Best Off-Road Trails in the U.S. for Truck Enthusiasts

off-road trails

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Off-roading is a beloved activity that allows adventurers to experience exhilaration, travel, and natural wonders all in one. Outdoor experiences like off-roading and overlanding bring a lot to the table, including travel opportunities, new memories, and a sense of adventure. But with so many top-notch off-roading trails and experiences to choose between, where is an explorer to begin? Let’s delve into the best off-road trails in the U.S.

What state is best for overlanding?

Utah has the most off-roading trails in the United States, along with some of the most scenic, unique locations. This makes it one of the first places enthusiasts think of when it comes to off-roading and overlanding destinations. Utah has some of the best off-road trails in the U.S., including Hell’s Revenge, Paiute Trail, and Moab.

Moab, Utah

Man examining an open-air Jeep for off-roading on rugged terrain

Moab, Utah, is one of the most famous off-roading spots in the United States- and for good reason. In this vast desert lies the colossal red rock formations of Arches National Park. Nearby is Canyonlands National Park, decorated with Native American rock art and river-carved buttes and mesas. With all the museum attractions and rare natural wonders, there’s much to explore in Moab. Many of these places are difficult to get to, making the pristine destination that much more of a treasure. Since many parts are so remote, it’s a good idea to pack a charger or portable generator. This allows explorers to power cell phones, navigation devices, communication devices, portable stoves, and electric coolers or fridges on the go. With rare natural wonders that can only be reached by going off-road, it’s easy to see why Moab sits at the top of the best off-road trails in the U.S. list.

Paiute ATV Trail

Not far from Moab lies the Paiute ATV Trail. This public trail is a 275-mile-long loop with many side trails and forest offshoots for extra adventuring. The trail passes through many neighboring towns that you can explore and re-up on supplies. If you bring a portable fridge/freezer, you can stock up as much as you like for the trip ahead without worrying about food spoiling. Paiute is a fantastic introductory trial for first-time off-roaders to acquaint them with the ropes (and recovery shackles). If you have family or mini off-roaders in the making, this would be the trail to take them on. Though the gear requirements are modest, you’ll still need the 4×4 basics, like a good winch, winch kit, differentials, and an off-road bumper.

Mojave Road

Two men standing next to a 4x4 vehicle for off-roading near a mountainous landscape

Mojave Road spans a lengthy 150 miles across the Mojave Desert. It’s a sandy, unkept road for those with four-wheel drive and the grit to make it through. This trek takes three days if you’re lucky, but it isn’t always so accommodating to travelers. Expect to get stuck, lost, and thirsty. A party of two should bring at least 12 gallons of water for this trip. Be sure to equip yourself with the best storage options and appliances for the Mojave escapade. 12 gallons of water, generators, and portable fridges can take up a lot of real estate, so you may need to equip your ride with underseat storage boxes. Underseat storage boxes provide a sound solution to maximize space. What is the reward for venturing this far out into the desert away from civilization? Stargazing views are unlike any other.

What is the most famous off-road trail?

Deep in the Sierra Nevada lies the legendary Rubicon Trail. It has garnered a reputation as one of the best off-road trails in the U.S.- and the most challenging. With 22 miles of unforgiving topography, this rugged route is not for the faint of heart. Most souls brave enough for the quest make a trip out of it, camping overnight in various sites. Though uncommon, the truly ambitious might attempt to complete the entirety of the trail in one day. Venturing onto the Rubicon is a guaranteed ticket to challenging obstacles and sticky situations. You’re going to need a solid winch to stand a chance at this endeavor. Warn winches are the apex of the winch world, according to experts. Something heavy-duty like the Warn 12,000 lb. Winch will give you the pulling power to recover from the toughest of binds. Prepare yourself with the right gear and get ready to take on the trail of all trails.

