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Places To Go Wheeling Before You're Gone

Posted in Events on July 1, 2010 Comment (0)
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Photographers: 4WOR Archives

The Internet is overflowing with bucket lists: things people want to do before they die. For this year's roundup of where to go wheeling, we decided to compile a list of 20 places all true four-wheelers should go before they kick the bucket. Not all are 5-plus pucker-factor thrill rides; some made the list based on scenery, history, and geology.

San Juan Mountains, Telluride-Ouray, CO

We also include events worth burning vacation days to attend, if you don't mind occasional off-road traffic jams.

And so everyone gets more than their money's worth here, we recap our Ultimate Adventure destinations and compile a list of private ORV parks, limiting ourselves to places that were still publicly accessible at press time. Land closures are an unfortunate reality, so always "call before you haul." Also, a few of the private parks are primarily competition tracks, just so you know before you go.

Late-breaking trail information and reports can be found in the 4x4 Trail Forum on our website, The Drivelines column in each issue contains a calendar of events. We also encourage everyone to browse our website for additional information on the areas listed here.

As an extra double bonus, we tossed in contacts for the various competition organizations and four-wheel-drive associations. Good luck crossing these destinations off your list.

Top 20 Trails & Areas
•Area BFE and surroundings: To head off potential land closures at the pass, a group of wheelers bought the area that includes Upper Helldorado. "Public" Moab still includes Pritchett Canyon among its challenging trails, although signatures runs such as Lion's Back are no longer open. (Moab, UT;

Rausch Creek ORV Park, Joliet, PA

•Badlands Off-Road Park: One of the first private off-road parks is still one of the most challenging. The Badlands has hosted many "extreme" 4x4 competitions over the years. (Attica, IN;

•Barnwell Mountain Recreational Area: Katemcy Rocks was a staff favorite in its initial Mason location. At press time the park was preparing to reopen in a new Mason County location, so Barnwell Mountain gets our nod as a Lone Star must-do for the time being. (Gilmer, TX;

•Bitch Trail: Great Lakes wheelers like Canada's Batchawana Bay and Sault St. Marie for off-pavement challenges. Judging by our Ultimate Adventure experience, The Bitch is our pick of must-visit places north of the 49th parallel. (Vancouver, BC, Canada;,

•Black Hills Nat'l Forest: Harley riders have Bike Week in Sturgis; four-wheelers have the Black Hills around Rapid City. Bikini and T-Back are two of the area's more notorious trails. (Rapid City, SD; Black Hills Four Wheelers,

•Chokecherry Canyon: Farmington has some of the most challenging trails in the Four Corners region. Chokecherry Canyon is one of the most popular destinations for hardcore crawlers. (Farmington, NM; Cliffhangers 4WD Club,

Ruby Lake Trail, Sutton, AK

•Dusy-Ershim OHV Route: Many longtime Sierra Nevada wheelers prefer this trail to the Rubicon. (Shaver Lake, CA;

•Flat Nasty Offroad Park: Missouri's finest, this park exceeds its name. Git R Done is one of the park's nastiest trails. (Jadwin, MO;

•Globe/Florence Junction, AZ: Outside of Phoenix, the greater Globe region harbors some of the state's toughest: Ajax and Upper Woodpecker to name two. (Arizona Roughriders,

•Gray Rock ORV Park: Considered by many the most challenging private park in the Southeast. It isn't always open, so call ahead. (Mt. Olive, AL;

•The Hammers: This area is probably the current Mt. Everest of rockcrawling. Pick your poison: Jackhammer, Sledgehammer, Clawhammer. (Johnson Valley, CA; )

PhotosView Slideshow

•Iron Range OHV Area: The pride of Minnesota, Iron Range offers more than 30 miles of trails in a 1,200-acre park. (Gilbert, MN;

The Hammers, Johnson Valley, CA

•Las Cruces, NM: Chile Canyons, site of the annual Chile Challenge, is a main attraction. Offers Habañero Falls, Tabasco Twister, and more. (Las Cruces 4WD Club,

•Montrose, CO: Rock gardens in this area are some of Colorado's most challenging trails. Calamity Canyon and Die Trying are two that live up to their names. (Western Slope 4 Wheelers,

•Rausch Creek Off-Road Park: Rausch Creek is the most popular place to wheel around New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and beyond. (Joliet, PA;

