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11 of the Best States for Off-Roading

top ATV states

This country is filled with fantastic scenery for off-road riding. Whether you’re on the East Coast, West Coast or Midwest, you’ll find an array of terrain to tackle on the trails. But, which state has the most to offer when it comes to riding your ATV or UTV? ATV Trader is breaking down 11 of the best states for off-roading.

1. Alaska

Alaska might be far-from-home for most, but it’s worth the journey if you’re interested in a four-wheeling adventure on rugged terrain. Some of the state’s best trails are located near Anchorage, in the Southcentral region, where you can take your pick of more than 100 miles of multi-use trails. There are several guided off-road tours here, as well as north in the Mat-Su Valley, where you can view glaciers on your trail ride. 

Alaska, the largest state in the U.S., boasts even more trails outside of Denali National Park & Preserve. There you can immerse yourself in the state’s backcountry and spot wildlife along the way.

2. Arizona

Arizona has thousands of miles of trails for all types of off-road riding. Use your quad to climb over Sedona’s red rocks. Navigate your way down a steep trail to a desert canyon waterfall or ride along the volcanic cinder field to an abandoned mining town.

Take on the sand dunes near Yuma to kick up some dust in a dune buggy. The Ehrenberg Sandbowl is a popular locale for off-roading on the rolling dunes. In the eastern part of the state, Hot Well Dunes is one of Arizona’s most unique recreational areas, featuring 2,000 acres of sand dunes and relaxing hot tubs to soak in after your ride.

3. California

When it comes to off-road riding, California is best known for being home to the Imperial Sand Dunes. These dunes were famously used in scenes for Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. This dune system spans over 40 miles, with many dunes reaching heights of more than 300 feet above the desert floor.

In addition to the desert, California has more off-road trails throughout the state. Hollister Hills State Vehicle Recreation Area, located in the Gabilan Mountains, offers scenery of the rolling green hills, lush canyons, and sparkling creeks. Along the coast, Pismo Beach is the only beach in California that you can ride on.

4. Colorado

Colorado is home to thousands of miles of mountain trails along whitewater rivers. Explore this breathtaking terrain on your own or with one of the rental and tour companies in the state. Colorado’s state parks and national forests are a great way to explore the state’s wilderness.

The Wagon Wheel Trail System in Meeker is one of the most popular in Colorado. Take a scenic tour of the White River National Forest along more than 250 miles of trails. The Grand Mesa Trails near Grand Junction are brimming with dense forests, leading to lakes and meadows, that make for a thrilling ride for all experience levels.

5. Florida

While most visit Florida for the beaches and amusement parks, the Sunshine State is also a great destination for off-road riders. What the state lacks in elevation, it makes up for in diverse ecosystems. Get dirty and make a splash in mud bogs or swamps. You might even spot an alligator on your trail.

Ocala National Forest is one of the most popular places for ATVing in Florida. This national forest has more than 600 picturesque lakes and rivers and nearly 200 miles of ATV trails. A former potato farm was transformed into a mudder’s paradise at Redneck Mud Park. This 800-acre park has four mud holes to choose from, including an oval mud track.

6. Idaho

Idaho has plenty of opportunities for outdoor exploration throughout the state. Experience the wide-open landscapes, pristine lakes, and vast greenery on a quad. Head to southeast Idaho for more than 1,000 miles of ATV trails on public lands. The most popular is the 55-mile Highline Trail that travels the mountain tops from the state border to Soda Springs.

Caribou-Targhee National Forest has plenty of off-road trails to tackle throughout more than 3 million acres of rugged mountains and wilderness. Idaho even has opportunities for dune riding at the St. Anthony Sand Dunes. You’ll feel like you’re on a natural roller coaster as your off-roader glides down a 400-foot-high dune.

7. Maine

In the northeast part of the country, Maine is an unexpected destination for riding four-wheelers. The state’s 6,000 miles of trails provide access to scenic lakes and rivers. Cruise over vast plains or tackle the rocky climbs up a mountain on one of the state-owned rail trails.

Riders rave about the Aroostook Valley Trail, a 28-mile trail through open fields, deep woods, and the Aroostook River. For a tour of Maine’s coastline, head to the Down East Sunrise Trail. This 87-mile multi-use trail connects Brewer to Calais in downtown Maine.

8. Michigan

Michigan’s off-road trails range from twisting pathways and hill climbs to mud bogs. The Upper Peninsula is home to a majority of the state’s more than 4,000 miles of designated trails. 

Experience Michigan’s only dunes at Silver Lake Sand Dunes. These majestic dunes are 1.5 miles wide and three miles long. For a more rugged off-roading experience, head to Drummond Island, one of the largest closed-loop trail systems for off-roading in the country. Ride through dense hardwood forests and meadows filled with wildflowers, then cruise along Sitgreaves Bay’s pebble shore.

9. New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s “Ride the Wilds” is the longest off-highway recreational vehicle  (OHRV) trail system in the Northeast. With more than 1,000 miles of interconnected trails, you can ride through rugged landscapes that encompass mountains, pastures, and more in New Hampshire’s Grand North. Begin your adventure at one of the many trailheads located on the eastern side of Coos County.

You can find a number of other trails throughout New Hampshire, including 75 miles of trails at Jericho Mountain State Park. The Hillsborough Recreational Rail Trail is a more scenic, eight-mile ride past historic mill sites and the Contoocook River.

10. Utah

Utah is known for its breathtaking scenery, and you can experience even more of it from an off-road vehicle. Discover a new trail-riding experience as you travel throughout the state.

In northern Utah, the Jordan River OHV State Recreation Area boasts dramatic peaks and lush canyons on the ATV trails. In Moab, located east, you can explore the public land surrounding Arches or Canyonlands National Parks. Head south to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park to race across the soft sands. Four-wheelers can navigate the Sand Highway, a one-way trail in a small canyon.

11. West Virginia

West Virginia’s mountains aren’t just beautiful to observe, you can also take them on while riding an ATV or UTV. These rolling hills encompass over 1,000 miles of trails that are off the beaten path.

An ATV adventure in West Virginia isn’t complete until you tackle the largest trail system on the East Coast. The Hatfield-McCoy Trail System is made up of 10 trails that carve through the state’s mountainous terrain. Find a trail for your skill level and enjoy the sweeping views of southern West Virginia.

Find even more off-road opportunities throughout the state, including riverside scenery at New River ATV. Or, rent a Polaris RZR on-site and explore The Greenbrier, a 11,000-acre resort.

Tearing up the trails is a great way to experience the backcountry beauty of the U.S. Whether you’re looking to explore the trails in your home state, or planning an off-roading getaway, these destinations are some of the best in the country for an ATV adventure. 

And, if you’re in need of a four-wheeler or side-by-side, search the nationwide inventory of new and used models for sale on ATVTrader.com.

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Arielle Patterson
Arielle Patterson

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