Cinder Hills OHV

Jeeps lined up on rocky terrain in front of a unique rock formation

These rocky roads get their name from the volcanic cinder cones and craters that color them red. This unique setting contains 13,500 acres of off-roading land, with a rare Ponderosa Pine Forest within. The best part- all this is up for grabs for off-roading. Since there are a lot of steep slopes with loose gravel, you’ll want to equip your truck with quality differential lockers. Be sure to prepare your vehicle and inventory for this one-of-a-kind location.

Broken Arrow

This Arizonian trail is jam-packed with scenery and unique formations. Deep in the Coconino National Forest lies a desert with sky-high buttes and red-rock canyons. Much of the eight-mile trail is an easy fit for Jeeps, but some of the rockier sections can be a tight squeeze and a challenge. Consider adding an Aries Off-Road Grille Guard for added style and protection on the rocky desert floor. With the right equipment, you can tackle the Broken Arrow trail with confidence.

Ocala National Forest

Out in the wilds of Florida is Ocala National Forest, a diverse landscape with sand pine forests, springs, and natural pools. It’s home to the Big Scrub ecosystem, cypress-covered wetlands, towering oak trees, and subtropical oases. This national forest includes nearly 200 miles of ATV trails and 80 miles of larger off-road vehicle trails, making it an off-roading paradise destination. Of the best off-road trails in the U.S., Ocala is one of the more relaxed contenders. Apart from occasional sand, mud, and rain showers, there isn’t anything particularly challenging about Ocala National Rainforest. This trail is more about taking in the breathtaking scenery and experiencing rare natural wonders before you.

Imogene Pass

Man checking tire pressure on off-roading vehicle

Unlike the Ocala trails, Imogene Pass is a foreboding trek more than 13,000 feet high above sea level. Being one of the highest roads in Colorado, it is not for beginners. Imogene Pass Road is entirely unpaved, so it requires full attention and effort. The pass is over 16 miles long, encompassing the ghost towns of Sneffels and Tomboy, the Imogene Basin, the summit, and more along the way. Four-wheel drive is a must, as the slopes get steep and the gravel gets loose. The Smittybilt Compact Air CO2 Air System would be advantageous on this trail for quick tire inflation after rough rides. This trail is for those who seek a challenge, risk, and exhilaration.

Alpine Loop

The Alpine Loop is a series of roads designated for four-wheel driving. It can get drivers to most of the beautiful parts of Colorado- if they’re smart about it. The loop is full of rugged bumps, sharp turns, and steep drops. But if you play your cards right, you can see Lake City, Ouray, Silverton, and more without busting up your truck. The loop contains over 60 miles of old mining roads, all but four of them unpaved. It connects Cinnamon Pass and Engineer Pass, two of the highest mountain passes in the area. With its high elevation and difficulty level, this trail is no joke. A proper winch recovery kit with shackles and recovery ropes is a must. Despite its difficulty, the Alpine Loop is beloved by those who crave the rush of the winding twists, turns, slopes, and drops!

What is the longest off-road trail in the US?

The Trans America Trail is the longest off-roading trail in the country. It spans 4,253 miles across the continent, from starting points in New York and North Carolina to endpoints in California and Oregon. This lengthy trail is unlike any other, allowing you to take a road trip across the country completely off-road. It includes mud, rocks, forests, and farms for a full range of stunning scenic experiences. Considering the ground you’ll cover on this trail, consider keeping a tire deflator and air compressor handy. This will allow you to enjoy the entirety of the trail with optimal tires and peace of mind. If length is how you measure the quality of a trail, then the T.A.T. ranks first on the list of best off-road trails in the U.S., And if you want to see the lush biodiversity and topography that graces all of America, this trail is the way to go.

Off-roading Trails in the U.S.: Where to Begin

Jeep with soft top off-roading on rugged canyon landscape

We hope you’ve enjoyed the start of discovering some of America’s finest trails for off-roading and outdoor adventures. No matter how many of them you conquer, each trip brings forth new experiences and memories. Once you have your trail of choice, you can begin to prepare accordingly with the right gear. Prepare to embark on some of the best off-road trails in the U.S.

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