For owners of 4WD vehicles, what better way to put them to the test than by tackling some of the best offroad destinations in the country? Below are five of the best places for more adventurous drivers to use their 4x4s as they were designed to be used.
The Rubicon Trail
Every year, this route draws crowds of serious offroaders who are attracted to its challenging terrain. This trail in El Dorado County, California is really just a poorly maintained section of road; however, it presents one of the most challenging offroading trails in the world. The typical trip here takes four days even though the trail itself is only about 22 miles long. What makes it so challenging? It contains a series of rocky climbs and steep grades along with switchbacks and ledges that require the right vehicle and skilled driving to conquer. Drivers should note that sections of the trail are private property and should be respected as such.
Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
ORV trails are available here in addition to all of the amenities provided by a large national park such as camp sites and hiking trails. The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest is therefore suitable for a trip that includes numerous outdoor activities including offroading. Vehicle use is not permitted in most of the forest except on those trails designated for ORV use. These trails may be closed at certain times to allow them to recover from overuse. The numerous trails include those at Beasley Knob, Rocky Flats, and Davenport Mountain; offroad enthusiasts should note that fees are required for some of them.
The Superlift ORV Park
This is a privately owned offroad park in Arkansas that provides amenities such as camp sites and cabins for offroad enthusiasts. The 1,254-acre park features a variety of trails with various levels of difficulty. It is open not only to 4×4 owners, but to ATV riders and dirt bikers as well. The entrances to all of the trails are mapped, with each guest being provided a map upon admission.
The Badlands ORV Park
This park is 800 acres in Indiana, near the town of Lafayette. Its trails provide everything the offroad enthusiast could want, from mud to gravel hills and rock crawling. Offroaders get to test their vehicles in deep water and sand dunes as well. They have trails that are suitable for everything from ATVs to dirt bikes. Sand rails are forbidden.
While it could be argued that the entire state of Arizona is basically a really big ORV park, there are a few areas that stand out. The Reddington Pass area lies to the east of Tucson and can be found by taking Tanque Verde Road until it becomes Reddington Road; somewhere around milepost 12 is where the fun starts. The area is challenging because of the number of obstacles it provides; these range from deep water with soft sand at the bottom to rocky climbs. Additionally, some of the stream crossings are tricky in that they look shallower than they really are. There is not much in the way of flat, easy terrain here; drivers and ATV riders should be ready for a major challenge.
Offroading can be a thrilling experience even for those who are not normally into motorsports. Among the many benefits (aside from vehicular challenges) are the stunning variety of scenery and landscapes all over the country. It is the perfect way for the nature lover to experience terrain that they otherwise would never get to see.
This article was contributed by Sheldon Armstrong with his good friend John Davis, an avid traveller who loves sharing his stories and tips with the web. He recommends checking out Bennche if you’re looking to buy your own ATV for your trips. Happy offroading!