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25 Great Places for Off-Roading Adventures in the U.S. and Canada

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Just Gonna Send It

The landscape of North America is vast and home to a variety of different terrain. While there are extensive highways stretching across the U.S. and Canada, there are plenty of looser, or even unmarked territories, for adventurous drivers to explore. We looked up some of the best off-roading destinations in the U.S. and Canada to find these 25 great spots for Jeep, 4x4, ATV, or dirt bike adventures.

Hawk Pride Mountain Off-Road Park
Hawk Pride Mountain Offroad/facebook.com

Hawk Pride Mountain Off-Road Park | Tuscumbia, Alabama

USA Today recommends this park with over 90 trails, where level-five trails are considered "hardcore territory" and recommend "a big roll of toilet paper and extra set of underwear." All rock-crawl trails are 100% natural rock, the site guarantees. You can rent two- or four-seater RZRs for $260 or $360, respectively, and separate driver and passenger rates apply.

Related: 22 Bucket-List Experiences for Adrenaline Junkies

Byrd's Adventure Center
Byrd's Adventure Center/facebook.com

Byrd's Adventure Center | Ozark, Arkansas

The Ozarks offer plenty of rough terrain to challenge your 4x4s. Arkansas Jeep dealer McLarty Daniel recommends heading to Byrd's, where they have trails from beginner to "Red Trails," for which even expert drivers are recommended to equip their Jeep with roll cages. In between there's a rock garden and obstacle course for $15 for motorcycles and ATVs and $20 for four-wheel drive vehicles.

Hot Springs ORV Park
Hot Springs Off Road Park/facebook.com

Hot Springs ORV Park | Hot Springs, Arkansas

This park is recommended by the state tourism office, the Arkansas Times, and off-roaders alike. For $33 a day or half that for bikes and ATVs, drivers get access to rock-crawling trails of every difficulty level, all well marked so you don't get in over your head.

Flagstaff, Arizona
Courtesy of fs.usda.gov
Whipsaw
Whipsaw by Tjflex2 (CC BY-NC-ND)

Whipsaw Trail | Princeton, British Columbia

A popular course for Canadian off-roaders, and one of BF Goodrich's past picks for outstanding trails, driving dry through the BC woods is quite different from when the mud gets wet enough to cling to your tires. Even on dry-weather days, you'll drive through some ponds while overlooking the Cascade mountains east of Princeton. Best of all, there are plenty of friendly Canadians to help you out in a pinch.

Rubicon Trail
Courtesy of wikipedia.org

Rubicon Trail | Near Pollock Pines, California

This famous — or infamous — 22-mile stretch of road never presents the same route twice. Fourwheeler.com warns of falling trees and shifting rocks, and The Last Great Road Trip, a team of off-road adventurers that write about their exploits online, chronicled their 2009 and 2013 treks. The 22nd annual 2019 Jeep Jamboree Rubicon Trail trip, taking place Aug. 8-11, has a long list of requirements for those wishing to participate, including 1997 or later Jeep Wranglers with 35-inch tires (but less than 40 inches), front and rear lockers, tow points, skid plates, rocker panel protections, and CB radios.

FJ Summit
FJ Summit by Evan Gage (CC BY-NC-ND)
Redneck Mud Park
Redneck Mud Park/facebook.com

Redneck Mud Park | Punta Gorda, Florida

Once called the Redneck Yacht Club, it's easy to see how the Redneck Mud Park does for off-roading what yachts do for sailboats. Only open for weekend events, the Mud Park hosts races in four unique "mud holes," plus truck pulls and miles of free-riding trails that can accommodate ATVs, side-by-sides, trucks, Jeeps and buggies. A weekend pass includes camping, and their concert stage often hosts non-vehicular entertainment. Mud Life Magazine liked it so much they went back!

starr-070405-6763-Morella_faya-habit-Munro_Trail-Lanai
starr-070405-6763-Morella_faya-habit-Munro_Trail-Lanai by Forest and Kim Starr (CC BY)

Lanai, Hawaii

The islands of Hawaii are full of lush greens, tropical springs, and volcanoes, so there must be some spectacular spots to drive off the tourist-clogged roads. The Orange County Register recommends Lanai for its red rocks and dirt, which it compares to the Martian landscape. If you make it all the way across 400 miles of unpaved roads without getting stuck, you'll see sights like a wrecked tanker and the mythically inspired Garden of the Gods.

The Cliffs Insane Terrain Off-Road Park
The Cliffs Insane Terrain/facebook.com

The Cliffs Insane Terrain Off-Road Park | Marseilles, Illinois

The Travel Channel recommends this 300-acre park of fields, creeks, and mud. Cliffs Insane offers day passes starting at $25, with discounts for children, passengers, half days and extra days, as well as guided tours.

Badlands
Badlands Off Road Park/facebook.com

Badlands | Attica, Indiana

In the middle of farm country, there's this wet, dirty oasis for 4x4s. Driving Line raved about its Jeep-sized drainage tubes dropping into deep water, steep rocks, and the 20% of the park for four-wheelers only. ATV Illustrated, calling the spot a "hidden gem," enjoyed the portion of Badlands that allowed their three-wheelers to succeed where Jeeps couldn't. For dry off-roading fans, there are sand dunes, gravel, and woods, and they offer rental vehicles, too.

