Trails, and thus off-roading, varies by the location. The amount of mud or the scenic views are important, but so is the wildlife and the experience of seeing something new. If you’re in one of these regions this summer, hit up these trails for a great ride whether you have a vintage ATV or a newer model.
Hungry Valley SVRA
Located just a short drive north of LA, the Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area offers one of the best off-road experiences in California. There’s 19,000 acres of varied terrain. Elevation ranges from 2,000 feet above sea level, up to just over 8,000 feet. 130 miles of trails will take you through everything from postcard picturesque landscapes with acres of wildflowers, to bombed, alien-looking worlds of dry dust and boulders. There’s something here to challenge everyone, with a Pee Wee track, and other trails guaranteed to break your ride. The best part? Entry is only 5 bucks.
Looking for a more centrally located, cheaper, Baja-like experience? Hit Little Sahara State Park two hours northwest of Oklahoma City. The unique feature here is a sight straight out of Egypt: 75 foot tall sand dunes. Bikes and ATVs challenge the 1,600 acres of steep sandy cliffs, and the soft landings mean crazy huge jumps are the norm. If, somehow, you get tired of the sand, there is a nearby trail system that blasts through cottonwoods. There is camping, showers, food, and onsite fuel. It’s a screamin’ deal for a day of fun, at only $7.
Advertising yells about “the most mud in south Florida!” and “It’s gonna be mudtastic!” so you know this place is good. Devil’s Garden Mud Club is more than just a series of trails through dirt mixed with water. Although, there is that. DGMC has 1,200 acres of muddy events. Sure, there are trails and pits, but the site also hosts obstacle courses, truck races, demolition derbies, camping, and a bonfire on Saturday nights. There are even food vendors and sometimes live music. If you don’t mind your neck getting red, drive an hour and a half northwest of Miami, for all the fun your family can stand.
Evans Creek ORV
Just within view of Mount Rainier, Evans Creek offers a great day of riding within easy reach of Seattle and Portland. The 45 miles of trails are lightly maintained, and vary widely. The trees provide a ton of shade, so you never get to hot, and if you happen to anyway, just drive straight into one of the many creeks and streams. Off-camber challenges are everywhere, but this place is still friendly enough for the complete newbie. The one down side is you will need a Northwest Forrest Pass, but those are cheap. Evans Creek is open mid-April to December.
The strange name fits this unusual trail system. Maintained by the county, Aroostook has huge variety, everything from BFE wilderness trails to riding in town. Located in one of the relatively empty sections of the country, Aroostook offers wilderness untouched, with an insane 1,200 miles of adjoining trails. The name means “Beautiful River”, and while they aren’t kidding about the beauty, it does come with some mud. Wildlife is everywhere, so if you are looking for the peaceful side of off-roading, this might be your best bet. Watch your speed, as you will lose in an impact with a caribou.+