Utah is home to some of the best off-roading and Jeep crawling in the world. Southern Utah is best known for it's off-road trails, but Northern Utah also has some great places to go.
American Fork Canyon
American Fork Canyon is nestled in Utah’s Uinta National Forest, just 8 miles east from exit 284 from I-15. Make sure to get gas and food on Timpanogos Way just before you head up to the canyon because there are no services once you pass Canyon Road. I would suggest Pizza Pie Café if you are with a large group or family, they have an all you can eat pizza buffet. There are entry fees into the national park, but those fee’s are minimal compared to the numerous off-road trails and activities that are available in the park. Passes are transferable between American Fork Canyon and the Mirror Lake Highway Recreation Corridor. Fee’s start $6-$12 from 1-7 days and $45 for an annual pass. American Fork Canyon is more crowded on the weekends and during holidays, but there are a variety of trails and activities spanning miles of terrain. If you are not much into off-roading but want to experience the beauty that American Fork Canyon has to offer then you must check out Alpine Loop. The trails range from easy to moderately hard, and arguably the hardest trail in the Canyon is the Forest Lake Trail.
Forest Lake Trail
Forest Lake is located in Highland, Utah in Utah County. This site provides opportunities for many different activities including hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, and off-roading. Getting to Forest Lake is more simple than you would think. Travel east on Highway 92 for 7 miles or until you reach American Fork Canyon. Follow this path until you are able to take Highway 144 and you will be led into Tibble Fork Reservoir, then after another 4.6 miles you will reach the scenic Forest Lake. This trail is best used from May through October and roads leading to this spot are known for seasonal closure, so be sure to double check your route will be accessible. The trail itself is 4.8 miles in length and is an out and back route type. The reviews on the Forest Lake off-road driving trail mention that it is a trail for drivers looking to test and push their vehicles in moderately difficult terrain. The lake is fairly shallow but is surrounded by meadows and aspens and truly is a beautiful spot to relax and have a picnic after going on an off-roading experience. Be sure to check the weather on the day you are going because rain can increase the difficulty of the terrain.
Tibble Fork Reservoir
Tibble Fork Reservoir trail is located near Pleasant Grove, Utah and surrounded by luscious forests and beautiful views. It is a moderately difficult rated trail that stretches across 31.5 miles of terrain. The trail is trafficked out and back and is known for having fairly rocky terrain. Along the track there are many different camping/fishing spots with tremendous views and a great feel of all the Utah outdoors can provide.
Pine Mountain OHV Loop
Pine Mountain OHV Loop is rated as a moderate difficulty level and spans over 29.7 miles of terrain and is a loop route type. Fairly easy trail for people that are novice to off-roading. To get there from Salt Lake City you would take I-15 S for the majority of the drive. St. George is located in Southern Utah near the Arizona border and is used as a starting point to get to other national parks. The weather is favorable in St. George notably has warmer winters. Another fun place to visit near this trail is Sand Hollow State Park, which has breath-taking views and is unlike any other park in Utah. Pine Mountain OHV Loop is a fun, easy trail for all types of off roaders and is located in a place with many entertaining activities around it.
Trails with a View
Mineral Basin is an off-roading trail that stretches across 2.7 miles of treacherous terrain located in Highland, Utah. It roughly takes 3 hours to complete the trail out and back and is at an elevation of approximately 9000 ft. There is a $6 day pass that is good for use for three days. There are many large rocks and difficult terrain to test your vehicle to its limits. It's known for some of the most incredible views for an off-roading trail close to SLC. From Salt Lake City take I-80 E and then US-189/US-40 E to River Rd in Wasatch County. Once you are here, take Snake Creek Rd, Cummings Pkwy, and Baker Fork Rd to Pittsburg Trailhead Rd in Utah County. A highly recommended trail along the Mineral Basin is the Sugarloaf Pass. Starting at the Pittsburg Lake Trail-head and along Mineral Basin Road leads to Sugarloaf Pass and spans 6.7 miles across a rocky terrain featuring beautiful mountains and lakes.
Mary Ellen's Gulch
The Mary Ellen Gulch trail is an out and back trail located in American Fork, Utah. The trail is about 7.3 miles long and is categorized as a difficult trail. Along the Mary Ellen Gulch Trail you will find fairly rocky terrain, amazing mountain views in every direction you look, and a cave. Roads leading to this trail have seasonal road closures, so be sure to take a route that is open. When all roads are open from Salt Lake take I-80 E to US-189/US-40 E to River Rd in Wasatch County then Continue on River Rd. Take Snake Creek Rd, Cummings Pkwy and Baker Fork Rd to Mary Ellen's Gulch Trail in Utah County. In the late summer the trail is dry and rocky, but earlier in the year it acts as a stream of water to the American Fork River. Regardless, anytime of the year the views are amazing and will be a trip you never forget.