Driving on the street is nice and all, but the truest expression of freedom and the automobile is off road. Jalopnik readers know the best dirt, mud, sand, and rocks you can find here in the USA.
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Since this list is only ten places long, we're going to leave out some obvious spots. For instance, all of Death Valley. And we're also leaving out everywhere outside of the US' lower 48.
Get outside of there and we recommend trips out to Alaska, pretty much all of Australia (geographically speaking), Mongolia, most of Northern Chile, and Pakistan. If you have a supercharged Jeep head to Iceland, and if you happen to have a lunar buggy, the surface of the moon looks like it has some pretty sweet off road action.
They're all a little far though.
Photo Credit: Tom Kelly
10.) Redington Pass, AZ
Just about anywhere in Arizona is going to be great in a four wheel drive, but our favorite spot is Redington Pass outside of Tuscon.
9.) Rausch Creek Off Road Park, PA
Most of the great off roading areas in the US are in the Frontier states, but if you're stuck in the Northeast, there are still some solid spots. We've heard Rausch Creek called the East Coast Moab. You'll want to bring a serious vehicle.
8.) Silver Lake Dunes, MI
Head into the Midwest and you'll find some excellent sand to play with, like at Silver Lake Dunes. If dunes are your thing, go here.
7.) California City, Kern, CA
Southern California is the capitol of high-speed desert running. One of our favorite stops is California City, near Kearn. It's a huge dry lake bed to play on. Bring your Subaru.
6.) SCCA RallyCross
You don't need to have a lifted truck or a big Jeep to go off road. Even if you just have an old Subaru, you can take it out to a rallycross event, hosted by your local SCCA chapter. It's autocross, but in the dirt. Super sideways.
5.) Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
There is amazing off roading in the South, too. We'd go out to Georgia's Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. The whole area is filled with beginner, intermediate, and advanced trails. Oh, and it's gorgeous.
4.) Engineer Pass, CO
Colorado, as you may know, is completely filled with off roading locales. One of our favorite spots is Engineer Pass, which peaks at 12,800 feet. The views are predictably breathtaking.
No list of off roading locations in the US or the world is complete without the Rubicon. California's legendary trail is an obvious choice, but it sets the bar for great places to take your four-by-four.
Again, when you think of off roading, you think of Moab. Our favorite spot might just be the Kane Creek trail, but anywhere you go in the pilgrimage to Utah will be good.
1.) Barstow and Plaster City, CA
Much respect to rock crawlers, but momma, we wanna go fast! That's why our favorite spot to go off the paved road is the public land in Barstow and Plaster City. This empty stretch of Southern California is where factory desert racing teams come to test, and they go there for a reason.