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September 23, 2019

One of the best ways to explore the beautiful landscapes of the West Coast is on four wheels. Overlanding has taken the adventure community by storm, but you may not always have time to drive hundreds or thousands of miles through rugged terrain. These 14 west coast off-roading trails are perfect for those weekend warriors. Whether you're a beginner or seasoned driver, there's something for everyone.

14 West Coast Off-Road Trails for the Weekend Warrior

From gnarly rock crawls to endless sand dunes, the Pacific coast offers some of the America's best off-roading. Which one of these west coast off-road trails are you going to drive first?

1. Rubicon Trail: California


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California’s Rubicon Trail is a 4x4 wonderland and among the best of the trails in the United States. Going through the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the view of the mountains is not a sight to be missed. Although the trail is only 22 miles long, the Rubicon cuts through the El Dorado National Forest as well as the Tahoe National Forest and boasts some extremely challenging terrain. Many overlanders find using an in-cab MicroMobile along with handheld two way radios for their spotter allows for seamless communication while navigating even the most rugged terrain.  As the legendary Rubicon ends, you can take a swim and relax at Lake Tahoe.

2. Noonday Trail: Oregon

Originally a wagon road used by early miners in the 1800s, this historic trail is now mostly a dirt road that runs along Champion Creek. The trail is a scenic route with views of waterfalls and mountain ranges. Due to the steep hill climbs, it is recommended to be traveled by short wheelbase vehicles.

3. The Imperial Sand Dunes: California


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Truly amazing, breathtaking, and surreal are all words used to describe The Imperial Sand Dunes, also know as Glamis. Glamis is the largest off-roading recreation area for sand dunes in the United States. The dunes are covered in golden sand for miles, leaving you to unleash and be as adventurous as you want in your off-road vehicle.

4. Moses Lake Mud Flats & Sand Dunes: Washington

About 3,000 acres of year-round rolling inland sand dunes are available here for motorized use. Adjacent to the sand dunes is an area called the Mud Flats, which is an additional 3,000 acres of sand, mud and trails to explore for off-roading enthusiasts. After a long hard day of riding in the sand, riders can enjoy direct access to the Moses Lake. Protect your MicroMobile from the sand and mud while maximizing your dash space with this MicroMobile custom install.

5. Rim Butte OHV Trails: Oregon


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Rim Butte OHV Jeep Trail is very difficult trail with beautiful scenic views, located in Deschutes County. The trail is rocky gravel and filled with numerous steep and rocky climbs. The large, sharp rocks of the 14-mile trail require tight maneuvering, making it an extremely difficult trail. This is a trail that is best suited for modified vehicles and rock crawlers, but if you're up for a challenge this is the trail for you!

6. Tahuya State Forest: Washington

Tahuya is a playground for all off-roading enthusiasts. The area is crisscrossed with miles of ATV and motorcycle trails and has one 4x4 trail. The local Jeep Club brought in large rock to form a the “Rock Gardens” for rock crawlers to enjoy. If you are new to wheelin', this is the place to get familiar with your rig and see all that it can do.

7. Sawtooth National Recreation Area: Idaho


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The Sawtooth National Recreation Area is in central Idaho. Not only will you find the perfect West Coast off-roading trails that run hundreds of miles, but some of the most breathtaking views in the country. In addition, the region offers great hiking, fishing, whitewater rafting, and wildlife watching with more than 300 species calling this forest home.

8. Rock Creek: Montana

This trail is known as having one of the best Blue Ribbon trout streams in Montana. The start of the trail is paved for 60 miles of off-roading, but then turns into a graded dirt road that follows along the creek. Pay close attention to that variety of wildlife that you may run into, such as bighorn sheep, moose, and deer. The best advice is to always proceed with caution on this trail, since every off-road trail will present you with different challenges. You must evaluate the trail to determine the best path that challenges you and your 4x4.

9. Morrison Jeep Trail: Wyoming


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Located in Park County, Wyoming, the 22-mile Morrison Jeep Trail is a very rough drive. The route demands 100% of your attention and has humbled many egos that hit the trail. The trail is for expert riders, as it’s a very challenging ride because of the combination of altitude and terrain. The trail starts near 4,500 feet and climbs to more than 10,100 feet above the sea level. If you are up for 27 tight switchbacks and challenges, this one's for you. But be confident in your decision to go, because there are no turnarounds.

10. Quack Attack: Oregon

Quack Attack is definitely not a 4x4 leisure trail to ride. Be sure to bring your spare parts, engage your lockers, and plan on dragging yourself all day. This trail is a true testament of those riders who refuse to take “no” for an answer. If you are looking for a challenge, hit this trail up.

11. Death Valley National Park: California


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This is a park that is recommended to go in the spring or the winter when temperatures are more bearable. The park offers you more miles of road than any other national park that you can enjoy riding on. Death Valley is all about four-wheeling adventures that consists of dozens hidden canyons. The famous Modoc Mine and the Charcoal Kilns in Wildrose Canyon are just a couple of the notable sites you can visit.

12. Clover Springs to Mud Springs: Washington

This trail is unique because it follows a high mountain ridgeline on the boundary of thick forest areas with views from the top of the 1500 feet clip face. Stay safe with a NOAA radio to stay ahead of rapid-changing mountain weather. You can expect the trail to be narrow, windy, and filled with rocky loose edges. This trail adds an element of danger being next to the cliff, but for those who look for excitement, this is the trail for you.

13. Naches Trail: Washington


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Naches Trail is a 12-mile long trail located in Western Washington that follows a wagon trail used by settlers in the mid-1800s. The trail is fairly easy to most 4x4 vehicles, so it’s a great place to take an easy drive or for new beginners! The trail rolls through the deep dark forest up to the high mountain meadows giving you great views of the surrounding valleys. If you are looking for something peaceful, this is the West Coast off-road trail for you.

14. Christmas Valley Sand Dunes: Oregon

Don't let its name fool you, this 4x4 area us open year-round for off road enthusiast to enjoy. Christmas Valley contains 11,000 acres of sand dunes, and is open to all vehicles. Just a helpful tip, the main access roads are greatly not maintained, leaving the roads to be extremely muddy making it very 4x4 friendly.

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