Off-Road Trip Tips for the Summer

Apr. 29, 2009 By
If you hear "Mom, I'm BORED!" this summer, it's your own fault. We know for a fact there is loads to do out there - away from the tv - and there is nothing better than loading the kids up in the old Suburban and hitting the trail, letting them eat dirt for a few days. Or loading your friends up in the new Jeep and getting away from the neighbor's noisy kids! Here's some of our favorites from years past, ideas for places to go and things to do off-road across the country. Feel free to add your own comments and suggestions at the bottom of the article, and when you get back, share your adventures at Be sure to include the key word TRAIL when you post your photos or video.

ATVs on Sand DunesOregon Dune Fest - Winchester Bay, OR
Sand drags, show & shine, treasure hunt, open dune riding. Every year ATV & UTV riders come from all over for a chance to get together with buddies and make some new friends, swap stories, check out the chrome, and enjoy an evening campfire on the beach. And a lot of "braap braap braap!"



Hummer Off-RoadHummer Adventure Challenge - Chesterfield, MO
This three day competitive event started off along the banks of the mighty Missouri River in Chesterfield Missouri, then snaked its way into the scenic Ozarks on the edge of the Mark Twain National Forest for the exciting conclusion. Along the way, drivers and their navigators encountered Navigation, TSD, Sporting Clays, Canoeing, Winching, and Hummer Skill Challenges.


Mid-Ohio Vintage Days
Vintage DirtbikeWe walked around the enormous place and checked out the bikes.  It was like stepping back into time.  Everywhere you looked there were Huskies, CZs, Maicos, YZs, Elsinores and even Harley Bajas.  If this wasn’t enough, there were big British twins and honorable old singles.  And then there were the bikes that maybe you read about, but never saw before:  Sears Allstates, Gileras, Cottons, Francis-Barnetts, Esos, Harley MXers, CCMs, American Eagles, Jawas, Guzzis, Birds, Steens, Panthers, Villiers, Rokons, Coopers, Mojaves and even a Simplex or two … one of them running.


UTV Trail RideBlack Hills UTV Rally - Piedmont, SD
The trails leading out of Top 50 Rally Park offered a range of terrain, from gravel fire roads to tight and technical rocky trails. We rode about a hundred miles of trails over two days and didn't even scratch the surface of what this area has to offer. If you own a UTV or ATV and are looking for a great vacation next summer with some excellent riding then you should put the Black Hills UTV Rally on your calendar - Labor Day Weekend, 2009!


4x4 Adventuring in Caliente, NV
Along side of the train tracks and a stone throw from the Caliente Train Station, stroked into the town's relics, you'll find fresh interpretations of Caliente's history, whatever you can make of it. Just before sunset, we set up camp, lit the campfire and cooked us some campfire cuisine. Just after sunset, the thunderclouds moved. Although they never unleashed a touch of rain on our camp, the display of lightning and the eerie sound of distant and overhead thunder was spectacular and, by itself, worth the two-and-a-half hour drive north from Vegas.


SUV off-roadFamily Fun Caravan - Troy, NC
Uwharrie National Park is host to 16 miles of “off-highway” trails and offers a variety of terrains for the moderate level four-wheeler. The trails are supported by well maintained service roads and offer exceptional facilities for camping, even bathrooms and showers! The games showed the true reason why we build the monstrously ugly vehicles and squander our children’s college funds all to have fun and make friends.


forest look-outMorton Peak Fire Lookout - San Bernadino CA
At 4624' above sea level, Morton Peak offers incredible 360-degree views of the San Bernardino Mountains, Santa Ana River Valley, and Inland Empire communities and deserts.  This working lookout, which is staffed by volunteers, is located about ten miles from Interstate 10, yet seems to be worlds away. Visitors who spend the night can expect a truly unique forest experience that will take them back in time.


Utility ATV Trail RideHigh Mountain ATV Jamboree - Wallace, ID
Wallace was carved out of the valley just east of Couer d'Alene, WA by miners in search of silver, lead, zinc and gold. Many of the mines remain in varying states of preservation or near collapse, but it is still easy to imagine what life must have been like in the narrow twisting canyons and steep mountain sides. You won't find many wide open meadows and rolling hills - be prepared for miles of riding, most likely on long dusty, winding roads and steep trails.

Now get out there and go find some of your own fun, off-road!

-ptw Newsletter
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