With its spectacular nature, mountainous landscape, and wide-open spaces, Colorado is the perfect place to experience the majesty of the great outdoors while driving off-road. You’ll experience magnificent views in an adventurous way, traversing across the varied terrain of nature’s icons like the Colorado Rockies or the Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction.
Acres of public land surrounding Grand Junction in Western Colorado are open to all kinds of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) like side-by-sides, dirtbikes, snowmobiles, and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
Resources for Off-Roading in Colorado
If you’re looking to go off-roading in Colorado, there’s a wealth of resources available that can make planning easier. These include maps, legal information, and helpful communities of like-minded people. Here are some of the best resources for off-roading in Colorado to get you started:
Colorado Trail Map
This interactive OHV trail map by Stay the Trail is a great resource for off-roaders in Colorado. It shows all the trail systems in the state, and you can click any pin on the map for more details on that specific trail. The rest of the site is also a helpful resource for learning about off-roading in the area, from legal guidelines to etiquette tips.
OHV Registrations & Permits
It’s important to make sure you comply with local laws and regulations when off-roading in Colorado. You can check out Colorado’s Off-Highway Vehicle Program to make sure you’re fully up to speed with all the latest rules and ensure you don’t run into legal problems.
Off-roading, like many outdoor activities, is even more fun when you have a group of like-minded people to enjoy it with. Fortunately, the Western Slope ATV Association exists to bring together OHV drivers in the Grand Junction area. The organization has over 300 members and holds club meetings and group rides, and they publicly advocate responsible ATV use as a legitimate recreational activity for families, among other initiatives.
Where to Go Off-Roading in Colorado
Colorado is full of places to explore off-road once you’re prepared with the necessary resources. There are options for all experience levels, and whatever you’re looking for from water crossings to rock climbs, you’re bound to find it in this part of the world. Here are some of the best places to drive your OHV in Colorado:
Ophir Pass Road is part of the Alpine Loop in the San Juan Mountains that spans about 8 miles. This route is easy enough for most beginners to handle without any problem but varied enough to offer spectacular views of the mountains. Ophir Pass Road is recommended for high-clearance 4x4 vehicles in particular.
Located close to Grand Junction, the OHV trails at Bangs Canyon offer stunning views of high desert plateaus overlooking the Grand Valley. This area is home to a wide range of ATV-width trails as well as rock crawling for more adventurous drivers on the Billings Canyon Jeep Trail.
Grand Mesa National Forest
Grand Mesa National Forest is an OHV driver’s paradise, offering 150 miles of ATV trails that wind through the forest with views of lakes, wildflowers, aspen groves, and much more. Here you’ll find opportunities for rock crawling, water crossings, and hill climbs. There is something here for every off-roading difficulty level — beginners can find easy rides on the flat-top mountains while more seasoned drivers can explore challenging climbs.
The Rabbit Valley Motorized Area is located on BLM-managed land in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area near Grand Junction, Colorado. Most of the trails in this area are suitable for motorcycles and ATVs, and it’s necessary to have a vehicle that can handle rough terrain. But, the stunning views of the juniper-dotted landscape and unique sandstone formations are well worth the ride.
Plan Your Colorado Off-Roading Trip
Western Colorado and Grand Junction are incredible locations for scenic off-roading no matter what your current experience level is. Grand Junction’s spectacular scenery combines with a terrain that can be awe-inspiring and leisurely, or adventurous and challenging — it’s up to you what you opt for.
Even the easier trails in this area offer beautiful views and a rewarding day of riding, so if you’re considering off-roading in Colorado, you’ll be spoiled with many options to choose from.
Ready to take your ATV trip to the next level? Learn about opportunities for guided OHV tours near Grand Junction, Colorado.
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