Utah is premier off-roading country. With miles upon miles of trails that span over different types of nearly untouched terrain, Utah’s natural glory makes it impossible for you to not have a spectacular time riding your ATV with friends and family. The following five Utah ATV trails are some great places to start!
Bordered by both Moab Valley and the Colorado River, Poison Spider is accessed via Scenic Byway 279, and climbs to the rim of a cliff north of Moab proper. With stunning red-orange landscapes and geological features that do not exist anywhere but in the American Southwest, the trail is a necessary experience for those who typically ATV in forested areas. The trail is challenging, but not too challenging, making it exciting without threatening the status of your vehicle. If you don’t have much experience using an ATV, this probably isn’t the best place to start, given that most of the trail is made up of a slick rock path, though it also features some sand trails. The trail spans for approximately 37 miles.
Located in Northern Utah, the Outlaw ATV Trail spans for 40 miles, and gradually increases from an elevation of 8,000 to 9,500 feet. Located near the beautiful Flaming Gorge, the trail is fairly easy in comparison to other trails in Utah, though there are spots that necessitate more ATV experience. It isn’t rare to see animals along the trail, such as elk, deer, eagles, and hawks, so the trail is perfect for wildlife viewing. The trail is a loop that consists of graded roads, two-track ATV trails, and four-wheel drive roads. You can start on the trail at its main trailhead on Highway 191, but there are also multiple other entrances, in addition to a number of nearby campgrounds.
If you’re not looking for anything extreme on your ATV, the Paiute Trail near Torrey, Utah, is relaxing exploration suited for families and off-roading novices. Nevertheless, experienced riders will also enjoy this trail, which ventures into the densely-wooded Fishlake National Forest and features impressive panoramic views. The main loop of the trail stretches for miles, and would take a whopping 25 hours to complete on an ATV. In addition, there are thousands of miles of side-roads and trails to explore. Because most parts of the trail system aren’t frequented very often, it isn’t uncommon to spot herds of elk and deer. If you want to take your time on the trail, make sure to schedule at least a few days in the area so you can go the entire distance. If you can, visit this trail system in early fall, as the trees transform into magnificent yellows, reds, and oranges. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
Markagunt Plateau Trail is the best of both worlds. Showcasing Utah’s alpine terrain in addition to its red-rock majesty, the trail’s scenery is incredibly diverse. Lasting for 52 miles, the loop has minimal elevation change, but does remain at a high elevation throughout. “Markagunt” means “highland of trees” in Paiute, which makes sense, because the area is exactly that: a combination of forest, aspen groves, and sandstone. Fortunately, the trail is also close to Cedar City, Cedar Breaks National Monument, and Brian Head Ski Resort, which means you can stay at a hotel or camp, depending on your preference. This also means you are close to a range of other interesting outdoor activities. Some areas of the trail are even accessible by car, which means if you aren’t in the mood to explore the entire trail on your ATV, you can do so in a covered vehicle as well.
An extensive array of trails that circulate through and around the charming towns of Fairview, Ephraim, and Manti, the Arapeen OHV Trail Map is similar to the Paiute Trail System, but isn’t quite as big. This system of trails is especially great for groups of off-roaders with different capabilities and preferences. If you want a challenging adventure, you can find it here. If you want to wind down and enjoy the scenery, you can do that also. With over 350 miles of trails, you can imagine that anyone could find exactly what they are looking for here. Sanpete County isn’t too far from larger Utah metropolitan areas, so if you want to escape for a day without going too far, the Arapeen OHV Trail System is ideal.
*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.