Adrenaline junkies crave new experiences, from the exhilarating to the memorable. Here are some of the best blood-pumping off-road adventures within the borders of the U.S.A.
Fresh air, exercise, and momentary freedom from responsibility are among the many benefits of communing with nature. While a long hike in the woods has certain restorative powers, few things will get your blood pumping like tearing through the woods on a motorcycle or navigating the vast unknown in a souped-up 4×4.
If you prefer high-rev, off-the-beaten-path exploration to peaceful nature walks, these Great American Off-Road Adventures are sure to satisfy your trailblazing inclinations.
1. Moab, Utah
If you had two of the most serene national parks in the U.S. in your backyard, you’d be pretty popular, too. Nestled between Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Southeast Utah, Moab is considered by many to be the ultimate off-roading destination in the U.S.
Whether you come on two wheels or four, you can get your kicks in any number of ways as you traverse some of the most rugged and diverse terrain the country has to offer. Pick from hundreds of Moab’s challenging 4WD trails and scenic mining roads, ride the waves of White Wash Sand Dunes, or test your rappelling skills on the unforgiving red rocks of canyon country.
2. Mojave Road, Arizona
For those looking to supplement their adventure with a healthy dose of history, it doesn’t get any better than Mojave Road. Spanning nearly 140 dusty miles from Bullhead City, Arizona, to San Bernardino, California, this unmaintained former trade route requires determination and two to three days of unpredictable 4×4 driving.
As there are no signs to guide the way along this storied trail, make sure to study the Mojave Road Guide and stock up on supplies before your trip. You’ll discover extraordinary landscapes and enjoy a secluded experience unlike any other to be found in the continental U.S.
3. Dalton Highway, Alaska
If the first two don’t sound remote enough to you, and you’d like to travel even farther from your desk and really test the limits of your off-roading skills on the “ultimate road trip,” set your sights on Dalton Highway. All you have to do is pack your survival gear, fly to Fairbanks, rent a mean 4WD vehicle and head 84 miles northwest to the town of Livengood (population 13).
From here, you’ll drive 414 miles along an ice-and-gravel trucking road into the Arctic Circle, following the trans-Alaska oil pipeline past Kanuti, Arctic and Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuges, as well as the spectacular Gates of the Arctic National Park. If you like total isolation, rough road conditions and breathtaking vistas, Dalton Highway is calling your name.
4. Rubicon Trail, California
You can’t truly call yourself a 4×4 connoisseur until you’ve conquered the challenge of Rubicon Trail. This merciless 22-mile route from Georgetown to Tahoma demands expert off-roading capabilities, and a roll cage for good measure. Because of its brutal terrain and unrelenting obstacles, many enthusiasts warn against attempting the trail unless your vehicle and skills are fully up to snuff. But don’t worry: there’s a helipad at Rubicon Springs for any emergencies should the trail get the best of you.
5. Upper Peninsula, Michigan
Wrapping up with an option to suit all skill levels, the Upper Peninsula region of Michigan offers remarkable expeditions for advanced riders and first-timers alike. Head north of Mackinac Bridge and you’ll discover serene ATV and motorcycle trails through the forest canopy that lines Lakes Michigan and Huron. Where you go from there is up to you: head to the UP for seclusion amongst the peninsula’s towering cedars and pines, or make your way to Tahquamenon Falls, the second-largest waterfall east of the Mississippi.
Keeping Rough Roads In Tiptop Shape
These spectacular off-road destinations are just a few of the best in the U.S., but there are countless more dusty trails and rocky roads just waiting for you to explore. While dust will be inevitable on whichever off-road adventure you choose, municipalities across the country trust Midwest to keep their roadways dust-free and fully operational year-round. Count on Midwest to care for your unpaved roads, and you can spend more time planning your next great adventure!