America is an incredibly diverse country and one of the most beautiful areas to go off-roading.
The mountains, weather and huge state parks make the area one of the best for those looking to live a four-wheel lifestyle.
Off-Roading to the Fullest
That's why we're taking a look at the best places to go off-roading. Below, you’ll find some of the top picks for taking a drive out in the wilderness.
Tillamook State Forest
The first trail on this list is Tillamook State Forest. About an hour west of Portland Oregon, Tillamook State Forest has over 250 miles of trails between a number of different camping and trail areas, like Browns Camp and Edwards Creek Learners Loop, which is for beginners. It's not just for trucks and jeeps – there are dedicated ATV and motorcycle trails too.
Evans Creek ORV
Next up is Evans Creek ORV in Washington. It's known for its scenery since its right next to Mount Rainier, which just happens to be one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. But don't let that stop you off roading – it's got 40 miles of 4x4 and quad trails of varying difficulty.
Some of the trails are fairly tight, so larger vehicles may get a few new scratches and dents, but this is one you don't want to miss.
About a 200-mile drive east from Evans Creek is the next trail: the Moses Lake Mudflats and Sand Dunes. Proving that mudding isn't just for off roading in the South, you'll find all sorts of rigs here for your stock Jeeps to full-on monster trucks. The best part is that right next door to the mud is sand dunes, so you're going to have a good time here.
Walker Valley ORV
Located about 70 miles north of Seattle, Walker Valley ORV is the next trail worth checking out. You can gain some serious elevation here, ranging from 500 feet, all the way up to 3000 feet, over 36 miles of trails.
Bikes and ATV are also welcomed here. There's even a 4x4 skills area, where first-timers and those new to off roading can build their skills with humps, bumps and other features.
And finally, the final place to off roading in the US is the Oregon Dunes. Nothing matches the beauty of the Oregon Dunes right on the Pacific Ocean. You've got your pick of high dunes or flatter areas for those looking to go fast. The dunes also run nearly 50 miles north-south, and some are nearly 500 feet tall.
There are also plenty of rentals available for those who want to enjoy different types of riding.
Dirt Bike Sand Trail and Track Tips
Off roading can be tricky, especially for the beginner, so here are a few extra tips for riding tracks and trails in the sand.
Depending on who you ask, sand is an absolute blast to ride in. Whether it’s a sandy trail, sandy tracks or even something more, sand has a mind of its own.
It takes a lot of practice to really get enough confidence to feel like you can go fast in the sand.
Pay Attention to Your Bike Setup
The first tip is to make sure your bike set up is right. What we mean by this is your suspension – when you're riding in sand, you want your front tire to be as light as possible. It should almost float on top of the sand, which is going to help prevent it from diving when you're braking or diving when you’re coming into corners.
There are a few things that you can do to help get your bike set up for off roading and to really help keep that front tire light and on top of the sand. The first one is going to be with your sag.
What we recommend doing (and what a lot of professional riders do) is to increase the sag on their bike.
For example, if you're around 100 millimeters of sag, what you can do is try upping it to 103, or perhaps 105 millimeters of sag.
However, make sure to always look at your owner’s manual first, which will give you a window of where your sag should be.
But what adding sag to your bike does is help the rear end squat just a little bit more, so when the bike is squatting, it’s taking load and weight off the front, helping it to stay higher up and lighter.
To do it, you just need a simple tool – you can use a sag scale, which will require help from a friend, or if you're doing it by yourself, you can use a digital sag scale, which actually lets you measure your sag by yourself. But all in all, adjusting your sag and adding a few millimeters really helps with the balance of the bike.
At the front, you can make some adjustments to your clickers. What we like to do on out forks is to go two to three clicks stiffer on the compression – the reason for this is that it just helps the fork stay a little bit higher up in the stroke, so it's not going to dive as much and it helps it to stay higher up on the sand.
Lower Your Forks and Clamps
Now the next tip for your suspension is to lower your forks and your triple clamps.
This is something that a lot of riders will do in the stand, and this is really going to help with high-speed stability because sand tracks and sandy trails are really known for getting really bumpy, with even get some small chatter too.
What riders will do is take the forks and drop them in the clamps. Make sure you look at your manual for this as well, as you don't want to drop them too far. You do want to stay within the spec, but dropping what those will do is lengthen out the bike and make it more stable at higher speeds.
In the past, we’ve dropped them two and a half millimeters on some bikes, while other even drop them all the way down flush.
Gear Down Your Bike
The next thing we’re going to touch on is gearing down your bike. What it means by gearing down is either adding teeth to your rear sprocket or taking them away in the front.
What this does is give your bike better acceleration and more torque because sand is so deep, it puts a lot more load on the bike, and it's hard to accelerate.
With your 454 strokes and 252 strokes, these types of bikes already have so much power and torque that it's not as big of a deal, and one or two teeth are all that is needed. However, for your smaller displacement bikes, this can have a much bigger difference. For some riders, two or even three teeth are added to the rear.
Choose the Right Tire
The next off roading tip is tire choice. What we’re referring to is running a sand tire. If you've ever been to a real sand race, you're going to see all the top-level riders using a sand tire.
What makes these so good in the sand (or even in the mud) is that the tread blocks are thinner, so they dig into the sand better, and they have a crescent shape to them, which is going to help give you that drive.
Hands down the best tire choice when you're riding in sand is a sand tire, but the next best option, if you don't want to go with a sand tire, is to make sure you get a nice soft trained tire.
Look After Your Air Filter
The final tip is all about the air filter. You’ve got to remember when you're riding in sand, sand gets everywhere.
More specifically, we’re talking about not getting sand into your air box. If you get sand in there, it is not a good thing, so always make sure that when it comes to your air filter, you’re using plenty of oil.
What we always like to do when we’re riding in sand is to use filters skins. Filter skins are inexpensive – they come in different sizes and go right over the top of the air filter. Essentially, they create a second barrier which helps prevent getting sand and dust into your air box.
Another great thing about them is they're going to come three in a pack, so when one gets dirty, you can just take it off, put another one on and you're good to go. Filter skins prolong the life of your air filters so you don't have to clean them as often.
Once you're done with all three, you can just wash them the same way that you would with your air filter.
Off Roading the Right Way
So those are the tips when it comes to riding on sandy trails or sand tracks. So, what is your favorite trail? Get in touch and let us know, we’d love to hear from you!