•Rock Creek Off-Road Park/Green Acres, Mr. Frieling's, Hurliman's: Clayton is the rock capital of Oklahoma. Green Momba and Wet N Wild are two of its famous trails. And Poteau areas are both beyond Oklahoma for wheeling challenges. (Clayton, OK; Sam's Offroad,, staff@sams

Area BFE, Moab, UT

•Rubicon: The most-famous trail in the United States, the Rubicon was also one of the most challenging prior to the long-travel/coilover suspensions of the '90s. It is now targeted for closure, a potential victim of its own notoriety. (Georgetown, CA;

•Ruby Lake Trail: The largest state in the U.S. is perhaps our final wheeling frontier. Other trails such as Boulder Creek and Sheep Creek are rated more challenging by the locals. We chose Ruby Lake because we've been there. (Sutton, AK; Alaska Extreme Fourwheelers,

•San Juan Mountains: The Switzerland of America this is one of the most scenic areas in the Contiguous 48. Mining trails allow 4x4 exploration of Colorado's geological history. Chosen more for beauty than challenge, the mountains' most famous trail is Black Bear Pass with its steep, above-timberline switchbacks. (Telluride-Ouray, CO;

•Superlift ORV Park: In formerly abandoned logging land, these Hot Springs trails were a popular word-of-mouth destination. Superlift spearheaded an investment group to ensure this area's survival as an off-road location. Challenging trails include Impossible, Ingrid's Revenge, and Ultimate Adventure (named in honor of our trip there). (Hot Springs, AR;

Superlift ORV Park, Hot Springs, AR

4WD Associations
•Arizona Sate Assoc. of 4Wheel Drive Clubs,
•California Assoc. of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs,
•Colorado Assoc. of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs,
•Florida Four Wheel Drive Assoc.,
•Great Lakes Four Wheel Drive Assoc.,
•Idaho State 4x4 Assoc.,
•Indiana Four Wheel Drive Assoc.,
•Louisiana Off-Roaders,
•Middle Atlantic Four Wheel Drive Assoc.,
•Midwest 4 Wheel Drive Assoc.,
•Montana 4x4 Assoc.,
•Northeast Assoc. of 4WD Clubs,
•Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Assoc.,
•Rhode Island Off-Highway Vehicle Assoc.,
•Southern Four Wheel Drive Assoc.,
•Southwest Four Wheel Drive Assoc.,
•United Four Wheel Drive Assoc.,
•Virginia 4WD Assoc.,
•Wisconsin 4 Wheel Drive Assoc.,

PhotosView Slideshow

BFGoodrich outstanding trails
•Barnwell Mountain Recreational Area, Gilmer, TX
•Beasley Knob OHV Trail, Blairsville, GA
•Black Bear Pass, Telluride, CO
•Black Cat Trail, El Centro, CA
•Blacktail/Wild Bill Nat'l Recreation Trail, Flat Head Nat'l Forest, MT
•Flat Nasty Off-Road Park, White Knuckle, Jadwin, MO
•Fordyce Creek Trail, Soda Springs, CA
•Hell's Revenge, Moab, UT
•Historic Naches Trail, Naches, WA
•Iron Range Trail System, Gilbert, MN
•Poughkeepsie Gulch, Ouray, CO
•Pritchett Canyon, Moab, UT
•Pyeatt Draw Trail, Payson, AZ
•Quinn Lake Trail, Renfrew, Ontario, Canada
•Redbird State Riding Area, Trail 4, Dugger, IN
•Rubicon Trail, Georgetown, CA
•Tillamook State Forest, Crushers, Northwestern Oregon
•Upper Tellico OHV Area, Trail 4/Fain Ford (currently closed)
•Whipsaw Trail, Princeton, BC, Canada

Rock Creek Off-Road Park, Clayton, OK

Land use/trail Organizations
•American Land Rights Assoc.,
•Blue Ribbon Coalition,
•Bureau of Land Management (BLM),
•California Off-Road Vehicle Assoc. (CORVA),
•Colorado OHV Coalition,
•National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council,
•National Off-Road Assoc.,
•National Park Service,
•Ohio Multi-Use Trails Assoc.:
•Trail Keepers,
•Tread Lightly,
•U.S. Dept. of Agriculture/Forest Service,
•U.S. Parks,

Popular Events
•All-4-Fun: Sponsored by the Mile High Jeep Club, this weeklong high-altitude 4x4 celebration happens every August. The event venue rotates locations throughout Colorado.
Info:, 303.210.8775

•Big Dogs Offroad Events: Runs take place at a 6,000-acre private ranch in Gore, VA. Information:
Info:, 410.440.3670

•Chile Challenge: This February tradition offers more Las Cruces action than some can handle.
Info:, 575.373.4516

Black Hills, Rapid City, SD

•Dakota Territory Challenge: The Black Hills come alive with crawlers every September.

