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Off-road Trips to Consider with Your New 4×4

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Road trips are a great way to get out of town, explore the countryside, and have an adventure with your friends. With so many places to explore across America, road tripping can be overwhelming.

Off-road travel gives you more freedom because there are no roads or trails limiting where you can go. The best aspect of having an off-road vehicle like 4x4 is that it adds incredible flexibility to your adventures that will enhance your experience immensely.

You're probably wondering what qualifies as an "off-road" trip when it comes to modern vehicles. An off-road trip is not one you take in your stock vehicle; rather, it's one you can only enjoy with an aftermarket lift kit and off-road tires.

If you don’t have a 4x4 vehicle, that should be a hindrance to enjoy your offroad trip. Peter Mann, the managing director of recommends hiring a vehicle with high standards to enjoy your trip.

Let’s find some of the cool places to enjoy your off-road trips.

1. Cortez – Telluride – Durango – Farmington – Albuquerque

Out of all these trips, this loop might be my favorite because there's so much variety packed into one route. In just five days you'll see incredible mountain ranges both high and low, Puebloan cliff dwellings, petrified forests, Mesa Verde National Park, the Navajo Nation, the Grand Canyon North Rim, Monument Valley, and so much more. It's also convenient because you can start in either Cortez or Durango depending on where you're coming from.

The trip starts by heading south out of Cortez along CO-145 until US-160 in Teec Nos Pos, AZ. From there, head west to Kayenta before making your way into Utah via UT-261 through Monument Valley.

You'll then continue on Arizona 163 until it turns into Utah 261 towards Natural Bridges National Monument. I'd recommend spending some time here exploring the area before continuing down Utah 261 until reaching Blanding. Once in Blanding head north on US-191 until you reach Highway 95, then head west through Monticello and Moab towards Arches National Park.

After exploring the park, head south on US-191 until Cisco. From there it's a short day to Blanding before continuing onto Colorado via CO-62/UT-95.

You'll continue southeast on CO-62 until reaching US-160 in Cortez again where the route begins. This is a very long loop (~2,900 miles) but one that gives you an incredible amount of variety over five days. You can find out more about a road trip in Cortez in this post.

2. Goosenecks State Park (Mexican Hat, UT) – Monument Valley – Four Corners Monument – Mesa Verde National Park –ango

This shorter variation takes out the detour to Natural Bridges National Monument and skips Durango, but still gives you an opportunity to explore some of Utah's most beautiful locations. This trip is mostly on highways so you'll average about 60 mph and not have too much trouble finding a place to camp at night.

The route begins by heading west out of Mexican Hat, UT via US-191 until reaching Bluff. From there it's a short jaunt north to Blanding before continuing onto UT-261 through Monument Valley.

I'd recommend spending the night in Kayenta after exploring because it's such a long day approaching Four Corners from here. You can head southwest along CO-98/US-491 towards Cortez which will put you close to Four Corners.

Four Corners Monument is not really a destination in itself, but just a "rest area" that happens to be where four states meet. You won't need to stay long here—maybe an hour max. After spending some time here it's time to head south along CO-145 until reaching Mesa Verde National Park, then onto Cortez along CO-160.

3. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (Montrose, CO) – Cortez – Durango – Telluride – Ridgway State Park ( Ouray, CO )

This is another great loop that gives you a taste of Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico while also exploring some amazing landscapes and destinations. The route begins by heading south along US-491 until reaching Montrose, then west on CO-92 toward Gunnison. From there, head northwest to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park via CO-347.

I would recommend spending an entire day here hiking around the rim and maybe even taking a rafting trip through some of the canyons (rafts are limited in the park during summer months). After exploring Black Canyon, it's time for another long stretch of driving (~7 hours) so make sure you're well-fueled up and ready to go before setting off.

From this point, you'll continue north on US-550 until arriving at Durango, then veer onto CO-160 towards Telluride. You'll pass through Placerville on your way into Telluride, then continue onto Ridgway State Park via CO-62. You can camp here or continue onwards to Ouray via CO-127 and US-550 for an overnight stop before finishing up the loopback in Montrose on US-550.

4. Arches National Park (Moab) – Colorado River Scenic Byway (Lees Ferry/Page, AZ)

This magnificent route takes you through some of the most amazing landscapes that Utah has to offer while also exploring parts of Arizona near the Grand Canyon. The route begins by heading south out of Moab along UT-279 towards La Sal Mountain Loop Road. This is a very scenic drive that will take you past the Mount Peale area and to the La Sal Mountain overlook.

From here you can continue east on UT-24 towards Abajo Peak, then onto CO-8 for a short detour into Colorado along the scenic Colorado River Scenic Byway. You'll approach Monument Valley from an angle that really highlights its beauty, so make sure your camera is charged before continuing south through this part of Arizona.

It's quite far (~6 hours) between Monument Valley and Page/Lees Ferry, so you should have no trouble arriving at night if need be. There are plenty of campgrounds in the area if you want to save money, but I would recommend staying at Lees Ferry Campground because it's free.

Going for off-road trips is a great way to relax your body and enjoy a new environment! We hope these off-road trip ideas will help you decide on the best spots to explore.

What other off-road trips do you like? Let us know in the comments below.

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