Best Jeep Trails in Colorado for 2024

Best Jeep Trails in Colorado for 2024

Written by Pierce Bryant
January 29, 2024

Colorado's terrain offers a diverse playground for off-roaders, with some of the best Jeep trails in the nation. The state's vast array of mountainous landscapes, rocky paths, and scenic vistas make it an exceptional destination for those seeking adventure behind the wheel of a 4×4. In 2024, the Jeep trails in Colorado continue to appeal to all skill levels, from beginners looking for mild dirt roads to expert drivers challenging themselves on steep, rock-strewn routes.

Each trail provides a unique encounter with the wilds of Colorado, from the lush meadows and aspen groves of the lower elevations to the alpine tundra of the high country. Trails like Wagon Wheel offer a network of interconnecting routes within the Rocky Mountains, exposing drivers to a range of terrains and technical challenges. Meanwhile, paths such as those found near Argentine Pass close to Georgetown boast the combination of accessibility from Denver, incredible views, and a touch of history, marking it as a top destination for Jeep trail enthusiasts.

With a focus on sustainable and responsible off-roading, Colorado's Jeep trails also encourage preservation of the natural beauty and wildlife habitat. It's essential for participants to follow trail rules and guidelines to ensure these treasured paths remain open for future exploration and enjoyment. Whether seeking the thrill of a rugged climb or the tranquility of a forested trail, Colorado's Jeep tracks offer some of the best off-roading experiences available in 2024.

1. Wagon Wheel Trail System

wagon wheel ohv

The Wagon Wheel Trail System offers a remarkable blend of scenic beauty and technical challenge, attracting Jeep owners to its expansive network in Meeker and Rangely, Colorado. Welcoming to both beginners and experienced off-roaders, the system boasts a variety of terrain.

Key Features:

  • Multiple Access Points: Ensures easy entry for drivers.
  • OHV-Friendly Communities: Supportive local towns that accommodate off-road vehicles.

Trail Difficulty:

  • Varies between easy to challenging, catering to different skill levels.

Meeker and Rangely provide several trailheads, making it straightforward for adventurers to plan their routes. The trail system winds through areas showcasing Colorado's natural beauty, including alpine forests and open spaces with panoramic views.

Trail Usage:

  • Primarily used for off-road driving.
  • Appropriate for other outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking.

The trail surfaces range from dirt roads to more advanced rocky paths, ensuring that there is something for every off-road driving enthusiast. Drivers should be prepared for Colorado’s unpredictable weather and always adhere to safety regulations. The Wagon Wheel Trail System continues to be a top choice for discovering the diverse landscapes of Colorado.

2. Colorado State Forest

colorado state forest ohv

Colorado State Forest offers a rugged escape for off-roaders with its varied terrain and natural beauty. The State Forest's trail system is a gem, boasting paths that challenge both driver and vehicle while providing breathtaking views of the Rockies.

Trail Highlights:

  • North Michigan Reservoir: Accessible routes with picturesque camping spots.
  • Kelly Flats: Known for the infamous Heart Attack Hill, offering a steep and adrenaline-filled climb.

Elevation: Ranges from 8,000 to 12,000 feet, providing a mix of difficulty levels for drivers.

Wildlife: Drivers may spot moose, elk, and other wildlife in their natural habitat but should maintain a safe and respectful distance.

Jeep Trail Tips:

  • Check Weather: Conditions at high elevations can change rapidly.
  • Stay Prepared: Carry recovery gear and a first aid kit.
  • Tread Lightly: Follow Leave No Trace principles to preserve the forest's integrity.

For those seeking a truly challenging experience, the technical trails in Colorado State Forest reward drivers with both the thrill of the drive and the serenity of secluded alpine environments. Whether it's the spirit of adventure or the call of the wild, this destination stands as a must-visit spot on the Jeep trail map.

3. Alpine Loop

alpine loop jeeping

The Alpine Loop in Colorado is an off-roading adventure that caters to those seeking a combination of historical allure and natural beauty. Vehicles tackling this trail require 4×4 capabilities due to its technical terrain and high-elevation passes.

At a Glance:

  • Length: Approximately 65 miles
  • Duration: 7 hours average time
  • Elevation: Up to 12,800 feet at Engineer Pass
  • Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
  • Passes Included: Engineer and Cinnamon Pass

The Loop connects Silverton, Ouray, and Lake City, featuring remnants of Colorado's mining history alongside awe-inspiring views. Drivers are advised to prepare for steep grades, narrow shelf roads, and rocky conditions that challenge even seasoned off-roaders. The trail's accessibility is seasonal with the ideal time to visit usually falling between late May and early October, due to snow closures in the winter months.

Highlights of the Alpine Loop include the historical ghost towns of Animas Forks and the panoramic vistas from the top of Engineer Pass. Enthusiasts often engage in local wildlife spotting and enjoy the vibrant wildflower displays in the warmer months.

Before attempting the Alpine Loop, be sure that your vehicle is properly equipped and check local weather and trail conditions. For extensive trail details and off-road tips, you can find an informative guide through Off-Roading Pro. For those intending to embrace the full rugged beauty of the Alpine Loop, embarking on this journey promises an unforgettable Colorado off-road experience.

