Do you want to take your off-roader on a trail for a fun weekend getaway, but don’t know where to? Although modern pickup trucks and large SUVs can tackle all sorts of terrains, it is best to be prepared. Picking the right trail is one of the most important things to consider, as it will affect the overall experience.
When looking for an adventure, choose a terrain suitable for both your driving skills and vehicles’ off-road capabilities. That way, you’ll ensure that everything remains on the safe side and prevent any damage. While the driving component is the focus point, you may look for trails that go through some interesting places. Scenic landscapes and stunning views are something that will take the entire experience to the next level.
In this article, we bring 10 best off-road trails & tracks and explore what each of them offers.
Rubicon Trail, California
Situated between Lake Tahoe and Sacramento, the Rubicon Trail is probably the most iconic name in the off-road community. With only 22 miles that span between El Dorado National Forest and Tahoe National Forest, it’s not very long. But despite the shortness, this trail features one of the most extreme terrains you may find.
Nonetheless, this is not a place for stock vesicles and you should only attempt it with an upgraded 4×4 vehicle. Things like suspension lifts, big tires together, roll cages and undercarriage protections are more than necessary. Although the landscape is great, you won’t have time for it while battling with the steering wheel, throttle, and brakes.
Washington Backcountry Discovery Route, Washington State
If you’re looking for a trail that offers a fascinating experience without testing the limits of your car, this is the one. You may either be new to the off-roading world or just aiming at a comfortable journey through nature.
Even though it features some very harsh inclines, this is not a trail that will put much pressure on drivers or vehicles. During a five-day run, you will go through a variety of terrains, ranging from Cascade Mountains rainforests to barren Eastern Washington deserts.
Moreover, with several campsites and hotels, this a perfect trail for those who don’t want to give up on creature comforts.
El Camino del Diablo, Arizona
With a name that translates to “The Devil’s Highway”, this trail dates back several centuries ago. It connects Ajo and Fortuna Foothills in Arizona and runs along the border with Mexico for most of its length.
Besides long sections of gravel roads, this trail also goes over some harsh terrains suitable for heavy-duty off-road vehicles. Pinta Sand Dunes and the Tule Mountains are just some things you will come across during your travel. As this is a deserted and inhibited area, make sure to pack enough weather and other essential supplies.
Hidden Falls Adventure Park, Marble Falls, Texas
With all kinds of off-road surfaces combined with other outdoor activities, Hidden Falls Adventure Park offers a unique package. The trails feature everything from hard dirt and solid rocks to water crossing and muddy puddles. While running along any of them, you’ll witness a scenic landscape that includes springs and waterfalls.
Other available activities, like fishing or hiking, ensure that passengers who don’t enjoy a bumpy ride will have a choice. Together with a well-equipped campsite, this makes it a perfect place for a weekend getaway with friends or family.
White Rim Trail, Utah
Among our choices, the White Rim Trail that runs through Canyonlands National Park is probably the most scenic one. The phrase ‘out of this world’ is probably what you will use to describe the views. Colorado and Green rivers, combined with impressive sandstone towers and arches, are something you’ll remember for a lifetime.
Despite the appearance, the trail itself is not too demanding when it comes to driving skills and vehicles’ capabilities. This makes it suitable for relaxed and amusing weekend adventures with friends or family. However, make sure you’ve packed enough water and supplies for two days, as this trail is about 100 miles long.
Alpine Loop Trail, Colorado
Starting near Lake City, the Alpine Loop Trail is perfect for lifting your off-roading experience high into the mountains. Although the track itself is civilized and suitable for most 2WD vehicles, the spectacular views will take your breath away.
While traveling this 63-mile long path over the San Juan Mountains, you will also scale a couple of 12,000-foot passes. Those of you unfamiliar with the local climate should know that some parts of this trail are impassable during winter.
Mojave Road, Arizona & California
One of the best-know trails is Mojave Road, which goes from Bullhead City in Arizona to Newberry Springs in California. Besides rocks and gravel, this 140-miles long trail also has a fair share of sand-covered terrains and water crossings. This is where specialized upgrades, such as desert rated tires and snorkel intakes, will prove their true value.
On your journey, you will come across iconic landmarks that include Colorado River, Rock Spring, and Joshua Tree Forest. And, just like with any other desert trail, don’t forget to carry a lot of water with you.
Dalton Highway, Alaska
If you don’t like scorched desert trails and gravel is your favorite surface, the Dalton Highway will feel like home. Known as ‘The Haul Road’, this 414 miles long strip of gravel runs from Yukon River to Prudhoe Bay. Being used by local truckers means the only real obstacles will be potholes and sharp pieces of gravel.
We won’t spend many words describing how beautiful and breath-taking Alaska is, as you must see with your own eyes. As this road goes through the wilderness, make sure to have enough essential supplies for both you and your car. Have in mind that besides trucks, you may even come across grizzly-bears.
Imperial Sand Dunes, Yuma, California
Most people don’t know that shootings of movies like ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ or ‘Scorpion King’ took place in Imperial Sand Dunes. With the area that spans for over 40 miles, this is something that offers a completely different off-roading experience.
Speed and power will be your best friends while driving over these enormous sand waves, which don’t tolerate insecurity. Having suspension upgrades and special dune tires are absolute necessities for these kinds of terrains. Meanwhile, extreme temperatures and getting lost are some things you should be aware of.
Magruder Road Corridor, Idaho & Montana
Connecting Elk City in Idaho with Darby in Montana, this trail bears the name of Lloyd Magruder, who was murdered on it, together with his party. Although this may not be the most convincing advertisement on its own, the trail itself is an off-roading masterpiece. Road signs warning you of steep and winding sections or possibilities of snowstorms only tell one part of the story. The fact it takes two to three days to traverse this 117-mile track gives a better insight. You will also find several primitive campsites on this route, which offer stunning views of green valleys and humming rivers.
This article has covered a wide range of various tracks and trails so that everybody could find a perfect match. Experienced and hardcore drivers may want to explore their limits in places like the Rubicon Trail or Mojave Road. Still, those looking for an adventurous but relaxed weekend will probably pick something as moderate as the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route.