Dirt biking is not just a sport, it's a way of life. It's a celebration of letting loose and challenging yourself. Being able to traverse lesser known trails in the backwoods of the US holds a joy that only the motorcycle and 4x4 savvy get to experience. America is dotted with trails for dirt bikers to indulge their need for speed. From the rocky and treacherous terrains of Moab, to the unique and challenging trails of the Silver Lake Sand Dunes, there's a trail route for everyone, in every state. In this article, we’ll go over just a few of the better known top US dirt bike trails.
This year, Salt Lake City, Utah hosted the AMA Supercross Championship Finals. What better place than Utah, with its 200+ designated dirt bike trails across mountains, hills and desert. For a detailed list of trails, check out Dirt Bike Utah’s website.
Our top contenders in Moab are the famous Slickrock Trail, the scenic White Rim Trail, with the Enduro Trails coming in closely behind. All of these trails offer some of the most stunning views, sloping terrain, and thrilling rides. Before you attempt the White Rim trail, you should not only know how to ride a dirt bike, but also some basic dirt bike repair when the time inevitably comes.
The Slickrock Trail is a classic and a must-ride trail that provides a challenging yet unforgettable experience. The trail is perfect for intermediate and advanced riders, and covers over 9.6 miles of undulating terrain. Be prepared to ride uphill, downhill and sideways, navigate over sandstone domes, and cross plenty of washouts. The Slickrock trail is made of petrified sand dunes, which have these perfect sloping and winding routes that feel like you're riding a roller coaster. This has been said to be the best part of Slickrock, as you can map a route, or make one up as you go.
With 100 miles around the rim of a vast canyon, the White Rim trail offers 100 miles of rock formations and expansive views. Running parallel to Canyonlands National Park, the White Rim trail offers stunning views of the famous Canyonlands natural sandstone formations, painted canyon walls, and the Colorado River below. It’s been called the “multi day party trail”, so you'll want to pack your dirt bike camping gear, and probably a few beers, for at least two nights of sleeping under the stars.
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Aquarius Trail, Utah
the Aquarius Trail in Utah spans over 34 miles and has an elevation gain of 3,400 feet, reaching peak plateaus at 10,023 ft. The Aquarius Trail is a popular destination for dirt bikers because of its picturesque scenery and challenging terrain. This trail is not for adrenaline junkies who seek out adventure, and are rewarded with stunning landscapes.
As history tells it, this trail has been around for over a century and was used by miners to transport ore and minerals. In recent years, the trail has been a popular spot for off-roading enthusiasts that includes dirt bikers, 4x4 drivers, and overlanders alike. In fact, the Aquarius Trail was initally designed to cater to the needs of dirt bikers, while the challenging off-road terrain is perfect for those who love to push their limits.
A sturdy helmet, goggles, gloves, and a solid pair of boots are non-negotiables when it comes to protective gear. You'll also want to have the right clothing for riding - preferably something that won't restrict your movements. But for those a bit too extra to camp along the way, the Aquarius Trail has a series of “huts” that allow through bikers to spend the night in deluxe bunks, BBQ, and even shower up before venturing to the next hut. Check out more amenities for staying the night on the Aquarius Trail here.
Now, let's talk about the elephant in the room - your overall fitness and skill level. Dirt biking on the Aquarius Trail requires a considerable amount of stamina and strength as you'll be maneuvering through rocky terrain and steep inclines. This trial is not for that faint of heart.
If you are looking to push yourself even further, check out the Enduro Trails. The Enduro Trails at Moab are sure to test any dirtbiker’s abilities and push you to your limits. They're also a great way to measure your skills against fellow riders. These trails offer the ultimate challenge for dirt bikers with super steep inclines, rugged terrain, and plenty of obstacles. In fact, that’s exactly what they were made for. Each one is vastly different from the next and avid riders have made it their personal goals of completing all of them. Here’s a great site for the best enduro trails in America. There’s one in almost every state!
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Hatfield-McCoy Trails, West Virginia
We all know the tale of the dueling Hatfield and McCoy families, right? Well, the direct descendants of this famed feud have kept that trailblazing, rebellious spirit alive through preserving the original homesteads and other local structures. Plus, they've designated acres of land over the Kentucky/West Virginia border for off road adventures.
