Saddle up your 4×4 for off-road adventure on some of North America’s most scenic routes. Get back to basics and back to nature and put your off-road vehicle to the ultimate test, utilizing its ability to go anywhere.
Here’s a quick list of some of the most enjoyable off-road experiences you can have…
Kiamichi Trail, aka “K-Trail”, Oklahoma
The historic Kiamichi Trail offers the perfect opportunity for off-grid travel through many forests and over a wide variety of terrain. Some of the best scenery of the Ouachita Mountains and southeast Oklahoma can be enjoyed along this trail.
Magruder Road Corridor, Idaho & Montana
This one-lane, steep, winding 117-mile road was named for Lloyd Magruder, an Idaho packer who was murdered there (along with his party) by thieving gold seekers in 1863. Keep that — and the fact that sudden snowstorms are possible at any time — in mind as you take your two-day tour from Elk City to Darby.
White Rim Trail, Utah
Utah’s famous sandstone arches, towers, buttes, ancient ruins and views of the Colorado and Green Rivers await along this 100-mile stretch. The White Rim can be traveled by mountain bike, too. Campsites along the trail fill up fast, so call early!
Whipsaw Trail, British Columbia
Most 4x4s can handle the 3,000-ft. elevation change and mild hill climbs, but having locking differentials, 33-inch-plus tires and a winch are an added bonus. The 50-mile jaunt takes about 10 to 12 hours, but there’s a lot to see, so plan to spend the night.
Washington Backcountry Discovery Route, Washington
This 600-mile-long terrain is not too tricky, but you will climb some seriously steep grades with no guard rails along the way. Campsites and hotels are available on the route.
Rubicon Trail, California
Only specialized 4x4s with three-inch lifts, 33-inch tires, rocker guards and a full roll cage should attempt this 22-milelong trail. Even then, expect a little sheet metal damage. Pack a fi re extinguisher and a fi rst aid kit for safe measure.
Rainbow Basin National Natural Landmark, California
Geo-formed badlands have been eroded into 8 miles of small ravines and pinnacles. The basin is found at the edge of hills north of Barstow, in a part of the Mojave Desert.
Mojave Road, Arizona and California
The 140-mile trail was blazed by Native Americans and has been traveled by explorers, colonizers and the U.S. Army. It runs from Bullhead City to Newberry Springs. Look for the Mojave Megaphone, a tubular sculpture on a rocky hilltop.
Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route, Arizona
Start just north of the Arizona/Mexico border and head 750 miles toward Utah. A few hundred miles north of Flagstaff, you’ll hit the Navajo Nation and the Colorado River Canyon. Remember to pick up a camping and riding permit before your journey.
El Camino Del Diablo, aka “The Devil’s Highway”, Arizona
This 250-mile trek dates back to the 16th century when conquistadors, settlers, missionaries and miners traveled it on foot. Now, you’ll need your 4×4 to conquer this historic terrain. Take lots of water and emergency equipment with you, if you’re up for the challenge.
Dalton Highway, aka “The Haul Road”, Alaska
The 414-mile run between Yukon River and Prudhoe Bay is for 4x4s only. Travelers should be self-sustaining and head lights need to stay on at all times. Tune your CB to channel 19 – the tractor-trailer (of which you’ll see plenty) frequency.