Best Off-Roading Trails in Utah
Right in the heart of the mountain states, the state of Utah awaits ready to share her natural wonders. Built upon a foundation of solid rock, slabs of granite, and the mesmerizing swirls of Navajo Stone, the state logo declaring Life Elevated is well earned. If you’re looking for your next outdoor adventure destination, look no further. Here we’re looking at the best off-roading trails in the Beehive State that should be at the top of your next vacation list.
Chicken Corners OHV Trail
To start things off, we have the whimsically named Chicken Corners. Found near Moab, Utah, this back trail is considered moderately challenging and is considered quite popular, so expect a few people when you go. The trail is 41 miles long and goes up to an elevation of a little over 4,400 feet. The scenes of rock formations are gorgeous, but the highlight is the view of the Colorado River that goes straight down 450 feet. There are dozens of viewpoints, so be sure to have your cameras and phones charged because you’ll definitely be taking photos at every corner.
Also known as Peek-a-Boo Canyon, the Red Canyon trail in Kanab, Utah offers a back desert trail set on a backdrop of brightly colored red and orange stone formations. The trail is considered to be moderately difficult with a lot of sand, so taking a vehicle with 4WD is recommended by some to avoid getting stuck. All along the trail, you’ll be treated to scenic views and lots of wild flora. Also, be prepared to take hikes along the way — you can find slot canyons that are worth checking out!
Hells Revenge 4×4 Trail
Another offering from Moab, Utah, is the sinisterly but appropriately named Hell’s Revenge. This trail is rated difficult, so if you’re looking for a challenge this is the place to go. Despite the difficulty, the trail is very popular, as it gives adventurers bragging rights once they have conquered its obstacles. Only about nine miles long featuring lots of slick rock, Hell’s Revenge is the place to test your driving skills!
Paiute ATV Trail
Up next on the list is for those who want to explore a bigger landscape. The Paiute system of trails in central Utah is roughly 2,000 miles long, so you’ll have plenty to explore. The great thing about trails this long is that there’s certainly something for everyone. The trail system includes dozens of designated side trails while the main loop trail is around 240 miles. Considered to be on the easy side, this is perfect for a weekend getaway that doesn’t require any big risk-taking. You can just relax and have fun!
Mill Canyon OHV Trails
The third offering from Moab, Utah is the Mill Canyon Trails. The trail complex is about 75 miles, has a few access points with lots of camping areas in nearby state parks including the Wasatch Mountain State Park. These trails offer everything from scenic mountain trails to wildlife encounters. Depending on how lucky you are, you’ll be treated to close encounters with deer, elk, coyotes, eagles, and, if you’re extra lucky, bears! Be wary of the weather when you do decide to visit, as the sand can get a bit soft, and some areas can get tricky or impassable with high water levels.
Fins and Things 4×4 Trail
Close to the above-mentioned Hell’s Revenge, Fins and Things is another trail set in the beautiful landscape of Moab, Utah. Similar to its neighbor, this trail is quite popular so expect to see people along the road. Rated to be on the moderate side, this one-way, nine-mile trail offers a sandy terrain with some rocky areas, also known as the fins. And just for a little bit of trivia, Fins and Things is not just some quirky name — the “fins” refer to the slick rock Navajo Sandstone formations that are very common in Moab.
Gemini Bridges Trail
Named after two natural sandstone arches, the Gemini Bridges Trail offers a great trail with the added bonus of a photo op as you walk across the bridges looking down on the canyon below. Also in Moab, Utah, the trail is a 13-mile point to point that’s considered to be of moderate difficulty. The roads are unpaved and can get steep, as the elevation reaches 6,000 feet above sea level, so there’s a bit of a challenge there. The scenic views and beautiful rock formations are what the trail is all about so don’t let the driving deter you from the gorgeous scenes. Keep your eyes open for the rock formations and try to spot Gooney Bird Rock just by the road!
Poison Spider Mesa
If you want an outdoor adventure, maybe it’s better to just move to Moab, Utah isn’t it? A little over 13 miles, the Poison Spider Mesa is a beautiful scenic trail that’s rated to be on the more difficult side. But don’t let that (or the name) scare you. The Navajo Sandstones’ gorgeous colors are a welcome sight, with a special mention to the “Little Arch” at the end of the trail, offering a perfect photo for your Instagram. One really cool feature that can be found on this trail are dinosaur trackways and petroglyphs! The dinosaur tracks are amazing to think about, and are so clear and well preserved. The petroglyphs, or images carved into rocks, can be found everywhere and are equally fascinating! The Poison Spider Mesa is one of those popular spots that a lot of people go to, so be mindful of the traffic. If you have the time to just chill and enjoy the landscape and follow a dinosaur’s steps, go right ahead!
Toquerville Falls Trail
With all that rock and sand, a change of pace and scenery is needed. If you want an easy ride where you can just breathe in the fresh Utah air and enjoy the views, head on over to the Toquerville Falls Trail. Despite being on the easier side, it is recommended to bring a 4×4 as the trails can get rocky and bumpy along the way. An 11-mile round trip, this destination is perfect for an afternoon getaway with your friends and family. With the views of surrounding mountains and the canyons below, you can’t help but feel relaxed. When you get to the falls, have a little fun and get your feet wet! The surrounding area also has a few side trails and the canyons are great camping spots.
Little Sahara Recreation Area
Finally, for those that want to explore the wide-open space of Utah’s desert planes, the Little Sahara Recreation Area is the place to be. Just about two hours away from the capital of Salt Lake City, the 60,000 acres of the recreation area feature all types of dunes, off-road trails, and the challenge of climbing a 700-foot sand mountain! Found in Juab County, Utah, the area is home to wildlife including mule, deer, and antelope, a dozen or so species of birds, as well as being dotted with juniper, sagebrush, and grass common to the Great Basin. Filled with campsites, and amenities, Little Sahara is perfect for any adventurer. It can get crowded as lots of people visit every year, but the size of the place does ensure that it doesn’t get too packed and you’ll still have a good time.
If you have a week to spare, going to Moab, Utah, and sweeping through so many of these trails is probably the best use of your time. If you only have a few days or a short weekend, then any one of these destinations is very much worth the visit. Either way, for your outdoor recreational equipment needs, you can always count on DayTrail to have your back. A one-stop-shop for outdoor recreational equipment rentals of all kinds, DayTrail connects people who love the outdoors and want to share the experience with others. Just choose from the list of available options in your area, make a reservation, pick up the keys, and go riding!