The 13 Most Stunning Jeep Off-Road Trails in the U.S.

Ever dreamed of hitting a dirt track aboard a sturdy off-road vehicle? Think of an exciting adventure through rough terrains that weave through untamed deserts,…

Ever dreamed of hitting a dirt track aboard a sturdy off-road vehicle? Think of an exciting adventure through rough terrains that weave through untamed deserts, mountains, and forests. 

We’ve collected a list of the most scenic off-road trails in the U.S. These aren’t your average all-terrain roads; they challenge you and your Jeep every step of the way.

From Moab’s iconic red rocks to Alaska’s remote dirt roads, these trails promise heart-pounding climbs, thrilling descents, and stunning views. These trails lead you through the heart of America’s most rugged landscapes. Some are so long you’ll need to wild camp for a few nights.

Don’t own an all-terrain vehicle? Several companies specialize in off-road tours, while others offer 4×4 rentals outfitted for an epic camping trip.

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1. Rubicon Trail, California

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The Rubicon Trail in the Sierra Nevada is on any off-roader’s bucket list. Widely recognized as the toughest off-road trail in the US, this route treats you to stunning views of untouched towering mountains, serene creeks, and lush forests. It’s a nature-lover’s dream and a badge of honor among the Jeep community.

Spanning a wild 22 miles, the Rubicon Trail is a mix of old roads and rough 4×4 paths. You’ll find plenty of challenging rocky obstacles and steep inclines that only experienced drivers dare tackle.

There are three entry points. One is at Wentworth Springs, one at the Loon Lake Spillway, and one along Highway 89 near Tahoma. 

The trail is open year-round, although it’s more fun from late spring to early fall when there’s no snow.

2. Moab Rim Trail, Utah

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Nestled just a stone’s throw from Moab, Utah, the Moab Rim Trail is a hiking and 4×4 route known for its steep ascents and tilted rock-layered slopes. The locals dubbed it “the stairmaster.” 

The track overlooks the Colorado River gorge in one of its most beautiful spots. From there, you can see La Sal Mountains, the Moab and Spanish Valleys, part of the Arches National Park, and some distant features, like the Book Cliffs. It’s a red rock paradise.

This trail doesn’t mess around – it starts shooting up 1,000 feet in just under a mile, presenting two tricky steps known as “Devil’s Crack” and the “Z Turn.” At the peak, there’s a slickrock dome daring you to take on its optional climb, boasting a heart-pumping 85% incline. 

Much of the trail, especially at the start, is bedrock that nature has broken into ledges and steps. Later, you’ll also encounter slickrock, blow sand, and some sand with broken rock. You get to really play in the dirt.

Bite the rocks by driving just downriver from town, southwest of Moab. The trail is 14 miles long, nine of which are off-highway.

3. Black Bear Pass, Colorado

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Climbing up steep terrain over 10 miles, Black Bear Pass is a challenging 4×4 trail near Silverton, Colorado, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Like many trails in this area, it has a deadly reputation for fatal accidents. 

Many consider this one of the most dangerous off-road trails in America because of its gnarly tight switchbacks. This is especially true when it’s pouring rain or hail and the trail gets muddy or slick.

Black Bear Pass offers stunning views from high above Red Mountain Pass and Telluride. Further along the route, you’re treated to close-up views of two dramatic waterfalls and historic mines. There’s a popular challenging step called “Wrecked” – this is where a 4Runner flopped and its license plate was stamped with “WRECKED.” Legend has it it’s still there.

The trail closes between October and June.

4. The Alpine Loop, Colorado

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The Alpine Loop Scenic Byway is a 60-mile-long network of disused 4×4 mining roads connecting Lake City, Silverton, and Ouray in the southern Colorado mountains.

It’s a hotspot for over 100,000 visitors each summer when the wildflowers bloom. The track gets busy, especially around midday in July.

Navigating The Loop, you’ll scale two towering mountain passes – Cinnamon and Engineer – with only a tiny section of pavement in Lake City that breaks up the dirt and gravel road. Along the route, you’ll pass Lake San Cristobal, ghost towns like Sherman, mining ruins, alpine views, avalanche debris, and incredible mountain views.

Much of the track is narrow, so be prepared to drive close to cliff edges and back up on a downhill to let other vehicles pass.

The Loop is open between late May and late October.

5. Imogene Pass, Colorado

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With a staggering 4,000 feet of elevation gain over 12 miles, Imogene Pass is an unforgettable picturesque 4×4 path.

This trail winds through one of the liveliest mining sites in the U.S., the Tomboy Townsite, within the Savage Basin—a large glacial cirque below the mine. In the early 1900s, about 900 people lived here year-round, using snow tunnels to get around during the long, cold winters.

You might spot black bears, bighorn sheep, and moose on the route. If you don’t mind taking a detour, you’ll catch a glimpse of the impressive Yellow Rose Falls.

Imogene Pass is open between mid-May and the end of November, but sometimes, there’s snow on the trail until early July. You can drive in either direction on the trail, but starting in Telluride offers an easier ride – it allows you to drive downhill on the steeper north side. 

6. Mojave Road, California

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Astrophile offroaders dream of completing the Mojave Road in California. This trail stretches 150 miles across the desert, traversing from the Colorado River to the Mojave River near Wilmington, Los Angeles. 

The Mojave Road mostly runs within the Mojave National Preserve, offering gorgeous views of untouched mountains, Joshua tree woodlands, volcanic spires, dunes, and wetlands. 

Completing the route takes about three days. Along the trail, there are undeveloped campsites with no registration fee where you can admire some of the last remaining inky-black starry skies in the U.S. Astronomers say you can see the Milky Way and our sister galaxy Andromeda every night.

