Being in nature is truly soul-filling and experiencing the great outdoors on your favorite dirt bike, ATV, or 4×4 vehicle is a beautiful way to fully enjoy this life! Combining being out in nature with riding and camping just multiplies the fun and takes it to the next level. It also offers the opportunity to create awesome memories with your favorite humans whether that be family and friends, or your outdoor adventure crew. Colorado boasts thousands of miles of incredible trails ensuring you an epic outing throughout some of the most beautiful terrain west of the Mississippi.
Colorado is a destination for OHV enthusiasts as it has all varieties of terrain from mountains and forests to desert and rock obstacles. Year round riding and sunshine for the majority of the year attracts riders from all over the country to visit this beautiful and engaging part of the world. Strap yourself in for the ride of your life!
Stillwater pass accommodates all types of vehicles from dirt bikes and ATV’s to 4×4’s and even mountain bikes. There is heavy traffic in peak summer season and on weekends as a result. Starting at Idelglen Trailhead, a system of mostly novice trails branch out, but be aware of signs as some trails are only passable with a 4×4. Stillwater pass itself is quite tame and is a long, winding road offering gorgeous sweeping views above Grand Lake. Terrain is mostly rocky, packed soil and well-graded. Branch off the main road if you are seeking more challenging (read: fun) terrain.
Set aside at least one full day to enjoy about 50 square miles of park or camp out at one of the many first come-first serve camping areas and enjoy the views of the beautiful snow-capped mountains in the distance. Bring your camera and watch for wildlife with Moose, Elk, and Wild Deer a common sight along the trails.
Rainbow Falls is an OHV area spanning about 5000 acres with 20 miles of trails. You will find many 4×4 and ATV enthusiasts driving the smooth, wide, hard packed terrain. There are also some rugged hill climbs and challenging 4×4 obstacles in the area. Dirtbikers are welcome as well and may find the smaller ATV only trails more fun than the wide open 4×4 trails. Either way, ripping through the tree-covered forest guarantees a great ride!
The trail system is very popular so ride on the weekdays if possible to avoid weekend traffic on the trails. There is a large staging area at the trailhead which will serve as home base if you want to run a loop on the trails during a day trip or “primitive” camping is allowed in the forest if you want to rough it out for a few nights. If running water is more your thing, the Painted Rocks Campground is only 4 miles away from the riding area.
One of the most popular OHV areas in all of Colorado, Rampart Range has something for riders of all experience levels. Beginner riders will have a blast on some of the mellow trails while there is no shortage of more challenging terrain for more battle-hardened riders.
Located just 35 miles southwest of the Denver metro area, this part of the Pike-San Isabel National Forest has been functioning as an OHV area since the early 70’s. Originally open to only motorcycles, Rampart Range now welcomes ATV’s and UTV’s as well. Most trails are wide enough for the 3+ wheel vehicles but there are still some trails designated moto only so keep an eye out for signs when approaching trailheads.
There is a plethora of local camping available if you prefer a multi-day adventure. All camping is arranged by the US Forest Service, separate from the OHV management committee. The local legend is that Bigfoot lurks in these mountains so keep any eye out when you’re ripping the single track!
Texas Creek is a unique destination for all OHV enthusiasts. 4×4 enthusiasts will find plenty of easy cruising as well as challenging obstacles in the gulch. If you’re bringing your bikes, be prepared to share the trails with the 3 and 4 wheelers but don’t fret, there is also a single track trail if you want to have the trail to yourself.
Being in the “high mountain desert”, Texas Creek experiences higher temperatures than many of the other areas of Colorado. There is little to no snowfall in the area which allows Texas Creek to be enjoyed all year round! If it does snow in the winter, the lower elevation trails remain rideable so just be aware that it will take a bit longer for the snow to melt on the higher elevation trails.
Views from the higher elevations are great! There are also some interesting mines and things to look at while exploring the ~45 miles of OHV area.
Aspen Loop Trail
The Aspen Loop ATV trails are open to dirtbikes despite what the name suggests. All OHV’s are welcome except for full-size vehicles like 4x4s. The trails are also open to horseback riders, mountain bikers, and hikers so be sure to keep an eye out and share the trails.
The trails wind through aspen groves and beautiful spruce forests with a few lookout points to be found, streams, ponds, and wildlife galore! There can be some large rocks on the trails but it is mostly well-graded intermediate terrain with a nice wide footprint.
Camping is just ½ mile from the main trailhead at the Transfer Campground with the trails circling the campground. Full amenities such as restrooms and water are accessible at the campground so bring the whole family!
