UTVs are no longer for hard work on farms and ranches, humanitarian aid in remote areas, or hauling heavy cargo across challenging terrains. These days, UTVs are the vehicle of choice for outdoor enthusiasts who want to beat the unbeaten path and witness scenery rarely seen by other humans. On the other hand, UTV racing is huge as sports, and as outdoor competitions go, it surpasses ATV competitions in popularity. Suppose you would like to enjoy a UTV adventure with a partner, the whole family, or a bunch of friends. Social distancing and off-road explorations go hand in hand if you rely on your UTV to take you to unique, hard-to-reach places. So here is what you need to know to prepare for such a trip!
1. Prep Your UTV for Off-Road Challenges
The first thing you need to do before taking your UTV out and about is always to perform a tech inspection, just as you do when you get ready for a UTV race. You need to focus on technical performance, safety features, necessary customizations, and more before deciding to hit the MOAB.
Speaking of accessories, the best thing to do to prep your UTV for such an endurance test is to find a professional seller of aftermarket parts, mods, and components to ensure you have a safe and stylish ride no matter where you go. For instance, at the RAD Parts shop, you can find UTV tires that fit specifically different terrain types (mud, rocks, desert dunes, forest paths, etc.). You can also get mirrors, windshields, safety gear, towing accessories, medical kits, towing/trailer kits, goggles, race equipment, and more.
You indeed need particular aftermarket parts to tailor your UTV depending on your destination. Make an inventory and buy all the customizations you need to make it to the end of your journey unscathed.
2. Learn the Governing Rules of the Off-Roading Area
You have dozens of UTV trails to explore and enjoy, but not all of them are equal when it comes to rules. First, make sure that you are your vehicle abide by the off-road regulations for sides-by-sides.
- Some trails and paths are not available to UTV users because these vehicles are broader and heavier than ATVs, for instance, so you cannot travel them.
- Nevertheless, the market offers narrow UTVs – say 50” – that you can take on the same roads used by ATV and motorbike enthusiasts.
- Authorities close some roads seasonally or due to specific weather/environmental conditions to avoid road erosion or conflicts with other travelers. For this reason, it is always best to check with the appropriate land-management agencies or private resorts before you plan your trip.
What you should do, in short, is to get in touch with whoever manages the area you want to explore and establish the details of your trip. You may have to file for specific permits, pay taxes, or prove your UTV features a particular set of customizations.
3. Pick the Best Off-Roading Trails
We have reached the best part of this guide, one that all UTV buffs and off-road explorers love the most: picking the right trail for their outdoor expeditions. Luckily, you have dozens at your disposal, on both state land and private land. Make a call before to make sure the local regulations allow you to ride your side-by-side at the time you chose. Other than that, let’s make a quick roundup of the best trails to try with your UTV in the United States:
1. The Poison Spider Trail on the MOAB, Utah
The MOAB is the most scenic place to travel by foot, with an ATV, UTV, bike, bicycle, or any vehicle in the world. The Poison Spider Trail is open to UTVs, jeeps, ATVs, and mountain bikes. If you plan an off-road escapade here, make sure your UTV is ready to cross Slickrock, bare stretches of rock, blow-sand hills, rock ledges, a sandy wash bottom, and many more obstacles.
2. The Hidden Falls Adventure Park, Texas
At the heart of this generous park lies the Wildcat Mountain, a challenge for all UTV lovers and thrill-seekers. The park is open to off-road vehicles of all kinds. You can test your riding skills on the rocky or wooden trails or go big and try the Wildcat Stairway, one of the most demanding paths here. Not for the faint of heart or beginner UTV off-riders, the Hidden Falls Adventure Park is one of the best destinations you should try once in a lifetime. Ensure you check out the website and availability, as the managers close the trails when the weather conditions become dangerous.
3. Imperial Sand Dunes, California
As we said, make sure your UTV is ready to take this challenge. When it comes to buying parts and accessories, the proper sand wheels, a windshield, and dune-ready mods should become priorities. Other than that, you should try the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (aka the Glamis). Waiting for you with its over 20,000 acres open to off-roaders, the area is open year-round. Sometimes, depending on the local management, some periods are free of charge.
4. Get Your Trailer Ready
In most states, you cannot drive your UTV or ATV from your home to your destination, so you will have to take your trailer to a tech inspection, just for good measure. Make sure you use the best techniques and gear to fix your UTV onto the trailer for the long bumpy ride ahead.
5. Always Keep the UTV Driving Safety Tips in Mind
As safety goes, always remember these UTV off-roading tips:
- Ride only in the permitted areas/trails and at low/moderate speeds;
- Take as many passengers as you have seats – do not ever overload a UTV with people even if you think a small child is safe in the arms of a parent;
- Follow the rules and local regulations of the area, be it state or private land;
- Always use safety gear: helmets, goggles, gloves, protective clothes;
- If you are in a group on the trail, establish ground rules and keep the communications open at all times;
- Never drive under the influence – no matter how unpopulated the area is;
- Always have a medical emergency kit present on your UTV – it would be best if you knew how to use it for any accident type.
Follow these tips, and you will enjoy a unique off-road adventure with your UTV. Planning, preparation, and safety measures are the surefire ways to enjoy a comfortable and fantastic ride with family and friends, no matter how scenic or challenging the route is!
Have you ever rode a side-by-side vehicle on a trail? What can you tell us about this adrenaline-pumping experience? What fantastic places did you reach?