The Ten Best Off-Roading Trails In The Country To Take Your Jeep In 2021
In 2020, we all had to cancel our vacation plans. Now that it’s 2021, well..we’re still canceling all our plans. But that’s okay because you don’t need a fancy beach vacation in Mexico or a glamorous 7-day Bahamas cruise to have a good time. That’s right, all you need is your Jeep and the open road! So follow those CDC-recommended social distancing guidelines, grab your dog and your best friend, and hit the trails! Check out our list of the top 10 best off-roading trails in the country to take your Jeep in 2021!
10. Florida Jeep Jam, Panama City Beach, Florida
Panama City Beach, known locally as simply “PCB” is North West Florida’s premier beach town. PCB is known for its laid back vibes, incredible white sand beaches, and of course being “the” spring break destination in Florida. What you may not know about this party town is that it’s home to one of the best Jeep events in the country, called Florida Jeep Jam.
When you think about off-roading in your Jeep, you’re probably imagining picturesque mountains and massive rocks. Here at PCB, off-roading is when you take your Jeep on the beach!
The 2021 Florida Jeep Jam takes place May 12th-15th, 2021. Visit the official Florida Jeep Jam website to learn more about it.
Pro Tip: Everybody is anxious to get out this year so this year's Florida Jeep Jam event is expected to be bigger than ever, celebrate Go Topless Day this year the best way you can and sign up for the Jeep Beach Krawl, Topless For Turtles!
9. Byrd's Adventure Center In Ozark, Arkansas
Byrd’s Adventure Center in Ozark, Arkansas offers both rough terrain where roll cages are recommended called “Red Trails” as well as beginner trails for more relaxing experience. Byrd’s Adventure Center offers ATV trails, UTV trails, 4x4 trails, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, camping, RVing, rafting, and so much more.
If you’re into camping and adventure, there may not be a better place for you than Ozark, Arkansas.
Pro Tip: September 23rd-25th is the Ozark Mountains Jeep Jamboree, this year's event is expected to be as big as ever. Check out their website and book your stay now!
8. Moab, Utah
Moab, Utah is perhaps most known for its world famous mountain biking trails. Moab also has wonderful canoeing, hiking, and of course, fantastic 4x4 backcountry trails to take your Jeep. Moab features some of the most challenging off-road trails in the country for avid Jeepers. However, Moab always has plenty of easier trails for less experienced off-road Jeep enthusiasts.
There are dozens of trails at Moab but there are four trails in particular that stick out to us; Hell’s Revenge, Moab Rim Trail, and Geyser Pass.
Hell’s Revenge is not for the faint of heart, the 14 mile trail takes anywhere from 3-4 hours to traverse. Hell’s Revenge offers amazing views of the slickrock domes and La Sal Mountains. This trail features challenging steep climbs, descents, cliffs and edges so you’re inexperienced or don’t have the rig to handle it, shoot for an easier trail.
The Moab Rim Trail is 15 miles of the most challenging terrain in Moab. This iconic trail features some of the best views of the Colorado River. It’s extremely difficult but if you’ve got the right set up with Jeep, it’s a must travel trail.
For one of the more scenic and easy going trails for inexperienced Jeepers, check out Geyser Pass along the La Sal Mountains. You can see Mount Peale, Canyonlands National Park, and Spanish Valley from Geyser Pass. The 25 miles of Geyser Pass is an easy trail that’s perfect for a summer day.
Pro Tip: One of the famous trails in Moab, Poison Spider Trail, got its name from the legend that a young girl named Mary Jane Francis died on the trail from the bite of a poison spider in 1896. Now nobody really knows the truth behind this legend but there are seven different poisonous spiders indigenous to Utah including the Black Widow, Brown Recluse, Hobo spider, Wolf spider, Yellow Sac, and the Huntsman spider. Turn your AeroLidz light bar on nice and bright to illuminate your path and be on the lookout, that’s all we’re sayin’.
7. Big Bend National Park, Texas
We’ve all heard the phrase “Everything’s Bigger In Texas”, well, Big Bend National Park is no exception. The 801,163 acres is home to hundreds of miles of the best off-road trails to Jeep in all of Texas.
Old Ore Road, 26.5 mile moderately trafficked off-road trail is one of the most scenic and popular trails in Big Bend. Black Gap OHV trail is a lightly trafficked out and back trail that’s excellent for catching a glimpse of Texas wildlife. Glenn Spring OHV trail, Old Maverick, Paint Gap Road, the River Road trail, the list goes on and on.
All of the trails at Big Bend (named for the big bending U shape of the Rio Grande river) are relatively easy to traverse with only a few trails rated higher than 2.0. If your time is limited, we recommend either Old Ore, River Road, or Black Gap.
Pro Tip: While Black Gap is one of the more fun trails in Big Bend National Park, this trail located near the Mexican border is rated 3.0. It’s completely unmaintained, rarely traveled and features extremely rugged terrain. Not only will your rig need a lift, rugged tires, skid plates, etc in order to travel this trail but 4WD experience is necessary. Also, it’s the Texas/Mexico border, so use common sense and avoid solo trips, particularly in the hot Summer months.