Caribou Flats Rd. is very popular among 4×4 enthusiasts but is also open to dirtbikes and ATV’s. It is one of the few OHV areas on the eastern side of the Front Range meaning if you are around the Denver Metro area it is an easy day trip to enjoy the loop trail. It is also an easy drive west of Boulder.
Highlights along the trail include some remains of old mines as Caribou was once a bustling mining town. History says that over 8 million dollars worth of gold was mined from these surrounding hills! There is also a beautiful view over the Eldora Ski area.
Terrain can be very muddy after rains so try to coordinate with the local weather reports or risk getting stuck in! Other than that, the terrain can be ridden by intermediate riders while also just challenging enough to keep more advanced riders entertained.
Pearl Pass Trail
Pearl Pass is known as being one of the more dangerous passes in the Rockies. This is due to high snowfall in the winter and risks of avalanches. The pass is annually one of the last passes to open in late summer.
If you are lucky enough to visit the area when the pass is fully open, you will find some challenging steep terrain while ascending the pass. There is a section during the ascent that the locals dubbed “Slippery Rocks” which should inform you of what to expect in that particular section! Once over the pass, the route opens up and is not overly challenging.
It is part of the White River National Forest system and one of the highest mountain roads in Colorado! This can be important as your vehicle will actually make less horsepower the higher up in elevation you travel. Keep this in mind as you will want that crucial horsepower when climbing some of the steep terrain!
Grand Valley OHV Area
Grand Valley OHV area is at the base of a very long flat-top mountain range in Grand Junction, CO. It is a wide open area so lends itself very well to OHV fun as there are little to no immovable objects to hit! Terrain varies from very smooth, flat double track to rocky hill climbs and even some narrow single track!
Open year-round, OHV enthusiasts of all kinds are welcome to park at the newly-renovated staging area and enjoy the 17 square miles. Grand Valley is loved by many enthusiasts as it really does offer something for every type of rider!
Primitive camping is allowed but pack everything you may need as there are no stationary amenities provided. You will be very satisfied if you camp as there is enough terrain that you will be hard pressed to hit all of the trails and terrain in just one day!
Otto Mears Toll Rd
This road is named after the man that built it all the way back in the 1800’s as an old wagon road! Nowadays, it is used by all types of off road vehicles for recreation. The toll road itself leads to a spider network of other trails in the hills of a ghost town called Bonanza, Colorado.
Otto Mears toll road offers a glimpse into the past with many key highlights as you progress through roughly 35 miles of differing elevation. Old mining roads and the remains of old mines are scattered throughout these hills.
Stick to the main 4×4 road for the easiest route or opt for a side trail to get into some challenging terrain. As always, be courteous and share the trail. Don’t worry about entry fees as despite what the road name suggests, there is no toll to ride this road! Back in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, folks paid 10 cents toll for the privilege of utilizing this road!
Flat Top OHV Area
Flat Top is a very popular camping area and can be a destination site for OHV enthusiasts looking for a place to ride and camp for free! Be prepared for some noise at your campsite as it gets quite busy Summer weekends.
As its name suggests, this is basically a flat lot set for camping and staging. So you can park, set up camp, and go ride straight from this staging area. Some campers report Flat Top as not actually being flat though with an uneven surface which may not lend itself well to parking long RV’s for longer stays as you will inevitably be either nose down or nose up!
It is part of the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area which is a huge 9700 acre multiple use playground managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Fees vary depending on site but Flat Top itself remains a free staging and camping area.
Hartman Rocks is a single track haven and provides miles upon miles of vigorous riding for OHV adventure seekers. Fret not if you are a 3 or 4 wheel fanatic as there is also ample double track to explore!
Open year-round, the summer months are most crowded as are all OHV areas of course. If you end up riding during the colder months be very cautious of snow pack and treacherous conditions. Look for trails that get ample sunlight throughout the day where the trail will dry out etc.
Watch for mountain bikers and hikers as the area is popular for all types of outdoor activities. Some riders report only seeing one or two other people out on the trails but your results may vary depending on time of year and time of day. From sandy to hard pack to extreme double black diamond rocky obstacle-ridden single track, Hartman Rocks has every type of terrain you could want!
While technically open to both dirtbikes and ATV’s, some ATV enthusiasts report sections of the Rainbow Trail to be a bit too treacherous. Dirt bikers may find it easier to navigate tricky sections with lots of debris and obstacles.
Those brave enough to venture out to this “never-ending” trail will find a rich reward in gorgeous, sweeping views, lakes, waterfalls, and many hidden gems along the way.
