There are many incredible ATV off-roading routes in Colorado, and it’s a great way to experience the state’s high country at a fast pace. Rent an ATV, or bring your own—but do keep in mind you’ll need a Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Permit to do so. The following trails are high elevation, therefore should only be visited during the summer months. Even May and June can be snowy and cold! Explore the Centennial State at these five cool spots for ATV off-roading in Colorado.
Ride an ATV in high country at Taylor Park. This ATV spot, which is accessible by Gunnison and Crested Butte, offers miles of off-road area and is undoubtedly the most popular spot to ATV in the state. Taylor Park is a great visit for those wanting to camp along the ATV trails because there are plenty of miles of off-roading here. There is no need to commute to different trailheads. There are so many trails that you could spend a week exploring them. Since this is a popular ATV destination, rentals and guided tours are in the area.
Alpine Loop in the San Juan Mountains is a great ATVing spot because it offers 65 miles of alpine terrain trails and connects many popular ATV trails. This off-road system also connects the towns of Silverton, Lake City and Ouray. The main trails in the Alpine Loop are Cinnamon Pass and Engineer Pass, however find lots of side trails too. With such an extensive network of trails, Alpine Loop is great for a multi-day trip. This area is sure to give great views because the Alpine Loop is situated around some of Colorado’s 14,000-foot mountains, referred to as 14’ers.
Visit a glacier and explore miles of great terrain at the Central City and St. Mary’s Network. This trail system brings off-roaders up to high country, therefore you are sure to get great scenic views of the Rockies. On this trail network, St. Mary’s Glacier and Chinns Lake are two breathtaking spots that shouldn’t be missed. Do keep in mind that there are some trails in the system that are incredible climbs, such as Yankee Hill and Kingston Peak. Other notable trails in this system are Rainbow Road, Spring Creek and Cumberland Gulch to name a few. This ATV spot is accessible west of Idaho Springs.
The area between Eagle and Gypsum is referred to as Hardscrabble. There is a variety of ATV trails on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land. Expect to climb up mountains, with a difference as big as 3,000 feet in elevation gain, on these mountainous off-roading tracks. However, anyone from beginner to advanced will find something to ride in the Hardscrabble. A popular trail in this spot is Red & White Mountain along with Shrine Pass.
Find well-marked trails from beginner to advanced at the Four Mile Trail System. One of the things that brings people to this ATV spot is the views of the Collegiate Peaks, all 14,000-foot mountains. This area is most easily accessible near Buena Vista, and there are a variety of camping spots that can be found along the trails. One of the most popular routes is Carnage Canyon.
*Note: Age restrictions, special licenses, and other requirements for off highway vehicles vary from state to state. Before heading out on your OHV, please consult your local regulations.