It's no secret that some states are better than others when it comes to off-road adventures, so we scoured the internet and added a bit of personal input to create a list of states we believe have the best Jeep® trails.
Believe it or not, the best Jeep® destinations are all in the West. We think this is mostly because the West is full of wide-open spaces and plenty of public land for free riding. The amount of public land, the versatility of trail type, and the varying difficulty were all factors that played into our list of off-road Jeep® trails.
So, without further ado, we recommend these five destinations for your next Jeepin’ adventures.
#5 - NEW MEXICO
Hundreds of miles of roads and challenging trails are available to the public, making Red River one of the top places in New Mexico for off-road Jeep trails. It seems like you can turn virtually any direction off Main Street and find a trail to ride through Taos County. Head down for Memorial Day weekend for the annual motorcycle rally for some classic entertainment and make your way on the trails the rest of the time.
Aside from Red River, New Mexico makes the list because of its versatile terrain. You can head off the highway on more than 30 trails throughout the Land of Enchantment. From sliding through the desert sand and sage to crawling up the enormous red rocks, you won’t be bored or disappointed when you go wheeling through NM.
#4 - ARIZONA
With every type of terrain imaginable, Arizona makes the top five. If you’re in the mood to get a little lost in the empty land as you explore in your Jeep, then we’re confident you’ll have fun tearing up the more than 40 trails. Through the northern and central mountains down to the desert land that borders Mexico, the terrain will keep you guessing and your wheels turning.
#3 - UTAH
The trails in Utah are a destination for Jeepers around the country. Rock crawling and sand sliding through Moab is a bucket-list item for most who love wheeling, and Zion National Park has some of the most amazing sights.
Utah.com/atv has plenty of maps and other handy guides to help you build your most epic Jeeping adventure.
#2 - ALASKA
Take a ride on the wild side when you head through our neighbors to the north and into Alaskan terrain. Alaska ranks as the runner up on our list because it’s one of those Jeep destinations that is unbeatable, but it can be quite difficult to get to and find safe public trails to ride. This guide helps visitors find off-roading trails for your 4x4 where you can spend hours or days wheeling.
The views are astounding and breathtaking. The camping brings solitude, and the wheeling is seemingly unending. While some of the trails are difficult to get to and have limited access during the year, there are paths near regional cities that make it possible to do daily excursions or go out for a longer camping adventure.
#1 - COLORADO
There’s no doubt that Colorado has some of the best Jeep trails in the United States. From riding through the Rocky Mountains and camping along the way to heading out on the wide open prairie, Colorado offers plenty of variety for Jeeping. There are extraordinarily difficult trails that head up into alpine elevation, and there are beginner and intermediate trails that make wheeling fun for all drivers and passengers, which help bring this state to the top of the list.
People almost always mention Colorado as their preferred place for Jeeping because it’s something that both the tourists and the locals enjoy. Colorado takes great care of their natural areas and really respects staying to the trail. It’s easy to do because the State maintains trails well and develops them in many different places across the state, so it’s easy to get a variety. One of the best Jeep trails is Engineer Pass outside of Ouray in Southern Colorado. Not only is it an adventure driving on the highways and backroads to get to the trail, but the trail itself is challenging and breathtaking.
We know we won’t have to say this twice, but it’s never a bad reminder to hear: tread lightly as you adventure across the nation so we can enjoy our landscapes and trails for centuries more.
As you embark on your next Jeeping adventure, you may want to go back and forth between riding with the top on or off.