Utah is a beautiful place. Just driving the highways can bring you to some truly amazing views. But to find the very best, highways just won’t cut it. You’ll have to go off on some side roads, many of which aren’t paved. The perfect job for a Jeep. Here are a some of the best trails throughout Utah.
National Forests – The National Forests of Utah have trails that are appropriate for off-roading vehicles. They offer beautiful scenery and a fun adventure. Double check with each forest to be sure which trail you can use.
Bountiful Peak – Bountiful peak is open during the summer and fall. This beautiful 21-mile scenic loop goes from 100 N. in Farmington to 400 N. 1300 E. in Bountiful. This trail has a lot of beautiful alpine scenery and a great view of the Great Salt Lake.
Little Sahara Recreation Area – Four-wheelers, dune buggies, dirt bikes, and ATVs alike will love these sand dunes and sagebrush flats. Two-thirds of the Sahara Recreation area is set aside just for off-highway vehicle usage. Little Sahara is about 30 miles west of Nephi.
The Great Basin – The Great Basin has awesome mountain terrain and open stretches where you can off-road in solitude. You might even catch a glimpse of the first transcontinental railroad if you are at the north-west part. It still runs on the track, so use caution in that area.
The Oquirrh Loop Tour – This is a great trail that starts off in SLC and moves through several ghost towns and historic sites. Many of the off-roading trails were forked from the original pony express trail. It extends 150 miles through Utah and into the small mountain ranges through the Nevada border.
East and West Utah*
Amasa Basin – The Amasa Basin is found in the West. Amasa Basin has a lot of different trails that can be ridden. This is a smaller trail, only about 33 miles, but it has different trails that range from easy to difficult.
Cricket Mountain – This is a great Western Utah off-roading choice. It has trailheads that go from Cedar and Johnson Pass, and go to Headlight Canyon and Little Sage Valley. There are a lot of options here.
Conger Mountain – This is also found in the Western part of Utah. There are 127 miles worth of ATV trails. You can find the trail-heads at Kings Canyon or at the Little Valley Well.
Energy Loop – This Eastern trail is for adventurous drivers. The Energy Loop has a lot of options as far as terrain and trails go. There is a great combination of scenery and wildlife with this trail.
San Rafael Swell – The San Rafael Swell is in Eastern Utah. It is known for its beautiful and serene formations of sandstone. San Rafael also offers beautiful views of canyons, streams and panoramas.
*When you are traveling off-road, especially in the Western parts of Utah, it is imperative to take precautions. Remember that the area is remote and won’t have services. Plan ahead by bringing enough water, food and fuel to keep you safe in case you run in to trouble.
Elephant Hill – This is one of the most popular 4-wheel drive roads in Southern Utah. It has great trails that loop all the way around the Island in the Sky. The loop goes on for over 100 miles. Reservations are recommended.
Surrounding National Park Areas – It is not permitted to off-road in National Parks, but there are a lot of trails outside of the parks to use. These areas offer great park vistas and good off-roading opportunities. Many of these trails are near Bryce Canyon and Zion.
Cathedral Valley – Cathedral Valley has a pretty loop that passes Capitol Reef’s beautiful landscape. A few sites you can see are the Temples of the Sun and Moon and Glass Mountain. Be sure to check about weather before you take off, as weather conditions can determine how well the road conditions are. This trail is best for vehicles that have higher ground clearance.
Burr Trail – This trail is one of the most popular drives in southern Utah. You can see amazing scenery above the Bullfrog Marina on Lake Powell. This trail is great for off-roading, though passenger cars can also make it if the weather is good.
The Paiute ATV Trail – This is a very famous trail in Utah. It has a 200 mile loop that goes over three different mountain ranges. These rugged canyons and deserts add a fun exploration opportunity. There are a lot of side trips you can take since there are hundreds of miles of open roads.
Boulder Mountain – Boulder Mountain is great for vehicles that have 4-wheel drive. This mountain offers a ruggedly scenic drive to Cathedral Valley or Capitol Reef National Park. This is the trail that is North of Boulder Mountain that goes over the back of the Thousand Lake Mountain by Fremont and Loa.
Grand Canyon – Another great place to see incredible vistas, canyons and trails is the grand canyon, although it’s not technically in Utah. It is one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes. Some of the trails in the canyon are only accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles. When you go on these types of trips it is a good idea to be prepared. Have back up gas cans available in case you go a little further than you intended.
Diamond Mountain Plateau – This trail is between the Dinosaur National Monument and the Green River. It is famous for being the place where Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch wandered around. It is a perfect place to ride your motorcycle, ATV, or jeep.