Spring is a great time of year to make a trip to the high desert when the temperature is actually tolerable both day and night. With comfortable daytime highs and nighttime temperatures above freezing, springtime offers a great opportunity for high desert adventuring. Here are five great off-road adventures in the desert you won’t want to miss.
Nowhere in the world is more synonymous with off-road racing then Baja, California. This extended peninsula from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas covers 27,000 square-miles of rugged terrain flanked by the beautiful sea of Cortes and the Pacific Ocean. Every year it’s also home to the SCORE International Off-Road Racing Series, which includes the famed Baja 500. There’s no reason you can’t make your next off-road adventure following one of the courses. Watch this video below to see an exciting crash on one of the remote corners.
California’s Mojave Desert has long been a mecca for off-road enthusiasts out of Nevada or California’s inland empire. Within the Mojave National Preserve lies one of off-roading’s greatest treasures, the Mojave Road. This east-west corridor was one of the earliest wagon trails for settlers moving west. Before that, the trail was used by Native Americans. Today the road is virtually unchanged from the way it was during the pioneer days meandering 138-miles from waterhole to waterhole in landscapes untouched since prehistoric times. Check out this video of a recent trip on this historic road.
If you want to put you and your pickup truck in some hairy situations, there’s no place better in North America than Moab, Utah. Here you can test your shock absorbers and knobby tires on giant boulders that would seem impassable by anything other than your hands and feet. But somehow these skilled drivers are able to maneuver their way through some incredible terrain. It’s called “rock crawling” and once a year in October enthusiasts gather for a competition known as the Fall Crawl. This year marks its 12th year. Otherwise the off-road tracks of Moab are open year round and spring is a great time to visit.
Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route
One of the greatest joys an off-road enthusiast can have is travelling the backcountry. Rather than flocking to the same weekend getaway, backcountry travel may take some extra effort but it means you’ll see places you would not have imagined that few people can reach. Today, much of the information you need for a spectacular 4X4 adventure is available on-line through the non-profit Backcountry Discovery Routes. The group offers maps and information on routes in 10 states with plans to develop more routes in years to come. The group credits the route in Oregon as starting the whole thing. Watch this video below, which documents Oregon’s scenic beauty on this historic backcountry route.
In Colorado, the non-profit Backcountry Discovery Routes has developed an off-road trail that’s unparalleled nearly anywhere for its scenic beauty. Those who completed the route when it was first created in 2012 said it was grueling but well worth the effort as the trail passes through historic mining towns and huge changes in elevation with looming mountain peaks overhead. The goal of the non-profit is to develop off-road systems that traverse entire states. Colorado was the third state in which they developed a new route. Watch this trailer to a documentary about the voyage.