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10 Off-Road Camping Trails Perfect For Your Jeep
Many of America’s best campsites are in remote locations that can only be accessed using a sturdy four-wheeler such as a Jeep. These investment vehicles can be a great way of seeing - and staying in - some of the country’s most undisturbed, pristine natural landscapes. So, load up the Jeep and head out to discover some of these amazing destinations.
1. Inyo National Forest, CA
The Coyote Flat Trail in California’s Inyo National Forest offers an epic nine-mile adventure at more than 10,000 feet. If you like the idea of driving in rugged and challenging terrain, this could be the right choice for you. Best of all, you can sleep wherever you please. Dispersed camping is allowed, but you will need a campfire permit and you must be very aware of rapidly changing weather conditions.
2. Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO
This area of Colorado is a camper’s dream, offering everything from hiking and fishing to swimming and stargazing. If you want to really put your Jeep to the test, head to the world-renowned Medano Pass Primitive Road. There are 21 campsites where you can pitch your Kamp-Rite Tent Cot along the road, but these are subject to road conditions and availability.
3. Death Valley National Park, CA
Off-roading is prohibited in California’s Death Valley National Park, but you will still need a Jeep or another 4x4 to get to the most unspoiled and remote areas. The journey can be well worth it, too, as you discover abandoned gold mines, old trains, and ghost towns.
You can backcountry camp in the Death Valley National Park as long as you don’t disturb or damage the natural environment. Just make sure you are prepared as this place is not called Death Valley for nothing!
4. Canyonlands National Park, UT
The White Rim Trail, The Maze, and The Needles are all famous - and challenging - 4x4 trails at Utah’s Canyonlands National Park. The campsites here are unbelievable thanks to the crystal-clear skies, magnificent views and total solitude on offer.
5. Zion National Park, UT
Stay in Utah and take a trip to Zion National Park, where there are miles of canyon country trails. You are only allowed to drive on established roads, but you won’t realize you're not off-roading thanks to the amount of sand, rocks and crossings you will encounter. If you want the most secluded of campsites, check out the West Rim Trail, but be prepared for a hike in at the end of your drive. This is one camping trip where you won’t want to over-stuff your Travel Bag.
6. Pismo State Beach/Oceano Dunes SVRA, CA
If you’re a fan of beach camping, this is a great choice. You can drive your Jeep onto the beach, but be warned: there is no shade on the beach, so make sure you bring your canopy, awning, or Sidewall Tent.
7. Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, GA
Technical, challenging and unpaved mountain trails abound in Georgia’s Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, as do dispersed campsites that are just waiting to be discovered. If you want steep inclines, hill climbs, and rocky terrain, head to the Tatum Lead, Rocky Flats and Beasley Knob trails - if the weather allows. The trails can become impossible to pass if it rains hard, but if you can find your way, there are stunning campsites set amid flowing waterfalls and secluded lakes.
8. Alpine Loop Trail, CO
The Alpine Loop Trail and Scenic Byway is 65 miles of unpaved road weaving through the mountain tundra. Reach elevations of more than 12,000 feet as you explore Colorado’s San Juan Mountains and discover a multitude of different wildlife species, along with breathtaking evergreen forests and mystical ghost towns. When it comes to sleeping, there are established and dispersed camping choices. Just be aware that the loop is only passable from June to October, and you will need a high-clearance 4x4.
9. Magruder Road Corridor, ID/MT
This is one of the nation’s most undisturbed roadways, making its way through areas of Idaho and Montana that are perfect for backpacking, nature viewing and fishing. The Magruder Road Corridor links Montana and Idaho and travels 101 miles through the beautiful Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest. This corridor boasts 101 miles of undeveloped road that connects Idaho and Montana. Camping choices include dispersed camping areas and established campgrounds.
10. Black Bear Pass, CO
This is a hugely technical trail in the Lincoln National Forest in Colorado. Only experienced off-roaders should try this one due to its steep rock steps and narrow switchbacks.