Off-Road Vehicles

Get answers to your questions about off-road vehicles (ORVs) in and around Yakima County.

Areas You Can Ride
  • Vacant Lots - Find out who owns the land and ask for their permission to ride on the land. If you don't you are guilty of trespassing (going onto someone's property without their permission). Just because there's not a fence around it doesn't mean you have the right to ride there. The biggest complaint about ORV's running near houses is the noise and dust. The noise bothers everyone. Don't ride near houses. Clean air regulations govern the amount of dust that can be created. Violations of clean air regulations can carry stiff fines.
  • Washington State Department of Natural Resource (DNR), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and some Private Land - ORV's are permitted on marked DNR, WDFW roads and trails. View the law as it pertains to Off-Road and Nonhighway Vehicles 46.09 RCW.
  • Forest Service Roads - All USFS roads that are maintained including paved, gravel, or dirt have been declared public roads by the Washington State Attorney General's Office. You are required to have all of the equipment a regular vehicle has to have to operate on the roads. This includes:
    • Current plate on it.
    • Lighted Headlight and taillights on motorcycles & working lights on other ORV's like Jeeps.
    • Brakes and Brake light(s)
    • Mirror
    • Horn
    • Eye protection or windshield
    • Muffling system (emitting no more than 105 decibels at 20") with a "USFS Approved Spark Arrestor" that is stamped into the metal on motorcycle mufflers and is clearly visible.
  • Nearly 1,000 miles of trail are open to motorcycles. Check the Ranger District information for the trails that are open to motorcycles. Please note that 3 and 4 wheel ATV's cannot use motorcycle trails. Riders of these are asked to use the wider jeep trails, or in some areas designated ATV trails.
Operation Requirements
Any person can operate any ORV on DNR / WDFW roads and motorized trails with the following:
  • Current license plate or ORV tag
  • A working muffling system (emitting no more than 105 decibels at 20") with a "USFS Approved Spark Arrester" that is stamped into the metal on motorcycle mufflers and is clearly visible.
  • Headlight(s) and taillight(s) are required during the hours of darkness.
  • Brakes and Brake light(s).
  • Effective July 2005:
    • RCW 46.09.117 : Riders under 13 must be under direct supervision of a person 18 years of age or older possessing a valid license to operate a motor vehicle under chapter 46.20, RCW to ride on a nonhighway road.
    • RCW Except for an off-road vehicle equipped with seat belts and roll bars or an enclosed passenger compartment, it is a traffic infraction for any person to operate or ride an off-road vehicle on a nonhighway road without wearing upon his or her head a motorcycle helmet fastened securely while in motion. For purposes of this section, "motorcycle helmet" has the same meaning as provided in RCW 46.37.530.
Areas You Cannot Ride
  • Roadways - Only licensed street vehicles may ride on, cross or ride the shoulders/ditches of roadways.
  • Canals - Riding along canals is prohibited. These roads are for maintenance and canal operations, If you are on them, you are guilty of trespass.