The Hatfield-McCoy Trails in West Virginia are a perfect destination for all riders at any level. With over 700 miles of varied terrain, ranging from rocky paths to muddy washouts and forested trails, the Hatfield-McCoy trails are perfect for a family of riders.
One of the most popular trails is the Rockhouse Trail. This trail will take you through tall pines, and down narrow, rocky paths where you'll have to navigate through tight turns and steep drops. For the more experienced riders, this trail is the ultimate challenge.
With plenty of campsites and lodging options along the way, you'll be able to stay close to the action. Pack your bags, gather your gear, and head to the Hatfield-McCoy Trails for an unforgettable off-road getaway with the whole family. Take a look at all the park has to offer here.
Silver Lake Sand Dunes, Michigan
Michigan's Silver Lake Sand Dunes should definitely be on your bucket list. The park has over 450 acres of riding dunes for dirt bike riders of all skill levels, and 3,000 acres more of open sand dunes next to beautiful Lake Michigan. There are also several companies in the park that offer dirt bike and ATV rentals near Silver Lake Sand Dunes in case you’re traveling from afar.
The unique nature of the terrain provides a truly memorable adventure. With its expansive open dunes, you can blaze your own trail by off-road truck, dirt bike, ATV, or 4 wheeler. So go ahead, take the more challenging routes and see how far you can push yourself on your bike. There is an incredible sense of freedom and thrill that comes with riding in this open terrain. Especially when you can cool off in Lake Michigan afterwards.
Morrow County OHV Park, Oregon
Let's talk about the Morrow County OHV Park in Oregon - a popular spot among dirt bike riders for its varied terrain and thrilling jeeps-only trails. It's not just for the experts though; there are accessible and family-friendly trails as well. The park's diverse landscape will make sure that you never get bored, with hills, valleys, and rock formations providing a unique riding experience. This is a great park for anyone that's looking to learn how to ride a dirt bike. The park is also known for fishing and hunting for both birds and large game. The park is also known for well-maintained trails ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable ride.
Brimstone Recreation Area, TennesseeFor the ultimate mix of natural beauty and adrenaline-pumping excitement, Brimstone Recreation Area in Tennessee is the perfect destination for any dirt biker. With more than 300 miles of trails snaking through picturesque forests and hills. But the real highlight of Brimstone has to be the annual White Knuckle Event. Hundreds of riders from all over the country come together on Memorial Day weekend for high-speed racing, mud-slinging, and all-out off-road mayhem. The event also hosts live music, and tons of family friendly events.
There are too many trails to choose from in the Brimstone Recreation area. So we thought we’d highlight some of our favorite trail names instead: Ole Stogie, Table Rock Trouble, Roughen-N-Cob, and of course, Buck Lick Loop. Whichever trail you choose, you’re bound to have a blast.
Badlands, South Dakota
Get ready for heart-pumping rides full of adrenaline as you navigate the terrain and take on the obstacles in the Badlands of South Dakota. And let's not forget about the amazing photo opportunities. The colors and shapes of the Badlands provide the perfect backdrop for a memorable dirt biking trip. The Badlands offer more than 3,600 miles of open road, and over 650 miles of designated trails for all types of Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV). Take a look at all the trails for dirt biking in the Black Hills and Badlands here.
While there, you can also explore Mt Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, tour an old gold mine, and learn about the history and culture of the Lakota Tribe. The Badlands are rich in US history, making it the perfect place for a summer roadtrip.
California is not just famous for Hollywood and tech-hotspot Silicon Valley. If you're a passionate dirt biker, Gorman California is the place for you. The trails found in Hungry Valley SVRA in Gorman are rider-friendly and fun for all.
Quail Canyon is a popular riding trail you won't want to miss. The elevated terrain provides an exciting challenge for all dirt bike enthusiasts. Riders cross over arid landscapes peppered with scrub brush and cacti. There is also the aptly named Rattler Trail nearby. This trail is perfect for ripping down long stretches of fire road and washouts. Get an aerial view of all of Hungry Valley in this Youtube video by trialsoffroad.com.