6. Deer Creek Saint Johns, Colorado
Colorado is home to the world’s largest and deepest natural hot springs, the largest flat top mountains, the highest paved road, the tallest sand dunes in America and more. With many massive mountain peaks over 10,000 feet, even 14,000 feet! Colorado is one of the best states to live if you’re a Jeeper. If you live close (or even if you don’t) it’s an incredible place to roadtrip in your Jeep.
Colorado has hundreds of all-access trails but perhaps the most popular is the Deer Creek Saint Johns loop in Glacier Mountain, Colorado. This relatively easy to traverse 4 x4 out and back loop trail is 7.4 miles and is full of incredible scenery.
The Saint Johns trail, 275 on your GPS, begins in the historic Main Street Montezuma. Once you’re on the trail you’ll immediately cross Snake River. If you’re into history, you’ll absolutely love exploring the historic gold mines, many of which are easy to access and explore straight from the trails.
Pro tip: Glacier Mountain is home to thousands of mountain goats! Have your phone ready to take a great Insta-worthy picture of the mountain goats as well as stunning views of the Rocky Mountains, valleys, and lakes below.
5. El Camino Del Diablo, Arizona
El Camino Del Diablo in Arizona, known locally as “The Devil’s Highway” is one of the most scenic and historic trails in the country. The rugged desert terrain of The Devil’s Highway spans 130 miles between Ajo and Yuma.
Self-sufficiency is a must for this multi-day trip as long stretches of this remote trail near the Mexican border offer little to no cell phone coverage. Don’t travel alone on this trail, be sure to grab a Jeep buddy and pack plenty of food and water. Due to the remote nature and light traffic of The Devil’s Highway, you won’t be able to rely on someone passing by to help if you find yourself in danger. It’s smart to traverse The Devil’s Highway in the Fall, as the Summer months’ temperatures can reach over 110 degrees during the day.
Pro tip: Parts of this trip take you on an active Air Force range. Since you’ll need to traverse the Barry Goldwater Air Force Range to complete the trail ride, you must have a permit. The good news? They’re free and they’ll cover the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, which you’ll be passing through as well. Pick up your permit before you start at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma.
4. Ocala National Forest, Florida
Ocala National Forest is the most visited national forest in the state of Florida, it’s also the second largest. Known for its sand pine, Ocala National Forest has the largest concentration of Florida spruce pine in the world.
The 607 square miles of land at Ocala National Forest is home to over 500 natural lakes and ponds, a truly remarkable place to see. Ocala National Forest is Florida’s best-kept secret. The huge oak trees and the subtropical oasis are home to an abundant ecosystem that flourishes with wildlife. Whether you’re a beginner in off-roading or you’re more experienced, you’re guaranteed to find trails that are fun for the whole family.
Pro tip: Go in October for Jeeptoberfest! Jeeptoberfest 2021 is October 15th-17th, registration starts soon!
3. Johnson Valley, California
Johnson Valley is known for being one of the most premier off-road destinations in Southern California. Johnson Valley is located near Lucerne Valley, California, and is a moderately trafficked trail. With an elevation gain of 544 ft, the 7.7-mile off-road trail is of moderate difficulty. There are several activities on the trail and since it’s located in sunny SoCal it’s accessible all year round!
Pro tip: Check out the “King of Hammers” event held annually every February at Means Dry Lake. The off-road race combines desert racing and rock crawling, a must-see experience!
2. Dalton Highway, Alaska
If you’re afraid of grizzly bears and gravel, this 414 mile stretch of rugged off-road trail in Alaska is not for you. The rocky route of “The Haul Road” is not for the faint of heart. Fuel up because there are only 3 spots on Dalton Highway where you can get gas. Dalton Highway owns the proud title of “The Loneliest Road On Earth”. I know, it sounds exhilarating, right? But hear me out.
The Dalton Highway is cool, like, really cool. It’s one of the most northern roads in the world and was originally built in 1974 as a supply route for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. If you’ve got the guts and you’re not afraid of a couple of potholes (and grizzly bears), then pack your supplies and head to the Dalton Highway for the thrill of a lifetime.
Protip: The 414 mile stretch of gravel can potentially do some serious damage to your rig. Pick up an AeroLidz LED light bar cover to protect your lights from the elements. Oh, and did we mention there are grizzly bears?
1. Rubicon Trail, California
Alas, the Holy Grail of Off-Roading, our number spot to take your Jeep off-roading in America is none other than, the Rubicon Trail. The 22-mile long Rubicon trail nestled in the Sierra Nevada between Lake Tahoe and Sacramento is synonymous with Jeeps and off-roading. If you’re not familiar with the Rubicon trail you may be thinking, “22 miles? That’s it?”. Don’t be fooled my friend, even the most experienced off-roaders complete the trail in no less than five hours.
For the off-road experience of a lifetime (and incredible views of the Sierra Nevada), visit this historic trail. Check out the 24th Rubicon Trail Jeep Jamboree in August of 2021.
Pro tip: Like the Boy Scouts say, Be Prepared. Before you go, make sure your Jeep is kitted with rock rails, armored bumpers, front and rear locking differentials, and axle lockers. Avoid smashing your lower front control arm mount and install skid plates. Bringing extra parts and tools is also recommended.
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