A three-hour drive from Salt Lake City will take you to one of the largest gatherings of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in the country. The annual Rocky Mountain ATV Jamboree gets this September, with five days of grit and grime from the 16th to the 20th.
An Annual Gathering of ATVs
Hundreds of ATVs gather in Utah every year for the Rocky Mountain ATV Jamboree. What began in 1992 became an annual event that has lasted for over 25 years. This year, over 600 attendees and their ATVs are expected to participate in the 5-day celebration. The event features a parade, guided trail rides, ATV exhibitions, dealer booths, and various contests. Riders from all over the nation (and the world) make that trip to Utah to experience camaraderie while enjoying the challenging trails and majestic sceneries. The Paiute path, where most of the guided rides will be taking place, has over 2,000 miles of primary and side trails, with a primary loop of 240 miles that crosses Piute County, Beaver County, Millard County, and Sevier County. The trail features terrain of varying degrees of difficulty, majestic scenery, and a multitude of water crossings.
Utah’s Great ATV Trails
Utah’s abundant natural resources serve as a majestic backdrop for ATV trail rides. With thousands of miles of trails, riders can plan their trips based on difficulty, scenery, activity, and length. The longest trails can take weeks to traverse, challenging even the most experienced riders. In any given day, riders will often catch glimpses of the state’s diverse wildlife, including small creatures like rabbits, badgers, beavers, and porcupines; birds like turkey, sage grouse, pine hens, pheasants, hawks, eagles, and owls. You might even see larger animals like mountain goats, deer, elk, cougars, bobcats, and bears. September and October are considered the best months to ride ATVs, with minimal chance of rain and cold temperatures. Counties that have rugged ATV trails will often have ATV-friendly streets so riders can directly go to town without storing their vehicles.
Picking Up the Hobby
Anyone can get into ATV riding, and Utah laws are relatively lax. While children under the age of 16 are discouraged from riding ATVs, you can start riding ATVs in Utah at the age of 8. However, riders under the age of 16 are required to successfully finish an off-highway vehicle (OHV) safety course and qualify for a Utah ATV Safety Certificate (which they must have on their person every time they ride the ATV). Once you’re over 16, your driver’s license can take the place of your ATV certificate. Helmets with built-in eye protection are required by law, and you should also opt for protective clothing. Consider wearing long pants, long sleeves, ankle boots, and gloves. They provide a modicum of protection from scrapes and cuts if ever you get into an accident. Always bring a map in case you get lost. Your phone can get damaged during your ride, or you might wander into a trail with no reception.
Thousands of ATV riders visit Utah each year to enjoy the trails and scenery — a clear testament to the majesty of nature and the human spirit that thrives on challenges.