The Black Bridge Guide To Social Distancing: America’s Best-Off Road Experiences
We know you can't leave the house, but it's nice to pretend you can still have adventures. Maybe you can as long as you're 6 feet apart. They told us to stay off the roads, but they specifically didn't really say anything about forging your own roads.
Since the days of the ancient empires, seeking out the unknown has been at the top of humanity’s priority list. Nomadic tribes wandered Pangea in search of new frontiers, new experiences, and new adventures. Fast forward a millennia and at the core of the matter, nothing has really changed. We’re still hunters and gatherers, Vikings on a mission, and Native's on horseback. The horsepower has changed, and so to the nature of the hunt, but the need for it has not. We’ve just evolved the one horse into several hundred under the hood.
Black Bridge Motors has compiled the best list of mind-blowing terrain and scenery for our 2020 guide to the best locations for the adventurist in you. We’ve broken it down by region and considered both the level of challenge, and the environment’s scenic qualities when selecting the below list.
Happy trails, digital cowboy.
Southwest Region USA : Mojave Road (Arizona x California)
Running from Bullhead City, Arizona to Newberry Springs, California, this 140 mile scenic trail is a 2-3 day commitment. Originally a Native American trail, this road boasts some of the southwest’s finest landmarks. On the trip you’ll see the Colorado River, Joshua Tree Forest, Rock Spring, and Soda Lake. There’s only one water stop along the way so make sure you bring your own.
Bonus points for all the wild desert art, like enormous metal dinosaurs and dragons, various truly insane installations ranging from blown up trailer parks to surrealist cars and statues. There is no other "Mojave Road" like experience anywhere on earth.
West Coast Region USA: Calico Ghost Town California
What better place to ride than a ghost town? Calico was a silver mine mecca that went from boom to bust in the 1880’s after hundreds of miles of tunnels had been carved into the mountains by fortune seekers. It once had dozens of saloons, along with houses of ill repute, as a quintessential Old West town. It’s since been recreated, and now resembles what it was like in its peak. Calico was purchased by Walter Knott in the 1950s, who restored all but five original buildings, making them look just like they did in their heyday.
The town was designated a historical landmark, and is part of the San Bernardino County Regional Parks system today. The colors that gave the town its name continue into the surrounding canyons and hillsides. For off-road enthusiasts, the real draw is just outside of town.
Ride into the sunset here, partner.
Rocky Mountain Region USA: Engineer Pass
Welcome to Colorado. The Mile-High state is the undisputed king of legal shrooms and off-road adventures. Over 200 legal off-road trails are listed, but in reality Colorado offers about 10 x that, boasting more than almost any other member of the union. The number of forums dedicated to “Coloffroada” is endless.
Selecting the winner was tough, but we went with the legendary Engineer Pass. Topping out at a breathtaking 13,000 feet above sea level, there’s nothing this dramatic anywhere else on the planet. If your party fears no heights, nothing in America tops this view.
It’s narrow and winding at a wildly steep elevation, so it surely is not for everyone.
South Central Region USA: Hidden Falls Adventure Park - Marble Falls TX
Everything is bigger in Texas, they say. They must have been talking specifically about Hidden Falls, perhaps the nation’s largest dedicated off-road arena. Boasting over 3000 acres to traverse, it's nothing short of a dream for Land Rover, Jeep or ATV whipping thrill seekers. Located about 50 miles outside of Austin, the park is fully legal and charges a reasonable fee to explore over 250 miles of trails ranging from the bunny hop beginnings road to extremely wild and dangerous. And yes, there are man-made lakes you can plow thru.
Mid Atlantic Region USA: Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania
When people think of off-roading, the iconic trails that come to mind are in the general west, but the gateway to the heartland boasts some of the best terrain around. Though inclimate weather can close the trails from Memorial day to the last Sunday in September, the river valley in fall is picture perfect.
New England Region USA: Cape Cod National Seashore Beach Driving
The Cape is as iconically New England as it will ever get. Kennedy-esque boats filled with Kennedy-esque people line the waterfront. Picturesque little hamlets and quaint Vineyard Vines filled boutiques, Lobster Rolls, Red Saux dad hats and regional craft beer flesh out the peripherals.
There is no mistake as to where you are. Tom Brady shares the throne with David Ortiz. Replacing the royal horse and carriage is the Land Rover Defender. You can book a day pass to roar over miles of sand in the OVR Corridor.
Grab a hotdog at Dog House in nearby Dennis, MA.