4. Grand Mesa Trails

grand mesa trails jeep

The Grand Mesa Trails offer an exceptional off-roading experience for Jeep owners. Spanning a vast area atop the world's largest flat-top mountain, the Grand Mesa provides a network of trails suitable for a range of skill levels.

Trail Highlights

  • Elevation: Varies, with some trails at over 10,000 feet
  • Scenery: Forests, lakes, and expansive vistas
  • Trail Types: A mix of easy, moderate, and challenging paths
  • Accessibility: Mostly during the warmer months; snowpack can persist into late spring

Recommended Trails

  • Land's End Road: A relatively easy route showcasing sweeping views.
  • Crag Crest Trail: Ideal for those seeking both 4x4 adventure and hiking opportunities.

Jeepers should note that while some trails can be tackled by novices, others require more experience due to rocky terrain and potential for sharp elevation changes. Visitors are encouraged to check trail conditions and prepare their vehicles for the specific challenges each trail presents.

Before venturing out, individuals can look up more details on the Grand Mesa Jeeping & ATV Trails Map to tailor their adventure to their experience level and vehicle capabilities.

Important Considerations

  • Weather: Conditions can change quickly; be prepared.
  • Wildlife: The area is home to diverse fauna; respect the natural habitat.
  • Trail Etiquette: Share the trails responsibly with hikers and bikers.

Grand Mesa Trails are revered for their beauty and the immersive off-road experience they provide. Enthusiasts can find not just a day's excitement but also an invigorating connection with Colorado's natural grandeur.

5. Central City/Saint Mary’s

central city colorado ohv

If one is seeking adventurous drives amidst Colorado's scenic landscapes, the Central City/Saint Mary's area offers captivating trails ideal for Jeep enthusiasts. The mix of trails ranges from moderate to difficult, catering to a variety of skill levels.

One prominent trail is Yankee Hill, which boasts a steep and challenging ascent. It rewards the daring with stunning views of Saint Mary's Glacier and the surrounding peaks. This 5.76-mile trip necessitates a robust 4WD vehicle and takes approximately two hours to navigate, reaching elevations up to 10,980 feet.

  • Length: 5.76 miles
  • Estimated Duration: ~2 hours
  • Highest Elevation: 10,980 ft
  • Terrain: Rocky, mixed
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

For those prepared for the steep climb, the trail offers an unforgettable experience with natural vistas (Yankee Hill Road).

Drivers should be prepared for the terrain, which can include rocky sections that challenge both the vehicle and the driver's skills. Explorers will find that the beauty of Central City/Saint Mary's is amplified by the diverse topography and the chance to observe Colorado's wildlife in their natural habitat.

The Central City area trails also feature rich history and remnants of Colorado's mining past, providing an additional layer of discovery for jeep adventurers. It's advised to review trail maps and stay informed about weather conditions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

6. Red Feather Lakes

bald mountain red feather lakes ohv

Nestled northwest of Fort Collins, Red Feather Lakes offers off-roaders a robust network of trails. With over 100 miles of double-track trails, there's an adventure for every skill level. The terrain here is managed by the Roosevelt National Forest and provides a mix of easy to moderate routes.

Trail Features Description
Distance Varied, with over 100 miles of trails
Difficulty Ranges from easy to moderately challenging
Vehicle Suitability 4WD, Jeeps, and other OHVs
Scenery Forests, lakes, and mountain landscapes
Best Time to Visit Late spring to early fall (weather-dependent)

For individuals seeking a trail that challenges their vehicle's capabilities, Red Feather Lakes does not disappoint. One can expect a variety of obstacles, from rocky patches to muddy stretches, depending on the season and weather. These trails also offer the chance to witness the rustic beauty of Colorado, with ample opportunities for photography and wildlife viewing.

Red Feather Lakes is more than a mere off-road trail; it's a destination for nature lovers, boasting nearby camping and hiking options. It's a retreat that marries the thrill of off-roading with the serenity of the surrounding wilderness. Those planning a visit should always check current trail conditions and ensure their vehicle is properly equipped for the terrain.


Colorado's vast landscapes offer an extensive array of off-road trails that cater to Jeep enthusiasts of all expertise levels. From the majestic Rocky Mountains to the serene high desert, the diversity of terrains ensures a remarkable adventure for every visitor.

Here are the highlights:

  • Beginners to Advanced: Trails range from beginner-friendly routes to challenges for the most experienced off-roaders.
  • Diverse Landscapes: Drivers can expect to traverse through forests, rocky paths, and mountainous areas.
  • Accessibility: Many trails are within a short driving distance from major cities like Denver.
  • Well-Maintained Paths: Trails are generally well-kept, enhancing the safety and enjoyment of the experience.

Whether one seeks the thrill of conquering tough terrain or the pleasure of a scenic drive amidst nature, these trails promise memorable experiences. For up-to-date trail information, consider checking Uncover Colorado, Native Jeeps, or Trails Offroad before planning a trip. It's advisable to stay aware of seasonal changes which can affect trail accessibility, as Colorado weather can fluctuate rapidly.

Adventurers should also prioritize environmental stewardship and practice responsible off-roading to preserve these natural spaces for future generations. Always adhere to trail rules and regulations, and keep the spirit of outdoor ethics in mind. With preparation and respect for the trails, off-roading in Colorado can be an unparalleled experience.