Great Western Trail

Enjoy Nature on the Great Western Trail by ATV

While still a work in progress, the Great Western Trail traverses 4,455 miles and five states from the Canadian to Mexican border, offering fantastic outdoor recreation opportunities. The trail includes many pre-existing trails including those for motorized and non-motorized vehicles. One of the best ways to experience the trail is by ATV. These sporty yet rugged vehicles can take you through some of the roughest terrain, and can do so at a faster pace than your feet.

Though the trail crosses five states – Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana – the most organized areas of the trail exist in Arizona and Utah.


The Arizona section of the Great Western Trail stretches through a wide variety of landscapes including deserts, canyons, plateaus, woodlands, dense forests and alpine meadows. This section of the trail is not recommended for new riders, as much of it is on the road less traveled with primitive amenities. However, the natural and cultural scenery along the way is worth it for experienced riders.


The Utah section of the Great Western Trail is more of a corridor connecting existing trail systems in the state. Because of this, there is a wide variety of trails available at different skill levels and even those that are family friendly. One such trail is the Paiute ATV trail, considered to be one of the top 5 ATV trails in the country. Though the trail can technically be ridden in 25 hours, it is more enjoyable to make turn this into an extended weekend or weeklong adventure. Passing through dense wooded areas, past lakes and scenic vistas, it offers a variety of breathtaking photo opportunities.

Utah is also a great section of the trail to explore if you don’t own an ATV or are new to riding. There are many rental opportunities available, and it can be a great way to test out ATV riding before investing in your own. If you’re new to the sport, and aren’t sure if you’ll like it, try a shorter half-day or 1-2 hour guided tour. However, most people take the shorter tour and are ready for something longer. Overnight guided camping adventures are also available.

Because riding an ATV does have its risks, you should consider all the safety precautions before hitting the trail. If you aren’t sure of what safety precautions you should take into consideration, check out the ATV Safety Institute for online safety information and safety classes. So take a chance and try out a Great Western Trail adventure on an ATV. It is an experience you will never forget.

Make sure your ATV is ready for anything out on the trails.

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Photo credit: Alan Levine


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Up North Sports
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