Off-Highway Vehicle, All-Terrain Vehicle, and Dirt Biking

Motorized use is fast becoming one of the most controversial recreation topics facing National Forests today. Even the Chief of the Forest Service has listed unmanaged recreation as one of the four greatest threats facing your national forests.

Where Will You Ride?

Choose well your places to ride. Before you go out, check on available trails their condition, ownership of land, posted areas and regulations that apply.

Thousands of miles of unauthorized trails are created every year resulting in increasing levels of resource damage. User-created trails do not conform to national standards to prevent erosion, protect wildlife or public safety. The more user-created trails that spring up, the more likely stiffer regulations, affecting motorized users, become. The Uinta-Wasatch-Cache offers "Motor Vehicle Use Maps" maps that show where you can ride on the forest.

Photo of a person riding a motorcycle on a trail.As a result of all the user-created trails, all routes and areas on the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest are closed to motorized use unless designated open in the Motor Vehicle Use Map or posted on the ground. Additionally, motorized vehicles are no longer allowed off-designated routes to retrieve game.

Its extremely important to protect your privilege and stay on designated routes. Motorized vehicles that stay on designated routes and ride responsibly result in virtually no additional resource damage.

Before heading out for a ride, contact the District Visitor Center about barriers such as fences, rivers, cliffs or swamps; where rivers can be crossed and routes around swamps and cliffs. Get maps and learn how to use them. Power lines, strip mines, old railroad rights-of-way, logging roads are possible places to ride. In addition to District Visitor Centers, Forest or sportsman clubs, other trail users and 4-wheelers are good sources of information. To protect your privilege to recreate on public lands, always ride responsibly. (link to ride responsibly .pdf)

NOTE: Most trails on the forest are not open to vehicles over 50 inches in width which include (side by sides/mules)

Check Your Equipment

Make sure your machine is right for the terrain and conditions. Do you have the right tires? Is your exhaust system adequate? If riding in a forested area, do you have an approved spark arrestor? Take along tools and spare parts for minor repairs. Motorcyclists should have spark plugs, control cables, chain master-links, and a tire repair kit. Four-wheelers will want spark plugs, gas, oil, radiator water, jack, tire repair kit, hoses, belts and cable clamps for their winches.

Check Your Clothing

Choose clothing for safety and comfort. Motorcyclists should have sturdy, but comfortable boots, goggles, gloves and, of course, a good quality helmet. Other protective clothing should be appropriate to weather and provide protection against brush and possible spills. Four-wheelers should dress for the weather and carry foul weather gear plus sturdy leather gloves, and of course, a helmet and goggles.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Emergencies don't always happen to the other person. Having spare parts, tools and adequate protective clothing will help, but, for safety's sake, take a first aid kit, cell phone, fire extinguisher, drinking water, flashlight, matches, blankets and flares.

When You Ride

Let your passing be as unnoticeable as possible. Follow all regulations. Stay on roads and trails designed for such use. If you are not sure if you are allowed on a trail, stay off until you do know for sure. Avoid cutting across switchbacks or through mountain meadows. Don't spin wheels unnecessarily. Avoid driving in streams or on steep hills with loose soil. Don't harass livestock or wildlife. Leave natural and historical features as you find them.

Haul It In - Haul It Out!

Littering the landscape where you ride invites land and trail closures. If you haul it in, you can haul it out. Go one step further and haul out what less thoughtful persons have left behind.

Be Courteous and Considerate

At times, you will share the same space with hikers, horseback riders, hunters, fisherman and others who enjoy the outdoors. Courtesy and consideration will make the sharing more tolerable for all. Respect the land and the rights of others. Be sure your machine is as quiet as you can make it. Nobody likes a loud machine. Leave fences and gates as you find them. Assist others who need help. Courtesy is catching. Pass it on.

Let Someone Know

Riding with a friend or friends adds to the enjoyment and makes good sense from a safety standpoint. Whether riding with someone or not, always let someone else know where you are going and when you expect to return. If headed for backcountry, leave your trip plan with someone who can take action if you don't return as planned - for instance, a forest or a local 4-wheel drive or trail bike club.