Where It's At: 15 miles southeast of Moab, Utah.
What It Is: Arguably the most impossible half-mile in all of four wheeling, it's a mind-boggling assault of truck-sized boulders, tight squeezes and sheer vertical ledges, with no easy lines to take around (or over) any of them. Almost everyone needs to winch at least once (and often just to get past the entrance!), and even the best-built rigs can easily succumb to carnage here-as the trail host's website proudly proclaims, "Prepare for Damage!" Assuming your rig isn't in pieces at the end, you can spend the rest of your day enjoying other nearby rock trails at this private OHV site such as Strike Ravine, Minor Threat, and Green Day.
Where You'll Break: Gatekeeper, Squeeze, Can Opener, Waterfall.
Who To Contact: Area BFE, www.areabfe.com
The Snake Pit
Where It's At: 10 miles south of Clayton, Oklahoma.
What It Is: Okahoma rockcrawling at its finest, with the special added bonus of water-plenty of it. The Snake Pit wends its way through a series of creek beds in the Kiamichi Mountains, many of which are chock-full of large, wet boulders concealing big underwater drop-offs; plenty of ground clearance and top-to-bottom waterproofing are necessities here. There are plenty of other good rock trails scattered over three private ORV parks in the area (Rock Creek, Freiling's, and Green Acres); Wet and Wild, Green Mamba, Jeff's Ledges, and Slim's Slope are among the most highly regarded.
Where You'll Break: Someplace where your rig is likely half-underwater, so you'll want a winch and snorkel. The area's infested with poisonous snakes, too. Having fun yet?
Who To Contact: Southwest Four-Wheel Drive Association, www.swfwda.org
Where It's At: Five miles west of Moab, Utah.
What It Is: "Rockcrawling" and "Moab" are virtually synonymous terms these days, but even in the contemporary cradle of rock running, one public Moab trail is sui generis for combining white-knuckle difficulty in a majestic natural setting. Only crawlers with mega-experience and buggy-grade rigs can expect to traverse this three-plus-mile trail, which follows the deeply eroded remains of an abandoned mining road at the base of a high-walled canyon. Steep drop-offs and rollover-inducing stair steps are trademarks of Pritchett, and with several famous obstacles to conquer, it's a rare trail ride that doesn't result in at least one rig ending up on its side. If it's a bit too hardcore for you, you can drive mellower Behind The Rocks to the exit of Pritchett, and scenic Poison Spider Mesa's just a mile up the road.
Where You'll Break: Rocker Knocker, Suicide Hill, Rock Pile.
Who To Contact: Red Rock 4 Wheelers, www.rr4w.com
The Rock Creek
Where It’s At: 40 miles northeast of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
What It Is: The length of six football fields, it’s an ancient glacial rock deposit within Rausch Creek Off Road Park in east-central Pennsylvania. It’s a nearly unbroken expanse of rocks, more rocks, and boulders, with very few trees to serve as anchor points for winching, so a bulletproof drivetrain, lots of body armor, a capable spotter, and plenty of patience are a few of the things you’ll need to negotiate the Creek successfully.
Where You’ll Break: Almost anywhere.
Who To Contact: Rausch Creek Off Road Park, www.rauschcreekoffroadpark.org
Where It’s At: Eight miles east of Harlan, Kentucky.
What It Is: Designated a Class-5 trail, it’s a classic rock route within the Black Mountain Off Road Adventure Area, some 7,000 acres of abandoned quarry land open for public 4x4 recreation since 2005. While short in length, Lion’s Den is highly technical, with Jeep-sized boulders and several extremely tight squeezes between tall trees and rock faces that could make a long day for rigs running full-width axles. During the rainy season, it’s even more fun. Other good rock trails in the complex are Can Opener, Damnation, and Middle and Lower Rock Gardens.
Where You’ll Break: Almost anywhere—and if you drive anything wider than a Suzuki, plan on leaving some paint behind, too.
Who To Contact: Black Mountain Off Road Adventure Area, www.harlancountytrails.com/blackmountain.php
Where It’s At: Near Silver City, South Dakota.
What It Is: Rated a 5-plus, it’s the best-known, and arguably still the most technically challenging, of the hardcore rock trails in South Dakota’s Black Hills. Extremely steep and narrow in spots, with eight discrete obstacles along its route sporting names like Slimer and Stupid, Hal will challenge even the most experienced drivers to keep all four on the ground, and few wheelers traverse its length without making some sacrifices to the Sheetmetal Gods. In case you’re the exception to the rule, there are several other good trails in the vicinity such as Kong, Upper and Lower Buzzworm, and Flat Nasty.
Where You’ll Break: Skyscraper, The Waterfall.
Who To Contact: Black Hills 4 Wheelers, www.bh4wheelers.com
Holy Cross City Trail
Where It’s At: 10 miles south of Minturn, Colorado.
What It Is: Unlike many of Colorado’s most famous trails, which primarily feature vertigo-inducing but otherwise-unchallenging shelf roads, Holy Cross City is four miles of slow-speed off-camber rockin’ on a one-way route that dead-ends at the remains of a 19th century boomtown. A minefield of boulders awaits the wheeler at French Creek, and the steep and slippery 10-foot shelf at Cleveland Rock can cause driveline breakage and rollovers. Other good 4x4 trails in the area include Mosquito Pass, Wheeler Lake, and Hagerman Pass.
Where You’ll Break: French Creek, Cleveland Rock.
Who To Contact: Eagle County 4x4 Association, www.eaglecounty.4x4webs.com
Your Favorite Rock Trail
Where It’s At: Wherever you roll on boulders.
What It Is: We don’t know, it could be anywhere. Drop us a note and tell us all about it—where it is, how to get there, how hardcore it is, what kind of equipment you need, how long it takes, other cool trails in the area, and all that.
Where You’ll Break: We’re sure you never do, but your buddies do all the time, somewhere, right?
Who To Contact: Send us your best local rockcrawl stories and photos to “Readers’ Rocks,” Four Wheeler, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245, or send us high-res images and descriptions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll collect them and publish the best submissions in an upcoming issue of the magazine, and if we pick one of your photos, a box of Four Wheeler goodies will be delivered to your door.