Off-road on your mind? You’re not alone. With the popularity of SUV hybrids and full-size trucks at an all-time high, more than ever, drivers are looking to take their horsepower off of the beaten path. This week, our experts are weighing in on the five most in-demand off-road destinations across the country. From mountain ranges to muddy trails, we’ve fixed up a list below that’s sure to put you on—or off—the right track.
ALPINE LOOP TRAIL, COLORADO
For those looking to really get away on their getaway, Colorado’s Alpine Loop Trail is the perfect blend of scenic and surreal. This historic byway is only without snow from June to September, so there’s just enough time to get planning today. Located five hours southwest of Denver, this 65-mile trail crosses two 12,000-foot passes, seven ghost towns and a landscape of treeless tundra, all hidden beneath a blanket of red and yellow wild flowers. The entire route is four-wheel-drive terrain, and high clearance is recommended if you want to reach the trail’s peak vistas.
RUBICON TRAIL, CALIFORNIA
One of the most famous 4x4 destinations in the world, the Rubicon Trail is a challenging drive for even the most experienced off-roaders. Jeep’s premier Wrangler model even has a “Rubicon” edition in honor of the trail’s notorious reputation. The Rubicon Trail is a 22-mile route that winds through the El Dorado and Tahoe National Forests and is chock-full of some of the most technical, breath-taking scenery this side of the Rockies. While stock 4x4 vehicles have successfully made the trek, coming extra prepared (i.e.“35-inch off-road tires and a full roll cage” prepared) will do you more than just a few favors in the long run.
EL CAMINO DEL DIABLO, ARIZONA
Nicknamed “The Devil’s Highway,” the El Camino Del Diablo has existed since the era of conquistadors and settlers, making the trail a perfect place for history buffs. This 250-mile link between U.S. and Mexico takes travelers through a landscape of organ pipe cacti, drifting sand dunes and ancient lava flows. You can expect more than enough peace and quiet here, but be sure to pack enough water and emergency equipment, just in case. The full experience takes around three days to complete, and there’s no better way to relive the pioneers’ experiences—sans horse and carriage.
WHITE RIM TRAIL, UTAH
Our next off-road wonder takes us a bit further north to Utah’s White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park. This 100-mile trail cruises by sandstone arches, Native American ruins and incredible canyon vistas. We recommend setting aside two to three days to experience the landscape in full, and a full week if you’d like to shift into 2-wheel drive on the world-class mountain biking trails. Even by night, the trail offers out-of-this-world stargazing, so be sure to pack a tent for the full experience.
BALD EAGLE STATE FOREST, PENNSYLVANIA
For our East Coast explorers, Bald Eagle State Forest is perfect for the most outgoing of off-roaders. The forest is a 200,000 acre gem in the heart of Pennsylvania that spans sharp ridges, pristine mountain streams and cozy cabins that make for a perfect homestead after a hard day’s adventure. There are plenty of trails for motorcycles and ATVs, as well as hiking venues for those who would rather hoof it. Overall, Bald Eagle State Forest offers one of the best off-road experiences on the East Coast, primarily because it seldom gives you a road at all.
While keeping your car’s exterior clean has its merits, that doesn’t mean you can’t go out and get some one-on-one time with your 4x4. However, we know sometimes just getting back on the road is enough, and that’s where it pays to have a collision repair partner who will always go the extra mile. No matter where hard luck strikes, we’re always at the ready when it comes to Restoring the Rhythm of Your Life®.