A good, and more importantly reliable, jack is critical for working on your 4x4. Dan has taken his time to assemble a list of 10 car jacks on the market today, and has ranked these jacks from best to worst. Check out this blog from our friends at CarBibles.
Let's talk about the off road trails, Jeep trails, and OHV trails in Arizona.
This article specifically covers places for off roading in Arizona - Jeep trails, truck & SUV trails, OHV & ORV trails, and all other sorts of 4x4 trails in AZ.
Arizona has a fantastic amount of land available for off roading. The beautiful scenic landscapes that can be found in AZ are unlike anything else in the country, and perhaps the coolest part of this natural beauty is the journey that is required to observe these wonderful views.
The easiest way for me to tell you about the off road trails in Arizona is to cover the trails located near the major cities. There are far too many off road trails in AZ for me to cover all of them in this brief article, so I will touch on a few and then if you want to sign up for Where2Wheel - Off Road Trails (it's free) to check out all the Arizona trails, feel free to do so.
Starting with Tucson, the most popular trail is pretty much right outside Tucson is Chiva (often pronounced Chivo) Falls. Chiva Falls - Where2Wheel Trail has a good variety of challenging and more "stock"able terrain and obstacles; either way undercarriage protection and/or rock sliders are recommended for this one. It's probably also a good idea to have a passenger that is willing to be your spotter while on trail. Most of the more difficult obstacles have bypasses and the trail ends with a gorgeous view of a 75ft waterfall in the middle of the desert (not something you see everyday). Also near Tucson you can find Chimney Rock that winds it's way through shallow foothills and narrow rock washes. Chimney rock offers great four wheeling and a bit of rock crawling. You can find the full write of of both trails on the W2W Trails Map.
Next let's move up to Phoenix. Phoenix has lot's of off road trails close by, with a large dense cluster of off road trails located to the Northeast in the Tonto National Forest. Great beginners (stock) trails outside (NW) Phoenix/Scottsdale are Coves 1 thru 4 inside Butcher Jones Recreation Area; it's a great place to spend a hot summer day because these trails end at the banks of the Salt River where can take a dip and cool off. There are many beginner/moderate off road trails around Phoenix, but if you are looking for something more difficult then you can head North up I-17 past Anthem to the Black Canyon OHV trail - Where2Wheel. Black Canyon offers a lot of varying terrain over the 10 mile trail: rocks, water crossings, mud, and challenging obstacles. It's not quite hardcore, but it's definitely not for beginners; also, Black Canyon is a lesser known trail so it's a nice place to get away from the more crowded more popular trails in this area.
This area of the US is simply littered with trails, so it's really worth checking out the Where2Wheel - Home/Signup map because there are too many off road trails for me to cover. I'll drop a picture of the W2W map of Arizona so that you can take a quick glance, but still check out W2W as new trails are being added every week. Thanks for reading, see you on W2W!
This article specifically covers Jeep trails, trucks trails, SUV trails, and all other highway vehicle four wheeling trails in MD.
Maryland can be one tough state to find 4x4 offroad trails in, but have no fear Where2Wheel is here to outline some of the offroading trails that MD has to offer.
Let's start at the coast and move from East to West. On the beaches near Ocean City, MD there is Assateague State Park and Assateague Island Beach. It is about a 30 minute drive and will cost you $75 annually for a Surf Vehicle tag, but Assateague Island Beach provides you with 13 miles of beach 4x4 access. Now it's important to note that this beach access is not specifically for four wheeling, but designed to be an access point for salt water fishing - so no donuts or reckless driving because you will be told to leave if you are disturbing the environment. With that said, it is a nice spot to enjoy some top down beach driving and fishing if you are into that.
So if you are located East of Baltimore, you are definitely going to have to drive a ways to get to the bulk of the offroad trails in Maryland, but the good news is that MD is a small state so that shouldn't be a deal breaker keeping you from having some 4x4 fun. West of Baltimore and just North of Frederick is the Frederick Watershed Area, and just like the beaches this is nothing too extreme. Inside the Frederick Watershed is the Frederick Municipal Forest that contains 11 miles of gravel, dirt, and rocky roads that explore the 7,000 acre forest. Most of the trail doesn't require 4WD, but there is the occasional creek crossing and rain or snow can make this area a lot more fun. There is also some good fishing of stocked lakes and hiking to be had in this forest.
Continuing to travel to the most Northwest parts of MD will land you the states best offroading. The Garrett State Forest and Savage River State Forest both provide some fun 4x4 offroad trails - these trails be found on Where2Wheel.com on the W2W Trails Map, but one of those worth mentioning is the St. John's Rock ORV Trail & Campground in Garrett County (Frostburg), MD. At St. John's you can find more that 12 miles of woodland trails constructed specifically for ORV enthusiasts, including a full-size rock crawl area for Jeeps and other four-wheel drive vehicles. It has been a relief to many Maryland resident offroad enthusiasts to see the state finally taking actions to embrace the strong offroad community in MD, and projects like the St. John's Rock ORV Trail are a welcome addition to the recreational resources that Maryland has to offer.
Lastly, don't forget to check out Ocean City Jeep Week! It's a fantastic celebration of all things Jeep, including beach rides, a custom built off-road course, and a kickin display of Jeeps and all things off-road at the Ocean City Convention Center. Where2Wheel is often in attendance with many other vendors in the off-road world, and it is honestly a great time and one of the highlights of our year. OWJW is held annually in late August.
This article specifically covers Jeep trails, truck trails, SUV trails, and all other highway vehicle four wheeling trails in VA.