While the trail is always open, you should look at the weather forecast. There can be water on Soda Lake, washouts from summer monsoon floods, and snow or ice in winter.

Because this trail is long and remote, traveling with other vehicles is best.

7. Hell’s Revenge, Utah

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At only 6.5 miles long, Hell’s Revenge packs a punch, as its name suggests. It features some truly hazardous terrain with little room for error, so only the most experienced overlanders should bite it. The track features slick rock, rock ledges, broken rock, sandy dirt, and some blow sand.

From the trail, you get to see majestic sandstone landscape, stretching from the La Sal Mountains, sweeping through the iconic landscapes of Arches National Park, and out to the dramatic ledges that tower over the Moab Valley. 

The entrance to the track is just after the Sand Flats Recreation Area Entrance Station. The trail is well-marked and open year-round, although temperatures are less harsh in the winter and fall.

8.  The White Rim Road, Utah

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The White Rim Road is a 100-mile-long scenic drive around the Island in the Sky Mesa in Canyonlands National Park. As you drive, you’ll navigate sheer cliffs, traverse impressive landscapes sculpted by the mighty Colorado and Green Rivers, and encounter vistas that will take your breath away.

The trail gets its name because it crosses the top of White Rim Sandstone – the rock layer below the Island in the Sky mesa.

The route is a mix of easy driving on rough dirt roads interspersed with challenging sections featuring steep ascents, like Hardscrabble Hill and Murphy’s Hogback. Expect narrow paths with drop-offs, steep and exposed sections, and plenty of switchbacks. 

The most challenging sections are the Shafer Trail, Lathrop Canyon Road, Murphy Hogback, Hardscrabble Hill, and Mineral Bottom.

Along the trail are 20 campsites in 10 areas where you can stop for the night. These are cleverly located to be out of earshot and sight of each other. The road is open year-round.

9. Ocala National Forest, Florida

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This 81-mile network of Jeep trails in Ocala National Forest, Florida, offers a more relaxing drive across a magical woodland landscape. It’s a stock-friendly trail with some areas of mud, water, and extremely soft sand.

The trail has been named “Tread Lightly! Four Wheel Drive Way” and winds around the Ocala National Forest, starting from the north. The area is rich in local wildlife, and rattlesnake and black bear sightings along the route are fairly common.

The track is safe to drive in all seasons. Between May and October, expect short rain showers in the afternoon. 

If you enjoy the camaraderie you only experience at off-roading events, the annual Jeeptoberfest, organized by the Ocala Jeep Club, takes place in October. It’s one of the largest Jeep-only events in the Southeast.

10. Big Bend National Park, Texas

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Big Bend National Park is a fantastic offroading destination with four thrilling dirt roads to choose from: Old Ore Road, Glenn Springs Road, River Road, and Black Gap Road. The routes suit offroaders of different skill levels – the River Road is fairly easy, while the Black Gap Road features some challenging terrain.

Black Gap Road isn’t maintained and takes you into the park’s most remote areas. This track is rocky and bumpy with steep ascents and descents, suitable only for the most rugged vehicles.

Hitting one of these trails means enjoying sweeping desert views, canyons, and amazing vistas of the eastern side of the Chisos Mountains. 

The Big Bend National Park’s primitive dirt roads are open year-round.

11. Arizona Peace Trail, Arizona

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Spanning nearly 700 off-highway miles over three counties, the Arizona Peace Trail (AZTP) is the largest OHV Loop Trail in the United States. It runs between Yuma and Bullhead City and extends over Mohave, La Paz, and Yuma. 

Because of its length, the track goes through various climates and has varying difficulty levels. 

The trail offers stunning views of the Hualapai mountains and gorgeous desert landscapes. Along the route, you’ll encounter ghost gold mine towns, four lakes, and historic petroglyph sites. 

Completing the loop takes five days. There are many wild camping spots along the way to pick from. There are countless side trails along the route, and the area is remote, so bringing a print map is crucial. 

The trail is open year-round, but the best time to visit is late fall or winter.

12. Cinder Hills OHV Area, Arizona

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Nestled within a unique landscape peppered with volcanic remnants and deep craters and set against a backdrop of towering ponderosa pines, the Cinder Hills OHV Area extends over 13,500 acres.

The panoramic track runs inside the Coconino National Forest – one of the most diverse woodlands in Arizona. You can admire mountains, canyons, lakes, creeks, and streams from the trail. The wildlife is plentiful, so you can expect to spot signs of mountain lions, black bears, elk, coyotes, bald eagles, and prairie dogs.

There are numerous dispersed camping spots, but if you need to use a campground, the closest is Bonito Campground, near Flagstaff.

The area is open all year, although the winters can be snowy.

13. Dalton Highway, Alaska

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Stretching over 414 miles through the boreal forests and up to the misty Arctic oilfields of Deadhorse, Dalton Highway is the most remote dirt road in North America. From Coldfoot, located at the midpoint, to the end of the road in Deadhorse, you won’t find any services – no gas stations, shops, or hotels.

While the route is called a highway, it’s a tough drive – steep and slick in places and muddy in others. You need to tackle it in a rugged 4×4 with plenty of gear and supplies. 

The track goes through one of the hardest-to-reach national parks in the U.S.: Gates of the Arctic National Park. Here, you might encounter bears, wolves, moose, caribou, arctic squirrels, and musk-ox here. 

The road is open year-round, although records show temperatures as low as 82 below in the winter.

8 Formidable Jeep Gladiator Campers for Your Off-Roading Dreams

Photo Credit: TNTOverlander

Jeep Gladiators are an excellent option for off-roading, but creating your own Jeep Gladiator camper will take your overland adventures to a whole new level. There are some really neat customized Jeep campers out there, so we will highlight a few here! Take your Jeep Gladiator camping and overlapping.

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