Few places in the world can please as many visitors as Colorado can. The Centennial State is home to big cities, quiet mountain towns and plenty of parks that protect the Rocky Mountain environment. It's in these quieter spots off-roading enthusiasts can find some of the best driving trails in the U.S., making the state a can't-miss destination for drivers hoping to traverse the most amazing routes in the country.
Colorado has its own off-roading motto: "Stay the Trail." Although some drivers may feel the urge to head deep into the unknown wilderness during their adventures across the state, there's no need - the trails winding throughout Colorado provide plenty of challenges and rewarding experiences for those who manage to cross them.
Those who plan on participating in off-road driving in Colorado should be aware of a few rules the state has in place to regulate the experience. There is a noise limit which may impact power output, but otherwise most of the regulations revolve around keeping off-road vehicles on designated trails and not harming the vegetation that surrounds the worn-down paths.
While you can find excellent off-road driving locations throughout the state, there are a few trails that continue to receive praise from those who have experience them.
The Silverton Trails
Many of Colorado's off-roading trails stretch back to the days when mining in the Rocky Mountains was a common sight. These routes, once filled with workers and machinery, are now dedicated to trucks and Jeeps that make the journey to the land. Hundreds of miles of these trails are set among the San Juan Mountains, a section of the Rockies set in the southwest corner of Colorado.
According to Off-road.com, Silverton, which was once a mining town, is a great place to set up a base camp. From there, you can choose to test your truck modifications on any number of trails that surround the area. Paths like the Engineer Pass and Alpine Loop are favorites of visitors and locals alike, as they take drivers through some of the most scenic areas of Colorado while still offering plenty of challenges for those who like dune bashing. At some points in these trails you will hit elevations of more than 12,000 feet above sea level and be forced to use all of your knowledge to handle steep hills, rocky sections and rushing waterways that are found in the dozens of miles of trails.
If you enjoy pushing your off-road vehicle over tough rock passes, then the Metberry Gulch route might be for you. Located in central Colorado, this trail is about 4.5 miles long and transitions between fairly easy sections that anyone can drive to more difficult areas. As you progress through the path, you'll encounter sharp turns, steep hills and plenty of awesome scenery. The one section that usually proves to be the most challenging is what is known as the Rock Slab, a steep, flat rock that requires vehicles to find the perfect speed if drivers don't want to slide while crossing it.
At the end of the Metberry Gulch route lies the South Platte River. This doesn't have to be the end of your journey, however, as the nearby trails of Hackett Gulch and Longwater Gulch can be easily accessed to extend the experience. Much like the area surrounding the Silverton Trails, the land around Metberry Gulch and its neighboring trails is filled with wild animals, lush vegetation and towering mountains that make for a unique off-roading environment.