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The Ultimate Utah Off Roading Experiences

Ever since the first four wheel drive system was developed in 1903 by Spyker, we’ve been putting our 4x4 vehicles up against every possible challenge. That’s why off-road junkies come from around the United States to experience Utah terrain. Our incredible landscape offers snow capped mountains, swampy marshes, slippery sandstone, and sharp basalt. It’s no wonder we’re world-renowned for our adventurous lifestyle here in Utah. The next time you’re looking for a wild ride, tag along with Dixie 4 Wheel Drive.

Before you start your next 4x4 adventure, brush up on off-roading rules in Utah.

  • Clearly display a current OHV registration sticker. If you’re not local, you’re likely required to purchase a non-resident OHV permit for any off-roading vehicle you bring to Utah.

  • 8 years old and younger may not drive OHV on public roads, land, or trails in the state of Utah.

  • Riders ages 8-15 are required to have an Education Certificate either recognized by, or issued by the Utah State Parks.

  • Drivers 16+ may operate OHVs with an OHV Education Certificate or a driver’s license.

  • Always drive sober, maintain control of your vehicle, and stay on the trail.

  • Most National Parks do NOT allow off-road vehicles to operate within their limits.

Keep these key Utah off roading safety tips in mind.

  1. Wear your seatbelt, always.

  2. Always let someone know where you’re going and when they can expect you to return.

  3. Always bring extra gear, supplies, and tools - just in case. Bring the necessary gear to see you through the night and to handle medical emergencies that may occur.

  4. Know the lowest points of your undercarriage to prevent damaging them while off-roading.

  5. Always go in pairs (or more). If you find yourself in a pinch, you’ll be glad you had another 4x4 to help you out.

  6. Practice and study your approach and departure angles. Also, know your breakover angle and avoid damaging your 4x4.

  7. Tie down loose items in the car. Bumpy terrain will send items flying.

  8. If you can’t see what’s ahead of you, hop out of the vehicle and check it out on foot.

  9. A rule of thumb for speed “Drive as slow as possible and as fast as necessary.”

  10. Avoid breaking your thumb by never wrapping them around the steering wheel.

  11. Travel up and down hills straight on. Approaching or descending an incline at an angle puts your vehicle is more danger of tipping over.

  12. No one should be putting their arms, legs, or heads out the windows.

  13. Don’t hold onto the roll bar! Your natural instinct may tell you to grab hold. But if you roll over, you’re sure to break fingers and hands.

  14. Do not attempt to turn vehicles by hand. Use winch systems and other proper techniques to correct overturned vehicles. Be sure to check that all winch system parts are in working order before using. A failure in gear or rigging can be lethal to you and bystanders.

Utah’s Best Offroading Trails Are Found In Southern Utah

EASY: East Branch Virgin River Overlook to Warrior Walkway

https://dixie4wheeldrive.com/virgin_river_overlook_warrior_walkway

From Apple Valley, Utah head to the Cane Beds in Kane, Arizona. You’ll be able to see Zion National Park in the distance. Continue on to Elephant Butte where you’ll see the views across Elephant Gap

MODERATE: Flagg Point and Seaman Canyon

https://dixie4wheeldrive.com/flagg_point_and_seaman_canyon

Take highway 389 toward Fredonia and Kanab. Head along Johnson Canyon Road. This route does have sections of deep sand. You can see remains of ancient Native American homes and pottery. Once you’ve explored the granary and home remnants, head to Flag Point, (37, 3.798' N; 112 , 16.675' W) off Highway 89. At Flag Point, there are old dinosaur tracks and more petroglyphs

EASY: Bunkerville to Lake Mead - 21 Sheep and Falling Man Petroglyphs

https://dixie4wheeldrive.com/bunkerville_lake_mead_21_sheep_and_falling_man_petroglyphs

Starting in Riverside, Nevada, near Mesquite. Turn onto 113 to Fisherman’s Cove. Before reaching Lake Mead and the dry Fisherman's Cove, we turned off 113 and headed south on 114, the Narrows Road. You’ll be able to see Virgin Peak in the distance. 21 Sheep or Goats are the first petroglyphs you’ll see once you’ve reached Sand Wash Road.There are no services in the Falling Man area. The hike to see these petroglyphs is very short from the parking lot (0.3 miles) but there are many petroglyphs to see. There is also very limited cell service in this area. So in case of an emergency, bring supplies to keep you alive for up to 2 days. If you stay on the main road, you will see passers-by.

The trail head is in Gold Butte National Monument. Northeast side of Lake Mead. 2 hours northeast of Las Vegas. From town, drive out to Gold Butte National Monument. From Whitney Pocket, turn around and drive back north for 1.4 miles to Black Butte Road, a dirt road to the west, which is just past a large sandstone crag with campsites around the base. Turn left and drive west on Black Butte Road.

A number of side roads branch off Black Butte Road, but most are obviously not the main road. However, at 1.2 miles from the pavement, the road forks equally; stay left. At 1.9 miles from the pavement, drivers arrive at the parking area, delineated by a wooden corral. Park here; this is the trailhead.