•Easter Jeep Safari: Moab has become America's Mecca for 4x4 fun. The Easter Jeep Safari is the place to be for all 4x4 makes and models the week preceding Easter.
Info: Red Rocks 4-Wheelers,

•4x4 Jamboree Nationals: The Jambos' main draws are the shown-and-shine, monster trucks, and NMRO mud racing. Some venues also include a rockcrawling challenge and a tough-truck competition.
Info:, 317.236.6515

•Fun in the Desert: The Victor Valley 4 Wheelers hosts this event every September at Johnson Valley-Hammers included.
Info:, 760.948.1424

•Hi Desert Roundup: This Cal 4-Wheel fundraiser overtakes Stoddard Valley near Barstow every May.
Info:, 626.280.0308

•Hump N Bump: For more than 20 years, trail vehicles have congregated in Logandale (outside Las Vegas) for this Vegas Valley 4 Wheelers' November event. Challenging terrain offers rock, sand, and water.

Rangely ORV Area, Rangely, CO

•Jeepers Jamboree Rubicon Run: Originating in 1953, this is the oldest organized Rubicon run. It happens in late July, early August.
Info:, 530.333.4771

•Jeep Jamboree: The most famous Jamboree is over the Rubicon, but this institution, founded by Mark A. Smith, runs approximately 30 events annually throughout North America. Venues include both public and private lands.
Info:, 530.333.4777

•Minnesota Go 4's Memorial 4x4 Total Off-Road Rally: A Memorial Day extravaganza held at the Trollhaugen Ski Area in Dresser, WI.
Info:, 651.280.8282

•PNW4WDA Trail Jamboree: The 21st running happens July 7-11 near Naches, Washington, surrounded by the Cascade Mountains.
Info:, 509.698.3703

•Sierra Trek: This is the California Association of 4WD Clubs' big bash, happening every August since 1966. Based near Truckee, the event's marquee trail is Fordyce Creek.
Info:, 916.381.8300

•Sno-Blind Expedition: Held in Michigan's AuSable National Forest every February, this is one of the most popular winter runs.

•Superlift 4xAdventure Series: For 2010, the Superlift series adds events in Texas, Oklahoma, and Virginia while retaining the spring and fall 4xAdventures in Hot Springs, AR.
Info:,, 804.572.8335

•Telluride Rotary 4x4 Tours: This July spectacle raises money for scholarships and is one of the best guided ways to see Colorado's San Juan Mountains. Trails include Black Bear Pass, Imogene Pass, and Yankee Boy Basin. Information:
Info:, 888.605.2578

•Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari: California's traditional season-opener (February, early March), TDS normally takes place at the Truckhaven Hills, although it has been held at Ocotillo Wells OHV Area.

•Tin Benders Jamboree: An annual April thrashfest at Johnson Valley's Hammers.

Staff Favorites
Ali Mansour: The one I have the fondest memories of is the Rocky Mountain Loop Trail in the Uwharrie National Forest OHV Area, outside Troy, North Carolina. I've enjoyed Uwharrie's red clay countryside for years with my friends and family. It's definitely not the toughest trail system on the East Coast, but that hasn't stopped me from breaking, rolling, and having a blast. The most attractive part of the UNF trail system is that there is something for everyone. Add a good rainstorm and a boring hillclimb transforms into a high-revving, tire-spinning adventure.

Uwharrie Nat'l Forest, Troy, NC

Kevin McNulty: I like all the trails around Telluride and Silverton, particularly Black Bear Pass.

Fred Williams: The Johnson Valley Hammers trails. I can't pick just one. The are offers some of the best rockcrawling in the nation and has variety from easy to insane for any wheeling level.

