Dirt biking enthusiasts know that the thrill of whipping through wilderness trails is unmatched. And while it’s no summit view, there is also a thrill in the process of planning a dirt biking outing. The maps come out, the packing lists, the internet forums, your group text thread named Braap-aholics Anonymous starts buzzing. If you’re planning a dirt biking trip in the US, this “planner’s high” is made even better by the fact that you might be riding in some of our planet’s premier dirt biking terrain.
The United States is blessed with a diverse landscape that offers some of the most iconic dirt biking destinations in the world. From breathtaking mountains to vast deserts, each location presents unique challenges and experiences for riders of all skill levels. In this blog, we’ll take you on a journey through five must-visit dirt biking locations in the United States, noting the general difficulty level of the terrain in each. These are locations that can accommodate single-day or multi-day dirt biking trips. Consult this list during your trip-planning phase, and the trails you’ll explore promise to be some of the nation’s best.
1. Moab, Utah: All Skill Levels
Nestled in the heart of the red rock desert, Moab, Utah, is truly a dirt biking mecca. This iconic destination offers a myriad of trails that cater to riders of all abilities. Beginners can start their dirt biking journey on trails like Gemini Bridges or Seven Mile Rim, which provide a taste of the stunning desert scenery and mild challenges. For the more experienced riders seeking an adrenaline rush, the legendary Slickrock Trail offers a technical and demanding experience like no other. With its unique combination of breathtaking landscapes and thrilling trails, Moab is a must-visit for every dirt biking enthusiast.
2. The Mojave Road, California and Nevada: Intermediate - Expert
For those seeking a true off-road adventure, the Mojave Road is the perfect destination. This historic trail winds through the Mojave Desert, spanning both California and Nevada, and offers a diverse mix of terrains, including sandy washes, rocky sections, and challenging hill climbs. This nearly 150-mile long road can be ridden in sections or as one long, epic adventure motorcycle journey. Pick your poison. As you traverse this iconic route, you'll encounter well-known landmarks such as California’s dense Joshua Tree forests and ancient lava tubes. Intermediate to expert riders will find their skills tested as they navigate through the unforgiving desert landscape. The Mojave Road is not just a dirt biking journey, it's a thrilling exploration of untamed wilderness.
3. Wayne National Forest, Ohio: Beginner - Intermediate
Located in the picturesque Appalachian foothills, Wayne National Forest surprises riders with its hidden dirt biking gems. With over 100 miles of designated trails, this destination offers a variety of dirt biking routes for riders of all levels. Beginners can enjoy scenic and moderately challenging trails like the Hanging Rock Loop or Pine Creek Loop, where they can immerse themselves in the beauty of Ohio's forests. Advanced riders seeking more technical and demanding trails can tackle the likes of Stone Church (praise be!) or Monday Creek (the good ‘case of the Mondays’) Trails. Wayne National Forest proves that top-notch dirt biking adventures can be found in unexpected places.
4. Sawtooth National Forest, Idaho: Intermediate - Expert
Prepare to be captivated by the majestic beauty of Sawtooth National Forest in Idaho. With its towering peaks, alpine meadows, and crystal-clear lakes, this destination provides a stunning backdrop for a dirt biking mission. Intermediate to expert riders will relish the challenges presented by trails like Fisher Creek, Fourth of July, and the legendary Big Smoky Trail. From steep climbs to technical descents, Sawtooth National Forest offers a true test of skill and endurance. Immerse yourself in this rugged wilderness and you’ll find yourself fueled by adrenaline (and gasoline).
5. Denali Highway, Alaska: Expert
For those seeking the ultimate off-the-grid dirt biking experience, the Denali Highway in Alaska is an unparalleled destination. Like the Mojave Road, this is a long route (135 miles) where motorcycle traverses are often of the ADV variety. But for those who prefer to pack light and ride fast, it’s more than doable on a dirtbike. This remote and rugged stretch of road offers jaw-dropping views of mountains, glaciers, and abundant wildlife. While not exclusively designed for dirt biking, the unpaved sections of the Denali Highway provide an exciting opportunity to ride through untamed wilderness. It is essential to come prepared with appropriate gear, provisions, and a sense of adventure to tackle this epic journey. Check out Why You Should Never Go Dirt Biking Without a COMBAR. The Denali Highway is a bucket-list destination that will leave your gas tank empty and your memory bank overflowing.
As you plan your next dirt biking expedition, and the one after that, start by pulling up this list. These five iconic dirt biking destinations are the crème de la crème of places to ride in the US. From the awe-inspiring red rock trails of Moab, Utah, to the rugged Mojave Road cutting through the California and Nevada deserts, these destinations have something to offer riders of all levels. So, what are you waiting for? Send out that APB to Braap-aholics Anonymous and start building your packing list. And when it comes time to hit the road, make sure your COMBAR Pro is along for the ride. Not sure how to bring it along, here are 5 Ways to Mount your COMBAR on your DIrt Bike or ADV Motorcycle. It’s the multitool that ADVers and dirt bikers have come to cherish for how adaptable it makes them on the trail, on the road, and at camp. And when you have supreme trust in your gear, there’s nothing left to do but explore.
Did we leave your dream dirt biking destination off the list? Let us hear it on social media: @aclim8gear. And make sure to sign up for our email newsletter (sign up below) so you never miss a pro tip or trip report.
Want to be a more prepared rider? Check out Why You Should Never Go Dirt Biking Without a COMBAR.
Ready to take your packing game to the next level? Check out 5 Ways to Mount your COMBAR on your DIrt Bike or ADV Motorcycle.
Want to get inspired to take a multi-night motorbike mission? Check out Overlanding Down Under: An Adventure Motorbike Trip Across Australia.
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