you on a "Mr Toads Wild Ride" from which there is no looking back. This is an intense journey to say the least! And, the area is a well-known destination for off-road racing organizations so you know you're getting the best of the best.

Thankfully, we were with a good group which made the "race" portion much more enjoyable, we had heard stories of people ending up one-on-one with the leader which didn't appeal much to us. So, if you are going to book, try and do so with a few people, or ask for a time that's already booked so you won't be alone!

If that last bit was a little intimidating, perhaps you will be interested in the many other offerings, such as the regular dune buggy tours of the Las Vegas Dunes or the Valley of Fire. These are geared down to be more of a tour where you can still test out the freak abilities of these awesome buggies, but aren't put in the adrenaline junkie race environment.

The one complaint? Well, if you were to chose to go with Sunbuggy for either of the Las Vegas Dunes tours it is only 30 minutes of drive time, which is just a touch short for this Chatter'er, although many others in the group thought it was more than adequate. The Valley of Fire tour is longer (about 2.5 hours) and more scenic, although you wont find the same terrain that made this the fantastic experience it was in the first place.

The price is another factor with most operations charging between $150-$200 for a 30-minute ride. However, there is some flexibility if you want to take advantage of the "half ride, half drive" most tours offer. It's an option to switch up midway through and that will save you some cash. This is, of course, assuming you have a friend that you trust enough at the wheel. For those with teens or extended groups who are still craving adventure, don't worry. There are also 4- and 6-seater options available for you to take for a spin with the whole family.

As we noted with the ATV tour, wear some clothing that you donít particularly care about or donít intend on wearing again during your trip as you WILL be completely covered in dust when youíre finished. One key requirement, as to be expected, is that you must be at least 16 years old with a valid license to take the wheel.

So, get yourself pumped up and take life by the horns... errr... the wheel. Everyone in our group was bragging on the way home about how close they got to the leader, what jumps they were able to score, and overall how much of a great time the whole experience was. And, when we hear "this was 100% our trip highlight" in a city full of as many incredible opportunities as Las Vegas, you know just how much fun it really was. The best part for many? It's only 30 minutes from The Strip, allowing you lots of time to continue your winning losing streak with those casino dealers at the blackjack table. But, with this tour you have nothing to lose, so pack in a little adventure you will not forget!

[Photos: Sunbuggy.com]

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