EASY: Hurricane Canal and Zion Vistas

https://dixie4wheeldrive.com/hurricane_canal_and_zion_vistas

This ride starts in La Verkin, Utah. The Hurricane Canal is an incredible story of the Pioneer’s determination. Work on the canal was difficult and dangerous. The canal’s 7-1/2 mile length clings to the sheer walls of the Virgin River Canyon, then follows the Hurricane Fault and circles the farmlands of the Hurricane Bench. After eleven years of tenacious effort, the canal was finished in 1904, providing water for 2,000 acres of farmland and the new community of Hurricane.

Visit the Eagle Crags for a unique view of Zion National Park, away from the crowds and tourists. You’ll find access by Jeep at Rockville - South of the south entrance to Zion National Park. From the Eagle Crags, take to the Smithsonian Mesa. This is on the Byway between Rockville and Apple Valley.

MODERATE/DIFFICULT: Snow Run - Baker Reservoir, Pine Valley, Pinto

https://dixie4wheeldrive.com/snow_run_baker_reservoir_pine_valley_pinto

Leave Diamond Valley and pass through Veyo. Turn off Highway 18 at Baker Dam Reservoir. The snow during the winter can be multiple feet deep. Air down your tires for low PSI to provide excellent snow traction. High ground clearance is recommended. Differential lockers are also a huge help in the snow.

You’ll drop down into Pine Valley from this route. You can then take Grass Valley Road toward Pinto. From here, you can ride over the mountain to New Harmony and I-15.

EASY: Diamond Valley to Stateline Mine, Hackett Ranch and Jenny Mine

https://dixie4wheeldrive.com/diamond_valley_state_line_mine_hackett_ranch_jenny_mine

From Saint George, Utah take Highway 18 toward Enterprise, Utah. In Enterprise, turn right and stay on Highway 18. Continue to the intersection of Beryl Junction and Highway 56. Drive west to Modena and take Modena Canyon Road.

You’ll then go toward Hamblin Valley and pass through the mining town/ghost town of Stateline, Utah.

MODERATE: Peek-a-boo/Red Canyon, Kanab, Utah

https://dixie4wheeldrive.com/peek_a_boored_canyon_kanab

Head through the Cane Beds and past the Coral Pink Sand Dunes to find the parking lot for Peek-a-boo trail head. This trail is about a 30 miles loop. There are lots of beautiful elements incorporated into the landscape. You’ll see tall red rock, white sand stone, and lots of sand. You can hop out of your vehicle and climb through Red Slot canyon.

This ride has deep sand and steep hills and can be challenging for many offroad vehicles.

MODERATE: Toquerville Falls to the Communication Towers to Browse

https://dixie4wheeldrive.com/toquerville_falls_towers_browse

Heading north on I-15, take exit 27, Toquerville exit onto State Route 17. From SR 17, the only highway through Toquerville, turn onto Spring Street-shortly after crossing the bridge. This will be your road for the next 5.8 miles.

This drive typically takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get to the falls. Four-wheel drive and high clearance is highly recommended. After 0.6 miles, the pavement ends and the road becomes a gravel road. The winding road gains and loses lots of elevation. Stay right at the first fork you come across-3.5 miles from Toquerville.

The trail from Toquerville is scenic, including some very nice panoramas. The road is not at all technically difficult but includes some relatively steep, scratchy and rocky grades.

EASY: Gooseberry Mesa to the "Ghost Town of Grafton"

https://dixie4wheeldrive.com/gooseberry_mesa_ghost_town_grafton

From the Chevron in Apple Valley, Utah (near Victorville), head 2.2 miles east. Turn north onto Smithsonian Butte National Back Country Byway and continue 2.8 miles. Turn left onto Gooseberry Mesa trail.

Smithsonian Butte National Back Country Byway travels for 9.25 miles between Rockville, Utah, on State Route 9 and Apple Valley, Utah, on State Route 59 in southwestern Utah, just south of Zion National Park. The Back Country Byway takes visitors between the Virgin River floodplain in Rockville, through the pinyon pine- juniper woodlands topping out at an elevation of 4,920, and to the sagebrush desert at the Big Plain Junction at Highway 59.

The ghost town of Grafton and the surrounding area boasts tons of history and is well worth the visit.

EASY: Paragonah to Red Creek Reservoir to Panguitch Lake to Yankee Meadows

https://dixie4wheeldrive.com/paragonah_yankee_meadows

Paragonah Reservoir

Located in Iron County, east of Paragonah, Utah. Exit off I-15 to Paragonah. Go east on Center Street and follow the road up the canyon. Take Red Creek Road towards Red Creek Reservoir (also known as Paragonah Reservoir). This reservoir is full of rainbow trout and is a great pit stop for fishing. On this trail, you’ll climb to elevations of over 10k feet. Head to Ipson Creek Falls, an 80 ft waterfall, and Panguitch Lake (18 miles south of Panguitch, Utah). Once you pass Panguitch Lake, look for Clear Creek Canyon Road. You’ll see the Clear Creek Canyon Ranch and its beautiful scenery. This route also offers views of Yankee Meadows. Yankee Meadows Reservoir stretches 53 acres near Parowan, Utah.

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