High Lifter Proving Grounds
High Lifter Proving Grounds Powered by Polaris/facebook.com

High Lifter Proving Grounds | Shreveport, Louisiana

Off-road accessory manufacturer High Lifter opened its own mud park on the bayou. Off-Road.com tested out High Lifter's snorkel breather system — designed to keep engines running in deep mud — by submerging a Polaris underwater. Race-deZert did the same and helped other stuck drivers before promptly getting stuck themselves.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Ryan B./yelp.com

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

This beach vacation destination could also be an off-roading paradise in New England. The Cape Cod seashore grants permits for off-road vehicles on the beach, and nearby Nauset Beach has seven sand-dune trails that are accessible if you get the permits. As Cape Cod Online reminds off-roaders, be sure to go out at low tide if you want to have enough sand to drive on, and be sure to exercise caution in areas where there might be pedestrians and sunbathers to avoid accidents. 

Sand Blaster Tread
Sand Blaster Tread by Justin Kiner (CC BY-NC-ND)

Assateague Island Beach | Berlin, Maryland

This small island on the eastern shore has room for up to 145 permit-holding, over-sand vehicles for beach driving. Permits are annual, not daily, and the Maryland and Virginia portions of the beach have different closure schedules. Area group Capital Off Roading Enthusiasts experienced all 12 miles of sand on a windy day, and caught glimpses of dolphins, storm-wrecked houses, and seashells.

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Courtesy of michigan.org

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan

On the land between Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron, there are more than 50 ATV/ORV trails, including one that goes through Lake Superior State Forest. The Midwest winter climate means frozen ground and ice, with summers thawing to loose, wet mud. Upper Peninsula Overland leads ecotourism trips where the goal is to traverse the terrain gently, not tear up the mud.

Red River, New Mexico
Weezie's Wild Rides/facebook.com

Red River, New Mexico

If the Gold Rush pioneers could make it through the Red River trails on horse and carriage, gas-powered 4x4s should have no problem. You'll drive winding roads from mine caves and lakes up mountains as high as 11,250 feet, and Red River also offers professional drivers for tours. Red River is also close to Goose Lake and Cabresto Lake, and both offer more opportunities to test your off-roading skills.

Logandale Trail Systems
TheoriginalLugNutz/tripadvisor.com

Logandale Trail Systems | Clark County, Nevada

Sure, you can take an off-roading excursion from Las Vegas like every other tourist, but there's plenty of desert and sand farther out with great canyon views. The Logandale loop shows up on many Nevada 4x4 sites like Vegas Valley 4 Wheelers, NV Offroad, and Dixie 4 Wheel Drive. Trails take you over cliffs, or you can climb the rocks for an added challenge, but leave the petroglyphs alone, and remember that flash flooding can occur when storms move in.

Uwharrie National Park
Courtesy of fs.usda.gov
2018-06-23 Disney Island - Grand Lake OK
2018-06-23 Disney Island - Grand Lake OK by mike krzeszak (CC BY)

Disney, Oklahoma

This Disney may not have Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck, but it is a magic kingdom to off-roaders. A rock garden, hills, and trails below the Grand River Dam offer a virtual roller coaster for 4x4s. You can get there through any of the five nearby state parks, and the city sells $5 maps of all the trails.

Concession Lake, Ontario
Central Ontario Four Wheel Drive Club/facebook.com

Concession Lake, Ontario

While few parts of Ontario permit off-roading, Concession Lake welcomes drivers. The trail here will make drivers climb over Canadian Shield rock, squeeze between trees, and try to remain unstuck in the mud and water. Those puddles only get deeper after rain, and in winter snowmobiles take over the trail.

Rausch Creek Off Road Park
Rausch Creek Off Road Park/facebook.com

Rausch Creek Off Road Park | Pine Grove, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Jeep and Toyota dealers send drivers to Rausch Creek to splash in the mud or conquer the steep rocks. Rausch Creek is for Jeeps, trucks, or SUVs only, and your party must include at least two vehicles. There are over 60 miles of terrain, including a man-made concrete and all-natural rock crawling course where you can test your skills.

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Moab, Utah

The red rocks and canyons of Moab make it "America's Off-Road Capital," according to 4x4 drivers. Off Road Extreme chronicled dune jumping, the sheer drops of Hell's Revenge, and the Hot Tub, a deep bowl that threatens to eat 4x4s. Jalopnik advises those popular obstacles are only a small portion of Moab's off-roading opportunities, and encourages exploring other trails, too. However, beware of the slickrock.

Hatfield-McCoy Trails
Hatfield McCoy Trails/facebook.com

Hatfield-McCoy Trails | Mingo County, West Virginia

The rivalry of the West Virginia Hatfields and the Kentucky McCoys has fortunately died out, but the West Virginia trails bearing their names come highly recommended. Western U.S.-based Dirt Toys Magazine compares the trail system favorably to Moab, describing the forested backwoods as "kick butt picturesque." Bear Wallow is the only trail in this system that allows 4x4s, with trails widened for full-sized vehicles — but that doesn't mean they're easy,

Washington Backcountry Discovery Route
Backcountry Discovery Routes/facebook.com

Washington Backcountry Discovery Route | Cascade Mountains of Washington

The Last Great Road Trip took a portion of this nearly 600-mile route, from Seattle into Canada, although you can actually start as far south as Oregon. They had to clear the brush ahead of their Toyota, and enjoyed sharing the road with cattle. Four Wheeler found themselves moving whole trees out of the way. Driving along the Cascades, pretty much anywhere you stop offers a tremendous view.

Morrison Jeep Trail
Morrison Jeep trail - Information - Cody, WY/facebook.com

Morrison Jeep Trail | Park County, Wyoming

The treacherous Morrison Jeep Trail ends up on many lists of Wyoming's 4x4 trails, including one from Dangerous Roads. It's only one lane for most of the 22 miles up extremely steep terrain, with rocky patches demanding high clearance vehicles. You've only got June to September to attempt the trail, as snow makes it prohibitive during the long winter.

Related: 20 Heart-Stopping Roads to Drive Around the World