Arizona’s Top Off-Road Trails

Explore Arizona’s Top Off-Road Vehicle Trails

From easy rides to extreme adventures, Arizona’s diverse landscape offers off-road enthusiasts a playground of rugged terrain, breathtaking scenery, and challenging trails. Whether you’re a novice looking for a leisurely drive or an experienced off-roader seeking an adrenaline rush, Arizona has it all. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore some of the best off-road vehicle trails in the state, including their locations, difficulty ratings, restrictions, and recommended equipment for tackling the most challenging routes. A quality lift kit and skid plate set is recommended for all these trails.

Sedona’s Broken Arrow Trail

Location: (34.8605° N, 111.8158° W) Sedona, Arizona. Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. Vehicle Type: Suitable for SUVs and 4x4s

Sedona’s Broken Arrow Trail is a fantastic starting point for off-road enthusiasts of all skill levels. Located amidst the stunning red rock formations, this trail offers a mix of easy dirt roads and moderate obstacles. You’ll enjoy breathtaking vistas of the famous Red Rock Country as you wind through the winding paths. While this trail doesn’t require extensive off-road modifications, it’s essential to bring a vehicle with good ground clearance for the occasional rocky sections. 

Box Canyon OHV Area

Location: (33.0413° N, 111.4464° W) Florence, Arizona. Difficulty: Moderate. Vehicle Type: Recommended for ATVs, UTVs, and dirt bikes.

Box Canyon OHV Area is a popular destination for ATV and UTV riders. With a mix of sandy washes and rocky climbs, this trail provides an exciting ride. Be prepared for some technical challenges, and make sure to check current conditions before heading out. This area can get hot in the summer, so carry plenty of water and sunscreen.

Table Mesa Recreation Area

Location: (33.9241° N, 112.1403° W) New River, Arizona. Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult. Vehicle Type: Suitable for Jeeps, 4×4 trucks, and modified off-road vehicles.

Table Mesa Recreation Area offers a wide range of trails, from scenic routes to more challenging terrain. Depending on your experience and vehicle capabilities, you can choose from easy dirt roads to steep and rocky ascents. It’s essential to respect all posted signs and avoid sensitive areas. This area is also popular for target shooting, so be cautious and follow safety guidelines.

Crown King Trail

Location: (34.2075° N, 112.3362° W) Crown King, Arizona. Difficulty: Moderate. Vehicle Type: Suitable for high-clearance 4x4s and SUVs

The Crown King Trail is a historic route that takes you from Lake Pleasant to the charming mountain town of Crown King. This moderate trail offers a mix of dirt roads and rocky sections, making it suitable for high-clearance 4x4s and SUVs. As you ascend through the Bradshaw Mountains, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views and the opportunity to explore the town of Crown King, where you can refuel and grab a bite to eat.

Bulldog Canyon OHV Area

Location: (33.5067° N, 111.5863° W) Mesa, Arizona. Difficulty: Moderate. Vehicle Type: Recommended for ATVs, UTVs, and dirt bikes.

Bulldog Canyon OHV Area is a great spot for off-road enthusiasts near the Phoenix area. This trail system offers a mix of moderate to challenging terrain, with rocky sections and sandy washes. Be prepared for changes in weather and always carry essential supplies when riding in this area. Additionally, it’s crucial to follow all posted rules and regulations.

Martinez Cabin Trail

Location: (34.5270° N, 112.4864° W) Prescott, Arizona. Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult. Vehicle Type: Suitable for 4×4 vehicles with good ground clearance.

The Martinez Cabin Trail in the Prescott National Forest takes you on a scenic journey through pine forests and high desert terrain. This trail offers moderate to difficult sections, including steep climbs and rocky obstacles. It’s essential to have a 4×4 vehicle with good ground clearance and traction in this area. The trail leads to the historic Martinez Cabin, where you can explore the history of the region.

Crown King Trail (Alternate Route)

Location: (34.2075° N, 112.3362° W) Crown King, Arizona. Difficulty: Difficult. Vehicle Type: Suitable for modified off-road vehicles

For those seeking a more challenging adventure along the Crown King Trail, consider taking the alternate route. This difficult trail features steep and rocky terrain that requires a well-equipped off-road vehicle. Locking differentials, oversized tires, and skid plates are highly recommended. Expect challenging ascents and descents with tight switchbacks, making this route suitable only for experienced off-roaders.