Rick Pewe: Of all the trails in the world, my favorite is the Rubicon. While not the toughest trail, the sheer beauty of the 'Con along with its incredible history makes it my top-ranking place to wheel.

PhotosView Slideshow

Ultimate Adventure Recap*
2009 (Nov./dec.)
•Drummond Island, MI: Turtle Ridge Off-Road Park,
•Harrison, MI: Rocks & Valleys Off-Road Park,
•Mantua, OH: Jeep Skool,
•Mount Perry, OH: Painted Rock Adventure Park,
•Six Points, PA: Outback Off-Road Adventure Park,

2008 (Nov./dec.)
•Black Hills, SD: Black Hills 4 Wheelers,
•Miles City, MT: Glendive Short Pine BLM OHV Area,
•Rangley, CO: Rangely OHV Area, Rangely Rock Crawlers,
•Weston, WY: Bliss Dinosaur Ranch,

2007 (Nov./dec.)
•Gilmer, TX: Barnwell Mountain,
•Huntsville, TX: General Sam's Offroad Park,
•San Antonio, TX: Cline Ranch Off-Road Park,

Rubicon Trail, Georgetown, CA

2006 (Nov./dec.)
•Boise, ID: Rattlesnake Alley,
•Elko, NV: Gas Tank Alley, Bangin' Bones,
•Rexburg, ID: St. Anthony Dunes,

2005 (Nov./dec.)
•Cassville, MO: Mark Twain Nat'l Forest,
•Clayton, OK: Rock Creek/Green Acres, 918.569.4289
•Poteau, OK: Cavanal Hill, Sam's Offroad,, 800.446.5503
•Seymour, MO: Southern Missouri Offroad Ranch,

2004 (Nov./dec.)
•Chetek, WI: Apple Valley Farms,
•Gilbert, MN: Iron Range OHV Recreation Area,
•Marseille, IL: The Cliffs Insane Terrain Off-Road Park,

2003 (Nov.)
•Tracy City, TN: Monteagle, Damn Locals,
•Mt. Olive, AL: Gray Rock ORV Park,

•Hot Springs, AR: Superlift ORV Park,

2002 (Nov.)
•Cedar City, UT: Three Peaks OHV Park,
•Moab, UT: Upper Helldorado,
•Montrose, CO: Calamity Canyon, Western Slope 4 Wheelers,
•Mosco, CO: Great Sand Dunes Nat'l Park,

Bitch Trail, Duncan, BC, Canada

2001 (OCT.)
•Georgetown, CA: Rubicon Trail,
•Clifdell, WA: Shoestring/Kaner Trail,
•Duncan, Vancouver, BC, Canada: Bitch Trail,

2000 (Feb.)
•Farmington, NM: Water Falls Trail,
•Florence Junction, AZ: Upper Ajax, Arizona Rough Riders,
•Las Cruces, NM: Tabasco Twister, Las Cruces 4WD Club,
•Montrose, CO: Die Trying, Western Slope 4 Wheelers,
*Areas currently open

Private 4x4 Parks
•Gray Rock (Mt. Olive),, 205.841.5337
•Hawk Pride Mountain Offroad Park (Tuscumbia),, 256.577.1034
•Morris Mountain ORV Park (Anniston),, 256.488.5601
•Mountainside Offroad Park (Gadsden),, 404.925.5831

•Byrd's Adventure Center (Ozark),, 479.667.4066
•Superlift ORV Park (Hot Springs),, 501.625.3600

•Colorado Off.Road Extreme (Agate),, 303.956.3600
•Ram Off.Road Park (Colorado Springs),, 719.650.3044

Farmington, NM

•Durhamtown Off-Road Park (Union Point),, 706.486.4603
•East Coast Off-Road Park (Hortense),, 912.729.1896
•River Rock ORV Park (Milledgeville),, 478.452.0555

•The Cliffs Insane Terrain (Marseille),, 815.795.5200

•Badlands Off-Road Park (Attica),, 866.762.2981
•Haspin Acres (Laurel),, 765.698.2420

•Timber Ridge Ranch (Castana),, 712.353.6600

•Kansas Badlands Off-Road Park (South Haven),, 620.968.8033
•Kansas Rocks Recreation Park (Mapleton),, 913.782.5611

