16 Best Arizona Off Road Trails

Red Jeeps Driving on Rocky Terrain

Arizona, the Grand Canyon State, is known for its hot desert climate, mountain ranges, and canyons. The breathtaking views and landscape are worth visiting, especially if you’re a fan of off-roading. There are many Arizona off road trails to explore.

For a short and easy ride, try Broken Arrow Trail. You can also head to Bulldog Canyon and explore its five different off-road trails. For a challenge, take your 4×4 to Chiva Falls, where you will encounter lots of rocky terrain and hill climbs.

Here is our list of top 16 Arizona off road trails:

  1. Broken Arrow Trail
  2. Boulders OHV Area
  3. White Pocket
  4. Bulldog Canyon OHV Area
  5. Arizona Peace Trail
  6. Schnebly Hill Road
  7. Box Canyon OHV Trail
  8. Montana Mountain / Queen Valley OHV
  9. Backway to Crown King
  10. Castle Hot Springs Road
  11. Devil’s Bridge Trail
  12. Alto Pit OHV
  13. Cinder Hills Off Highway Vehicle Area
  14. Coyote Buttes South
  15. Chiva Falls
  16. The Great Western Trail

The 16 best off road trails in Arizona are scattered throughout the state. Each one showcases the beauty of the Copper State in different ways. From deserts to hidden waterfalls, beginner and experienced offroaders alike will find something to explore and enjoy! Check out some of these off road trails Arizona has to offer.

16 Best Arizona Off Road Trails

1. Broken Arrow Trail

This back trail runs for 2.8 miles in the Coconino National Forest, one of Arizona’s most highly-recommended off-road trails. It is open to all vehicles, bikers, hikers, and mountain climbers. If you feel like learning more, there are tour guides who would happily tag along and guide you through.

While it is a short and popular trail, it has a moderate difficulty level. There is a particularly steep area called “The Steps,” but OHVs with high clearance can easily get by.

2. Boulders OHV Area

Are you new to off-roading? Arizona off road trails can have difficult terrain, but this one has a lot of flat land and a dedicated area for beginners to learn.

Boulders OHV trail is as long as 26 miles and is located in the Hieroglyphics Mountain Range. There are lots of sights and animals to see. Anyone can enter as long as you secure an OHV decal for your vehicle and a State Land Recreation Permit to use amenities. You can read more about the permits and prices here.

3. White Pocket

Among all the Arizona off roading trails, this is known to be one of the most beautiful sites to visit. The consensus: “pictures cannot do it justice.” 

Found in Marble Canyon, this trail is friendly for all skill levels and even for families and your dogs. It has a camping site so you can have more time to explore and see all the red rock patterns, formations, and buttes.

While it’s generally easy to navigate the terrain, we recommend bringing a 4×4 with high clearance. The last portion of the trail has sand tracks where vehicles tend to get stuck.

White Pocket Swirl in Arizona

4. Bulldog Canyon OHV Area

Bulldog Canyon is like a huge playground for outdoor enthusiasts. There are five different trails for off-road vehicles, and much more accessible when you hike on foot.

Now Arizona off road trails are usually free, but some trails, like this one, require permits. As part of the Tonto National Forest, you need to secure a permit for motorized vehicles. The upside is that this permit lasts for six months. It also lets you participate in activities and events held in the area – such as horseback riding!

5. Arizona Peace Trail

Most off road trails in Arizona can be completed in one day’s adventure. However, covering the entire Arizona Peace Trail takes you five days to go over the full loop! This 675-mile long loop covers several counties and cities. The whole trail is maintained by their respective government agencies and some off-roading institutions. So don’t fret – you will find lots of restaurant and motel accommodations along the way. You can get their official map here.

So if you want a full week getaway passing through ghost towns and abandoned mines, and seeing wild animals like deers and antelopes, this trail is yours for the taking.

6. Schnebly Hill Road

This incredibly photogenic trail runs for 11.8 miles in Sedona, Arizona. Besides the fun and rocky ride, hiking up to the summit rewards you a beautiful view of the surrounding forest and red rock buttes. Some people even stay and camp for the night.

While it is open most of the year, it is closed during winter, so make sure to catch it before then.

7. Box Canyon OHV Trail

Arizona’s unique box canyons earned their name from looking exactly like that – a box. The land is relatively flat, but it has steep, nearly vertical walls. But don’t be fooled – this trail can be difficult to navigate as parts of the canyon become narrow. It is used mostly for 4x4s.

As exciting as it sounds, know the weather before you decide to go. The trail can be closed if there are heavy floods.

See what the trail is like in this video:

8. Montana Mountain/Queen Valley OHV

Mountain or desert? If you can’t choose only one, try Montana Mountain or the Queen Valley OHV trail. This 43.8-mile trail is found in the White Canyon Wilderness of Gold Canyon, Arizona. Off road trails this long are worth waking up for in the early morning. The trip takes several hours, and the traffic can build up later in the day. When you make it to the top, you will find a panoramic view of the desert and mountains.