Be prepared for some different terrain and levels of difficulty across the almost 200 miles of elevation changes! Popular with hikers, be sure to stay alert on the trail and watch for others. Other than that, top off that fuel tank and rip for as long as your heart desires!
The Fourmile Area in Buena Vista, CO is an outdoor playground for adults! There is enough terrain to keep you busy all day and coming back for more! Single track for the dirt bikes, rock obstacles for 4×4 nuts, and plenty of double track of all types for ATVs and side by sides.
Camping is encouraged! Fourmile is a perfect base camp as it is adjacent to both Buena Vista and Salida which offers more riding and fun than you can fit into just one day. There are established campgrounds which are first come first serve, and also miles of primitive camping available. Be aware of wildlife and always pack your trash!
Enjoy Fourmile Area all year round but be informed that some trails may be unpassable if it snows or gets lots of rainfall. Come in the spring to see the Aspen trees change color! It is absolutely incredible to see the views and all of the colors of the trees while cruising on your favorite OHV.
Hahn’s Peak Trail
Hahn’s Peak Trail is located about 18 miles north of Steamboat Springs, CO. Steeped in rich history, the area was named after Joseph Hahn who discovered gold in the region back in 1862. In present day it is largely a recreational area with hiking, camping, and all types of outdoor activities available along with OHV riding. 4×4 trails are available in the area although Hahn’s Peak Trail itself is open to just ATV’s and Motorcycles,
Pro tip: Make sure you drive in a truck or vehicle with enough clearance as the road to the staging area can be challenging in and of itself! Once on Hahn’s Peak Trail, you will find steep, rocky uphill sections up to the top. Once you conquer the trail, you will be treated to a beautiful 360 degree panorama view!
Camping is available close by with Hahn’s Peak Lake a popular campground. It really is not to be missed if you’re in the area as it offers camping at 8,500 feet and has sweeping views of the mountain lake as well Hahn’s Peak.
Hermosa Creek Trail
Shared with hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders Hermosa Creek has light to moderate traffic. The trail follows Hermosa Creek with beautiful natural waterfalls and other sights to see along the river.
There are single track sections if you desire a more invigorating experience or just cruise on the main trail if you want to take in the beautiful scenery,
Nestled in the San Juan National Forest, camping is available on the vast grounds. There is so much available to enjoy in the area so bring your fishing pole along with your favorite OHV and stay awhile!
Rabbit Valley Trails
Rabbit Valley straddles the state line between Colorado and Utah. The OHV area consists mostly of desert terrain with a variety of hard pack and rocky sections. There are also some steep, tricky sections for more advanced riders. There is also single track available!
The area is part of a larger trail system and a quarry where thousands of dinosaur bones have been excavated! Crank up your favorite vehicle and go explore the 40 square miles of terrain and imagine the huge dinosaurs roaming this exact area so long ago!
No services are offered in the area so pack ALOT of water as well as gas and other necessities. Temperatures can get over 100 fahrenheit in the summer! Camp if you like or you can find a simple hotel in nearby Grand Junction.
This long trail is challenging offering steep climbs of loose rock and is very popular among 4×4 enthusiasts and hard enduro riders. Watch for oncoming traffic as it is not wide enough for two large vehicles to pass side by side on the trail. General etiquette is the vehicle coming uphill has the right of way,
Great views along the 91 mile trail and lots of wildlife offer a spectacular ride through and through.
There are challenging sections so bring a friend to be safe and be aware that cell phone service can be spotty! As always, ride/drive within your limits and have a blast!
Golden Horseshoe Trail System
The Golden Horseshoe Trail System consists of 6000 acres of terrain to explore! Wide 4×4 friendly trail to Single track loose dirt, there is something for every type of enthusiast here. Watch for snow in the colder months or come in the summer to avoid unpassable conditions.
Forested terrain provides a beautiful environment to rip through the pine trees. Watch for downed trees and logs on the trails.
The system is named after the gold mining history as well as the horseshoe shape of the physical area. Located in Summit County, there are several ski resorts close by so pack all of your toys for an epic adventure!
RAM Off Road Park
RAM Off Road Park is a privately owned park for all types of OHV fun. This allows the park to offer tracks and terrain for all levels of experience. Bring the kids to learn how to ride and then rip the motocross track all in one visit! There is a small day use fee but it is well worth the added convenience.
Rentals are also available on site making this an ideal destination for first-timers wishing to try out the sport without having to invest in their own vehicle. 4×4 enthusiasts will enjoy the obstacle and rock-climbing available while 2 wheelers will find tracks for all skill levels.
There are also local events held at the park so if you’ve wanted to get into racing, this is the place!