•Big Rock Off-Road Park (Maysville),, 606.564.8283
•Black Mountain Off-Road Adventure Park (Harlan County),, 606.573.4495
•D&K Off-Road Park (Manchester),, 606.598.2776

•High Lifter Off-Road Park (Shreveport),, 318.524.2270

•Rocky Mountain Terrain Park (Carthage),, 207.272.8012

•Bundy Hill Off-Road Park (Jerome),, 517.917.0493
•Rocks & Valleys Offroad Park (Harrison):, 989.539.1448
•Turtle Ridge ORV Park (Drummond Island),, 906.493.1000
•Twisted Trails Off-Road Park (Copemish),, 231.651.9548

•Red Creek Off-Road Park (Perkinston),, 601.945.5055

•Bricks 4x4 Farm (Poplar Bluff),, 573.718.7388
•CJ's Off-Road (Ellington),,
•Flat Nasty Offroad Park (Jadwin),, 573.729.6668
•Hannibal Rocks (Hannibal),, 217.242.1963
•Potawatomi Offroad Park (Fulton),
•SayersBrook (Potosi),, 888.854.4449
•Southern Missouri Offroad Ranch (Seymour),, 417.827.3952
•Washita Off-Road Trails (Farmington),, 573.756.5656

New York
•Field of Dreams Family 4WD Farm (Syracuse),, 877.4WD.FARM

North Carolina
•Carolina Backwoods (Ash),, 910.2875695

•Forbidden Zone/Wellsville (Hammondsville),, 740.219.9448
•Jeep Skool (Mantua),,
•Painted Rock Adventure Park (Mt. Perry),, 740.659.1171

Barnwell Mountain Recreational Area, Gilmer, TX

•Day Adventure Park (Wyandotte),, 918.666.3411
•Hogan's Offroad Park (Disney),, 918.435.8001
•Hurliman's ORV Park (Clayton),, 918.569.4761
•Mr. Frieling's ORV Park (Clayton), 918.522.4244
•Rock Creek/Green Acres Off-Road Park (Clayton), 918.569.4289

•Outback Off-Road Adventure Park (Six Points),, 724.285.5082
•Rausch Creek Off-Road Park (Joliet),, 610.842.3596
•Rock Run Recreation Park (Patton),, 814.674.6026

South Carolina
•Gulches Off-Road Vehicle Park (Laurens),, 864.449.5698

Rubicon Trail, Georgetown, CA

•Bold Springs Off-Road Park (McEwen), 931.582.6060
•Coal Creek OHV Area/Wind Rock Park (Oliver Springs),, 865.435.0486
•Crazy Horse Extreme Off-Road Park (Waynesboro),, 931.722.3960
•Golden Mountain OHV Park (Sparta),, 931.644.9917
•Wheelin' in the Country (Summertown),, 931.964.3417
•Wooley's Off-Road Club (Lynnville),, 931.703.3129

•Brazos Valley Off-Road Ranch (Bryan),, 979.846.1592
•Brushy Creek Motor Farm (Dallas),, 972.524.2526
•Cline Ranch Off-Road Park (San Antonio),, 210.379.4146
•General Sam's Off-Road Wilderness Park (Huntsville),, 281.705.0078
•Hidden Falls Adventure Park (Marble Falls),, 830.798.9820
•Katemcy Rocks K2 (Mason),,, 325.347.6333
•Long Ranch ORV Park (Llano),, 512.755.5952
•Primitive Acres Guest Ranch (Mt. Enterprise),, 903.822.3983
•River Run Park (Neches River),, 903.724.4100
•Rock Creek Off-Road Park (Lipan), 254.227.1020
•Satan's Playground ORV Park (Ozona),,
•Shiloh Ridge ORV Park (Rusk),, 800.432.3965
•Texas HogWallow (Deweyville),, 409.746.2020
•Texas Race City (Florence),, 254.554.1226
•Tire Trax Ranch Offroad Park (Rockdale),, 512.373.6552

•Area BFE,, 562.233.6523

•Big Boys Playground (Harrisonburg),, 540.476.2044

•Apple Valley Farms (Chetek),,
•Northwoods Overland OHV Park (Rib Lake),, 715.783.0191

•Bliss Dinosaur Ranch (Weston), Bliss Dinosaur Ranch,,

•Sault Trussel OffRoad, (Sault St. Marie, Ontario),,


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