The Best Off-Road Trails in Nevada For ATVs and Jeep
Most People think of hitting the slot machines when Nevada comes to mind. But this state is more than luxury hotels and jackpot dreams. Nevada’s dense valleys, arid deserts, and deep canyons make it a haven for adventure seekers.
Are you looking to take your outdoor experiences to new levels? The state of Nevada is packed with options for your next off-roading excursion.
Here are the top places in the silver state where you can have a ride like no other.
Table of Contents
- Black Rock Desert
- Pilot Peak
- Jean Roach Dry Lake Bed
- Logandale Trails
- Lovell Canyon
- Nellis Dunes
- Pine Forest Recreation Area
- Prison Hill Recreation Area
- South Camp Peak Loop
- Tonopah Dunes
- Washoe Valley Jumbo Grade
- Wilson Canyon
- The Final Word on Nevada
Black Rock Desert
This massive area is sure to keep you busy for quite a while. The Black Rock Desert gives you access to 400 square miles of scorching, flat terrain to whip through. This area will push your vehicle (and your body) to its absolute limits as the boiling heat during the day and bitter cold at night can be brutal and dangerous to the inexperienced.
You can run into beautiful cliffs that give you a bird’s-eye view of the horizon, making it a great place for photos or if you just want some time of solitude.
One thing to note is you’ll have to wait until wintertime if you’re a mud enthusiast, as the area doesn’t get much moisture until the winter months.
The trails at Pilot Peak can be a great trip for beginners to get comfortable with riding. The hard-gravel terrain throughout the grounds make for a simple ride with very few surprises.
Pilot Peak makes for a tremendous family destination too. You can spend hours riding though for a scenic ride of sightseeing, creating lasting memories with your loved ones as you ride.
Jean Roach Dry Lake Bed
No, you won’t need to reach for a can of bug spray on these trails. Jean Roach Dry Lake Bed is an excellent spot for new riders to gain experience and build their confidence. This area has plenty of hard-packed lands for you to ride on, making for a relatively smooth ride.
Jean Roach Dry Lake Bed gives you hundreds of miles of vast open desert space to roam, providing you with freedom and exhilaration that is hard to find elsewhere.
Because of the area’s unique topography, any rainfall that comes through can cause flooding because the rainwater doesn’t drain in the same way as in other regions. So if you’re out on these grounds and see some clouds forming, take some caution and don’t try to take on mother nature.
For a full-bodied experience, you can choose to camp out on the grounds and prolong your stay. But note that this is an isolated area, so there aren’t any services available should you need them. Don’t try and camp on your own, and make sure you and your group have all your needs met before heading out.
Logandale Trails has something all riders can enjoy. Whether you want a smooth, easy ride or are looking for a challenge, you can find what you’re looking for on these trails. You’ll gaze in awe as you ride past some of the most stunning rock formations the area offers.
You can find plenty of gravel pits in this area to keep you busy and some rock climbing cliffs for a hair-raising experience in your Jeep.
If you prefer to take in the scenery, there are plenty of options for you to hop out and enjoy some incredible views.
This course provides a moderate challenge for riders. These lands give you epic climbs, sharp rocks, and wide trails, so you have plenty of room to roam.
Also, if you’re a plant lover, you’ll love the variety of species that thrive in this area which includes
- Juniper Trees
- Bristlecone Trees
- Scrub brush
- And others
Make sure to bring a map while you ride because it’s easy to get turned around in this area.
One of the canyon’s unique features is its proximity to Las Vegas. So if you want to try your hand at a blackjack game, you’ll only have to drive an hour east to reach the strip.
Another off-road option close to Las Vegas; your eyes will grow wide when they see how vast this area is. Nellis Dunes has many acres for you to explore—900 of them, in fact, during your ATV excursion. Although the dunes are relatively small compared to other locations, you can still discover memorable trills in this wide open space.
If you prefer some solitude as your ride, one thing to be mindful of is going on weekends because Nellis Dunes tends to get a lot of traffic during this time.
Pine Forest Recreation Area
Are you tired of seeing sand everywhere you look? Haul it to the Pine Forest Recreation Area to get a little relief. Take advantage of majestic mountain views and the jagged terrain these trails throw your way. You’re also close to the water, making for a beautiful view when you climb uphill.
This area is an ideal location to further explore the outdoors and add to your experience by hiking, fishing, and camping out if you wish.
Prison Hill Recreation Area
Although the name may sound confining, you have ample freedom in this area. Your Jeep is your best friend as you attempt to crawl up the enormous rock compounds that define Prison Hill.
You can also bring your ATV along for the trip when you want to kick up dust in the sandy areas
or when you want to blast down dirt roads.
Don’t feel left out if you like to have a great view. You’ll stand in wonder as you look down on Carson City once you’ve reached the top.
Beware of the steep slopes as you make your way up, or it could make for a rough day (or a funny story).
South Camp Peak Loop
South Camp Peak Loop can make you feel like you’re one with nature. This 14-mile trail system provides a great starting point for first-time riders. The trees that line the area cater to those who need a break from the sweltering Nevada sun, and the hard-packed terrain creates a tranquil ride.
South Camp Peak Loop gives off-roading enthusiasts another place to go for dazzling views.
Many riders suggest going to Genoa Peak, which gives you a stunning look at Lake Tahoe in the background.
If you want to add a little hangtime to your ride, you won’t want to miss the Tonopah Dunes.
The dunes here are monstrous, giving you a wealth of options to feel the air beneath you. Some of the massive dunes can even reach heights of up to 300 hundred feet tall (!).
The soft sand makes climbing the dunes a major challenge, so prepare to earn each trip up to the top.
As a bonus, you won’t have to contend with many other people so that you can rip through the landscape without bumping into a large crowd.
Washoe Valley Jumbo Grade
To say Nevada has a hot climate would be a massive understatement. The Washoe Valley Jumbo Grade trail system can be a much-needed change of pace from the heat.
Unlike most other ATV trails in Nevada, this trail system has a few water crossings scattered about, which helps you get some time to cool off for a moment as you ride.
You can also ride up the canyon to relish in the landscape’s scenery, or take some awesome pictures to post afterward.
If you like being close to the nearest town, Virginia City is a short ride away. Make sure that you park in designated areas to avoid citations. Getting a ticket is a sure-fire way to put a damper on your trip.
Wilson Canyon helps immerse you into Nevada’s unique, contoured topography. You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a painting when you ride down alongside the Walker River. Challenge your Jeep by taking it through rocky waters, or just ride along the bank for an easy passage.
Make sure to pay close attention when climbing steep hills, as potential hazards in the area aren’t marked.
For those who want to stay below, trekking through the deep canyons is enough to complete your adventure.
The Final Word on Nevada
Most people outside of Nevada aren’t aware of the state’s outdoor treasures. Nevada’s winding trails come equipped with world class scenery and memorable landscapes that make bearing the sweltering heat worth the trip.
The Steep hills, deep canyons, and towering sand dunes you discover here will take your breath away without you ever having to step foot into a casino.
While the state has a thriving urban scene, Nevada’s outdoor excursions are difficult to match. By overlooking Nevada as a stop on your off-roading tour, you would miss out on an captivating adventure that you can look back on fondly for many years.
As you go through your list of ATV trails to conquer, make sure to include Nevada’s off-road trails to put your vehicle to a scorching test. Hitch up your vehicles and make the trip out west for a special ride you can’t find anywhere else.