Oregon Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Participation and Priorities

Uses studied:
Place: State-wide


Across Oregon, off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders account for approximately 3.1 million days of riding per year and nearly $100 million in spending.  Sixty percent of respondents support increasing the OHV registration fee from $10 to $15, and more than half identify the maintenance of existing trails as the most important funding priority.


This research is relevant for those interested specifically in OHV user preferences and spending. The economic impact estimates from non-local trail use represent new spending within the different regions of the state; spending associated with trail use by local residents does not represent new economic activity. Because the study included only Oregon residents, the measured economic impact is not new money in the state.


This study addressed OHV recreation across Oregon.

Trail Type

The study considers OHV use on all public land across Oregon.


The purpose of this study is to provide detailed information about OHV use, user preferences, and OHV-related spending. This is one of four studies on specific uses. The others are: non-motorized trail, non-motorized boat, and snowmobile recreation. This information will be used to inform the 2015-2024 Oregon Trails Plan.

This project was funded by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.


  • Ninety-six percent of respondents had taken at least one day trip and 86 percent had taken at least one multi-day trip in the previous 12 months.
  • The median multi-day trip is three days long.
  • In addition to OHV riding, respondents on multi-day trips most commonly explore local towns (46%) and watch wildlife (45%).
  • On multi-day trips, respondents most commonly camp in dispersed areas (41%) or campgrounds (38%).
  • Direct access to riding areas is a somewhat or very important factor in 77 percent of respondents’ decision where to ride. Availability of bathrooms is the next most important factor, identified by 60 percent of respondents.
  • Maintaining existing trails is rated as the highest priority for funding by 56 percent of respondents. Providing trail maps and other trail information is the next highest priority (52%).
  • Sixty percent of respondents strongly or somewhat support increasing the two-year OHV permit fee from $10 to $15. Twenty-five percent somewhat or strongly oppose it.
  • Oregon OHV riders spend about $167 per group, per trip on non-local day trips (more than 50 miles from home) and $466 on non-local multi-day trips. These expenditures are significantly higher than the national average of $124 and $316 for non-local day and multi-day trips. The authors attribute this difference to relatively larger groups and longer trips.
  • Spending per person per day ranges from $14 in central Oregon to $25 along the southwest coast.


The authors distributed a web survey using two approaches: a random sample of people with OHVs registered with the state and a convenience sample of OHV clubs using e-newsletters and social media to encourage participation.

The authors use participation and expenditure data as inputs into IMPLAN, a regional economic model used to estimate economic impact.


Lindberg, K. and T. Bertone-Riggs. 2015. Oregon Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Participation and Priorities. Salem, OR: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.