Summer is quickly approaching and that means it’s the perfect time to grab your friends, pack up some gear and head out to conquer the trails. But where should you go? Here’s a list of five amazing places in the United States to take your SUV off-roading.
1. Moab, Utah
Why wouldn’t you want to check out the trails located in Moab, Utah? It’s possibly the best known place to go off-roading in the entire country. That’s partially thanks to the annual Easter Jeep Safari. Thousands of people descend on Moab each year for the nine-day-long event. What makes Moab such an amazing place to go off-roading is the scenery. Everywhere you look there are breathtaking views of the area’s red sandstone cliffs. Of course, there’s also the Colorado River. It serves as a beautiful contrast to the cliffs as it’s surrounded by lush greenery. There are also large sand dunes that everyone loves to tear their SUV through. What’s so great is that you don’t even have to be an expert in off-roading to take a trip to Moab. That’s because there are easy two-wheel drive backcountry scenic drives. You don’t even have to own your own SUV, either. You can rent one while there. But if you have your own SUV and are an experienced off-roader, Moab also offers some of the most challenging trails in the country to get your adrenaline nice and pumping.
2. Rubicon Trail, California
It’s a trail so famous that Jeep actually named a variant of its Jeep Wrangler after it. It’s the Rubicon Trail and it’s located in none other than “The Golden State. “ The 22-mile-long trail is certainly not for the faint of heart. If you’re a beginner, you’re probably going to way to stay away from this one. That’s because it’s incredibly rocky and it changes all the time. The rocks shift and move and you really need your SUV to be in tip-top shape in order to conquer it. If your vehicle isn’t outfitted properly, you could easily damage it or get stuck. The trail passes through the Eldorado National Forest and ends in South Lake Tahoe. Its narrow passages, rocky climbs and occasional mud holes present off-roading enthusiasts with excitement the entire way. There are also large granite slabs that have steep inclines and sharp drop-offs. You can take several days to enjoy the trail if you’d like as you can camp in several different locations along the way. Also to note, the Jeepers Jamboree and Jeep Jamboree are held annually on the trail.
3. Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, Georgia
If you’re looking for a place on the East Coast to rip it up, look no further than the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in Georgia. It actually comprises two United States National Forests, the Oconee National Forest in Central Georgia and the Chattahoochee National Forest in Northern Georgia. Combined, there are more than 860,000 acres to explore. The trees offer great shade and you can also check out some waterfalls. Not to mention, there’s plenty of wildlife to try to get a glimpse of when you’re not scaring them away with the sound of your engine. It’s incredibly scenic and the trails are quite challenging.
4. Silver Lake Sand Dunes, Michigan
We all know that many off-road enthusiasts love playing in the sand. If you’re looking for a place to do so, then you may just want to consider checking out the Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Michigan. The 450-acre off-roading area is located within Silver Lake State Park. The dunes constantly shift, presenting you with new challenges each time you drive over them. If you’re looking to take your family with you on an off-roading trip, this may just be the place to go. We all know kids love the sand and driving over dunes is a bit less intense than trying to climb over a bunch of large rocks. You’re also able to access both Silver Lake and Lake Michigan from the park. That means it’s easy to take a break to cool off or just have some fun in the water whenever you need to. Not to mention, the Silver Lake area has some great, quaint restaurants for you and your family to eat at after a long day of fun.
5. Redneck Mud Park, Florida
This off-roading location is probably the opposite of what you would call kid-friendly, although kids are allowed. The Redneck Mud Park in Punta Gorda, Florida is the perfect place to soak up some sun and feel like a real American with a beer in hand. The park is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a place to let loose, listen to some live music and plow through the mud. The 800-acre park includes several mud holes to explore. Some of them have islands that serve as the meeting place for vehicles. The holes present a wide range of challenges like hills and deep areas. For those looking for even more of a challenge, there’s also a 500 foot oval mud track you can zip around. But if you need to take a break from the mud you can do so as there are several trails through the woods. You’re able to camp at the park so that you can make a weekend out of it. There are spots located near all of the action as well as more secluded ones in case you do decide to bring the whole family out. For those that don’t want to worry about cooking while camping, there are typically vendors selling food at the park. There’s also often additional entertainment to enjoy as the park has a large concert stage that has been graced by a large number of musicians.
While there are countless trails and places in the United States to explore with your SUV, these five locations are definitely a good place to start! So make a plan, grab your road-trip pals and hit the road–the trails await!