Virginia certainly isn't the mecca of offroading, but that doesn't mean that VA doesn't have its fair share of 4x4 trails where you can get your tires dirty and have some fun with your Jeep, truck, or whatever 4WD that you choose to have some fun with. I will provide a base overview of the terrain types that you can find in Virginia and then I will move from East to West mentioning any major 4x4 offroad trails that standout in VA.
East to West you will find: Starting at the Atlantic Coastline with sand/beach, then a quick transition to mud/swamp, then progressing into wooded/forest trails, and as you move into the western half of the state you move into the Appalachian Mountains where the trails are typically forested trails sprinkled with mild to moderate rock crawling sections. That's Virginia 4x4 off-road terrain in a nutshell.
Notable 4x4 offroad trails in VA from East to West include:
Carova beach isn't technically in Virginia, but it is a favorite among VA four wheeling enthusiasts. Carova Beach is 11 miles of public beach to drive along plus countless more miles sandy trails that stem off of the main beach. Be careful on these trails tho as they tend to be partially flooded most of the year and some of the water crossings can get deep enough to swallow a 37 inch tall tire. You can find more info about Carova Beach on the Where2Wheel Trails Map - it's a great place for the beginner offroader. The only downside is that even tho Carova Beach is spitting distance from Virginia Beach, the drive is about 2.5 hours to Carova because beach access can only be had from south of the VA/NC border.
Moving westward, just off the beach you will find Hampton Roads; the surfers in this coastal metropolitan are have a saying, "VA has no waves", and that mantra pretty much rings true for the 4x4 community and its offroading trails in Hampton Roads. There is one gem in the area for offroading and that is Starr Motors Jeep dealership. Starr Motors (aka Starr Motors Offroad Outfitters) has a small offroad course behind their Jeep dealership; the course has several hill climbs, rock gardens, and mud pits and is a blast to visit when open. Check out the VB 4x4 group or events calendar on Where2Wheel.com to find out when Starr Motors will be open next - they open the park with varying frequency, usually at least once every other month.
Middle Virginia, around Richmond area, used to have a handful off offroading options; however, the options have become fewer and fewer in recent years. Crozet, VA outside Charlottesville, VA used to be a hub for rockcrawling, and RedCloud Offroad Park was a favorite in the Richmond area, but sadly neither of these options are open for wheeling anymore. If in the middle part of VA you can still check out Shoe Creek trail, but even that trail seems to be threatened by closure issues.
Moving up to Northern Virginia is the fantastic Big Dogs Offroad in Gore, VA. Big Dogs Offroad is Virginia's largest offroad park and is open about a dozen times a year. More info on Big Dogs Offroad here.
Westward towards Roanoke, VA you will find many trails inside the George Washington National Forest and Jefferson National Forest, the most notable and most extreme being Potts Mountain Jeep Trail. Potts Mountain is a challenging trail that takes you up a mountain and along the trail you will be forced to navigate rock gardens, rock ledges/shelfs, and even some mud pits - don't go alone and make sure you have a capable vehicle. The western part of Virginia by far has the most 4x4 offroad trails that VA has to offer, and is well worth the drive to visit out that part out the state. The trails in the national forests are usually dirt fire roads that hunters use to access the forest during hunting season, but they are open for public access and are a great place for amateur enthusiasts; these trails include stream crossings and the occasional mud put, but make sure to stay the trail as going off trail is a ticketable offense.
For more 4x4 offroad trail information simply signup for free to Where2Wheel.com or login to W2W to check out the Where2Wheel Trails Map.
Would you rather have Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton deciding the fate of your favorite off-roading trail on public lands?
I think most people would agree that neither person is a good choice to be trusted to make the right decision to keep public lands open and accessible. Now I know that the decision on access to public lands will probably never make it all the way to Hillary or Trump, but nonetheless, our leadership options most definitely speak to the political climate that we are faced with in the United States.
Sure we have amazing groups with amazing people doing amazing work to influence politicians to make decisions that are in support of the off-roading community. Organizations like Tread Lightly and BlueRibbon Coalition do a fantastic job of keeping our interests in front of decision makers and we greatly appreciate their work, but we can’t forget that there are well funded organizations (mostly environmentalists) on the opposite side of the issue lobbying to close access for vehicles to public lands. And with decision makers and a political climate like we talked about above, the fate of public lands and many of our favorite trails are a huge uncertainty.
Offroad safety should be important to everyone and not an afterthought. Having a safe experience means stresses and problems will be down and fun will be up! There are a ton of tips out there, some to be learned the easy way, some the hard way. Get with experienced wheelers in your area to learn from them! Ask questions and don't be afraid to make mistakes. We all started out new..
10 Vehicle Recovery Safety and Tips
Never Wheel ALONE!
Always have at least one partner vehicle-minimum.
Have a recovery and medical plan before it happens!
Ensure someone outside of your group knows where you are going and about what time you will be back.
Have a communication method and a backup. Cell phones will not always have service.
Use Where2Wheel's Recovery Needed! feature.
Always have a medical kit in your vehicle.
Use only snatch designed straps for snatching vehicles out of sticky situations.
No metal/hook ends, only loops.
Use only hardened recovery points, usually attached directly to the frame (If you have one *cough XJ *cough ????)
Pay attention to vehicle weight and how deep the vehicle is + how aired down the vehicle is.
Never hook up to steering or driving components, you will need to get out of the spot and then off the trail. Axles have ripped completely off of the vehicle!