Off-roading is steadily growing as a recreational activity in Phoenix and the rest of Arizona. Residents and tourists are spending big on it, paying close to $2 billion every year. The state has some of the best trails to explore, and it’s about time to hit the dirt. Here are the vehicles you can use:

ATVs and UTVs

The most common recreational vehicles for off-roading are the ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) and UTVs (utility task vehicles). These vehicles are a great way to get started in off-roading; they are not as expensive as 4×4 vehicles and a bit safer than dirt bikes.

Arizona is a bit lax when it comes to ATV and UTV regulations. Although you have to register your vehicle as an OHV (off-highway vehicle), you aren’t required to wear a helmet (if you’re over 18) or any other safety gear apart from goggles. Of course, you should still wear a helmet if you want to be safe.

Your ATV/UTV will need to be fitted with spark arrestors, headlights and taillights, safety flags, and a muffler to dampen its sound to less than 96 decibels. You can even drive your ATV on Arizona roads as long as you install a horn, add lights to your license plate, and get sufficient vehicle insurance. Certain parts of Arizona may also require emissions testing to see if your vehicle meets their standards.

SUV on a rocky road

Dirt Bikes

Dirt bikes are another way to hit the Arizona trails. Bikes can go much faster than ATVs, but the risk of injury also increases. Speeding on two wheels allows you to have a better feel for the road and a more primal experience. Riding a bike through rough terrain requires, however, a bit of fitness. Your whole body will be sore after your first few outings as the vibrations give you a full-body workout. Although not required, a helmet is essential if you want to maintain your safety. Crashes and spills can come any time, so make sure you have your helmet on and wear protective clothing. Most dirt bikes are considered street legal in Arizona, so you probably wouldn’t need additional registration.


If you want a vehicle you can take to the office during the weekdays and ride to the hills on weekends, lifted trucks in Phoenix are the rides for you. These trucks or modified jeeps allow you to bring more people for the ride, and they are exponentially safer than an ATV or dirt bike. Your vehicle won’t need additional registration, and you can transition on and off the road with no problem. Maricopa County is just a few minutes away from Phoenix, so you can hit the trails in just a short drive. Lifted trucks also allow you to bring an ATV or a couple of dirt bikes, just in case you want to switch things up.

Go beyond the pavement and experience off-roading to the fullest in Arizona. With thousands of miles of trails and rough terrain, Arizona allows you to start your adventure the moment you get your ride.


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