Four Peaks Road

Location: (33.6114° N, 111.3409° W) Tonto National Forest, Arizona. Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult. Vehicle Type: Suitable for high-clearance 4x4s and SUVs.

The Four Peaks Road takes you deep into the Tonto National Forest, offering a mix of moderate to difficult off-road challenges. This trail includes rocky sections, creek crossings, and steep climbs. It’s essential to check trail conditions and weather before embarking on this journey, as conditions can change rapidly. A high-clearance 4×4 vehicle is recommended for this trail.

The Predator Trail

Location: (32.9056° N, 111.1669° W) Florence, Arizona. Difficulty: Very Difficult. Vehicle Type: Suitable for heavily modified off-road vehicles.

The Predator Trail is not for the faint of heart. It’s a very difficult trail with extreme obstacles and steep rock crawls. This trail is recommended only for experienced off-roaders with heavily modified vehicles. Lockers, winches, rock sliders, and aggressive off-road tires are a must. Additionally, always ride with a capable group and ensure you have recovery equipment on hand.

Cinders OHV Area

Location: (35.3461° N, 111.7457° W) Flagstaff, Arizona. Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult. Vehicle Type: Recommended for ATVs, UTVs, and dirt bikes.

The Cinders OHV Area near Flagstaff offers a mix of moderate to difficult trails, primarily suited for ATVs, UTVs, and dirt bikes. This area features volcanic cinder cones, creating unique terrain with a combination of sand, gravel, and rocky paths. Be prepared for varying weather conditions, including snow at higher elevations in the winter.

White Mountains Trail System

Location: (34.0307° N, 109.9720° W) White Mountains, Arizona. Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult. Vehicle Type: Suitable for high-clearance 4x4s and modified off-road vehicles.

The White Mountains Trail System encompasses a network of trails that wind through the beautiful White Mountains of Arizona. These trails offer a mix of moderate to difficult terrain, including forest roads and rocky paths. High-clearance 4x4s and modified off-road vehicles are recommended, especially if you plan to explore some of the more challenging trails in the system.

Restrictions and Permits

Before embarking on any off-road adventure in Arizona, it’s crucial to be aware of any restrictions and permit requirements. Some areas may have seasonal closures, restrictions on vehicle types, or limited access due to environmental conservation efforts. Always check with the appropriate land management agency, such as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or the Arizona State Parks website, for the latest information on permits and regulations.

Recommended Equipment for Extreme Trails

If you plan to tackle the most difficult off-road trails in Arizona, it’s essential to have the right equipment to ensure your safety and success. Here’s a list of recommended gear for extreme off-roading:

  1. Locking Differentials: Lockers provide increased traction, allowing your vehicle to conquer steep and challenging terrain more effectively.

  2. Winch: A winch is a crucial tool for self-recovery if you get stuck in a difficult spot.

  3. Rock Sliders: These protect the sides of your vehicle from rocks and obstacles, minimizing potential damage.

  4. Skid Plates: Skid plates shield your vehicle’s undercarriage from rocks and rough terrain.

  5. Aggressive Off-Road Tires: High-quality off-road tires with aggressive tread patterns provide better grip on challenging surfaces.

  6. High-Clearance Suspension: A lifted suspension increases ground clearance, helping you navigate rocky terrain more easily.

  7. Recovery Gear: Carry recovery straps, shackles, and a shovel to assist in self-recovery and helping others.

  8. CB Radio or Satellite Communicator: In remote areas, communication can be limited, so having a way to call for help is crucial.

Arizona’s off-road vehicle trails offer an exhilarating escape into some of the most beautiful and challenging terrain in the United States. From the red rocks of Sedona to the rugged mountain paths of Crown King, there’s an adventure waiting for every off-road enthusiast. Remember to always prioritize safety, respect the environment, and be prepared with the right equipment when exploring these thrilling trails. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely ride or an extreme off-road challenge, Arizona has it all for those who love the thrill of the trail. If you need help equipping your vehicle to safely enjoy these trails, contact the Nichols team. We love talking off-road!