While it is recommended for 4x4s, it is also popular for dirt bikes.

9. Backway to Crown King

Among Lake Pleasant off-road trails, this one is the best. It is even known for this iconic stopover – the CK rock.

Most people can go up to this point. The rest of the trail is made for 4x4s with high clearance and their skilled offroaders. Even if the trail is only 27 miles, it can take up to 8 hours to complete. It gets tricky because of its rocky terrain, deep ruts, and large rocks. For the brave of heart who pass through, you get to enjoy the scenery change from desert to mountain, dry land to forest.

10. Castle Hot Springs Road

A refreshing oasis in a hot desert. You get to see one when you pass through the Castle Hot Springs Road.

This is your trail of choice if you’re up for a long, relaxing drive. This OHV trail has great views of the Sonoran Desert and its wildlife. It’s friendly for all skill levels too – while going on the off road trails of Arizona, you can sometimes lose your GPS signal. Fortunately, this won’t be a problem here.

If you want to stay the night, there is an actual resort in the Castle Hot Springs area. However, you can only book a room with reservations.

11. Devil’s Bridge Trail

Another popular tourist stop, this Arizona off road trail is known for its giant, natural sandstone arch called the Devil’s Bridge. At 4.2 miles, it’s one of the shorter trails, but it’s also packed with so many sights to see.

As part of the Coconino National Forest, you can find many wildflowers, other sandstone formations, and an easy hiking trail when you get down on foot.

Coconino National Forest in Arizona

12. Alto Pit OHV

In Arizona, off road trails often showcase colorful red rock formations. Meanwhile, Alto Pit boasts its iconic granite mountain and pit and an exciting trail with wildlife. You’ll also find fellow visitors in their dedicated camping grounds.

It’s open for all experience levels though it can also pose a challenge. Furthermore, it’s only open for motorcycles, dirt bikes, ATVs, UTVs, and SXS vehicles.

13. Cinder Hills Off Highway Vehicle Area

This OHV trail is also located in the Coconino National Forest, but it is closer to Flagstaff, Arizona. It’s a 13-mile trail with a hilly landscape, featuring volcanic cinder cones and craters. Because of previous volcanic activity, the ground tends to be gravelly. 

All vehicle types are allowed in the area, except for motorbikes with 2-stroke engines.

14. Coyote Buttes South

Arizona off road trails are quite scenic. However, nature-loving offroaders will need a permit to visit this site.

Coyote Buttes South of Marble Canyon gives a brilliant view of butte formations, so much so that it’s become a well-known spot among photographers. As part of the Bureau of Land Management’s preservation efforts, only 20 people can visit per day. When you manage to be one of the lucky few, make sure to truly appreciate the area’s rock formations’ unique colors and patterns.

To get to this trail, you need a 4×4 with high clearance and a backpack prepared for the trip because there are no facilities in the area.

15. Chiva Falls

This 10-mile trail is found in the Coronado National Forest. It has wide trails made for high-clearance OHVs, but bikers and hikers (with their beloved pets) also travel to this place from March to December.

It’s a challenging trail with some creeks, high rock ledges, and narrow rocky trails. However, all efforts are rewarded once you get to the magnificent view of the waterfall and the surrounding mountains. Feel free to settle down and have a picnic once you get there!

Check out what the loop is like in this video:

16. The Great Western Trail

This trail is so iconic that there is an Arizona off road trails book dedicated to it. In fact, the book has four editions as of 2020!

“Driving the Great Western Trail in Arizona” is about the 12 sections of the trail. It’s “great” because it spans Mexico all the way to Utah. In Arizona, it goes through Phoenix up to the Arizona Mountains forests. The trail leads you through four different forests, ending at the Kalibab National Forest near the Grand Canyon. If you want to go on this long trek, make sure to secure the State Lands permit.

Conclusion – Arizona Off Road Trails

To review, here are some of the best Arizona off road trails:

  1. Broken Arrow Trail
  2. Boulders OHV Area
  3. White Pocket
  4. Bulldog Canyon OHV Area
  5. Arizona Peace Trail
  6. Schnebly Hill Road
  7. Box Canyon OHV Trail
  8. Montana Mountain / Queen Valley OHV
  9. Backway to Crown King
  10. Castle Hot Springs Road
  11. Devil’s Bridge Trail
  12. Alto Pit OHV
  13. Cinder Hills Off Highway Vehicle Area
  14. Coyote Buttes South
  15. Chiva Falls
  16. The Great Western Trail

With all the unique places to visit for all skill levels, you can’t go wrong with picking Arizona for your next off-roading expedition!

Kris Peter

Adventure seeker and off-road enthusiast. I love the thrill of going off-road and taking on the elements.

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