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The Best National Park Off-Roading Trails

So, you’re considering doing some off-roading on trails at some of our national parks. Very cool. What with their astounding natural beauty and opportunities for sublime hiking, camping, biking, and, yes, off-road adventuring, such parks are among the country’s jewels. And what better chariot than your Jeep Grand Cherokee?

Without further ado, here are the best national park off-roading trails.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Let’s start here. The newest iteration of this venerable ride delivers an exquisite melding of 4X4 capability, a better on-road experience, top-shelf design, and a bounty of safety and technology goodies. And for the first time, the GC can seat seven.

Built on an all-new platform, the Grand Cherokee offers independent front and rear suspensions in addition to the Quadra-Lift system with electronic adaptive damping. The result is an improved capability quotient and on-road experience. And you have two formidable powerplants from which to choose: the standard 3.6-liter V6 or 5.7-liter V8.

As for going off road, this whip is more than capable. Helped by a trifecta of 4X4 systems, in addition to a Selec-Terrain traction management system that features five modes, the Grand Cherokee’s off-road prowess is even better, if you can imagine that. You also get better ground clearance and water-fording capability.

Your national parks trip will also benefit from a spacious, upscale interior that offers a bunch of niceties such as new LED ambient lighting, touchscreen radio, front-row seat massage, 10-inch display screen, and distinct climate zones for the driver and front passenger, who nestle in hand-wrapped quilted Palermo.

The Top National Park Off-Roading Trails

Berdoo Canyon – Joshua Tree National Park

This park offers an opportunity to experience, up close and personal, what U2’s landmark LP “The Joshua Tree” celebrates. We’re talking awe-inspiring landscapes and unnamed streets along the trails of Berdoo Canyon, which provides more than 20 miles of abject Southern California desert gorgeousness.  

Old Fall River Road – Rocky Mountain National Park

While taking time to enjoy scenic views of mountains and forests, plus a stunning waterfall, you can take advantage of some fantastic trails, including Old Fall River Road. The ultimate in Rocky Mountain off-roading, the trail tracks Big Horn Mountain for nearly 11 miles at more than 3,000 feet. Be sure to point your Jeep Grand Cherokee to this national park trail.

Cathedral Valley – Capitol Reef National Park

While there’s no off-roading in Zion National Park — Utah’s top natural attraction — you’ve got Capitol Reef, which permits such rough-and-tumble shenanigans on its Cathedral Valley trails. These trails are 71 mesmerizing miles of rivers, canyons, and rocky terrain. So, if you’re going to be anywhere near southern Utah, this trail is a must-do.

Old Ore Road – Big Bend National Park

Going as far south as possible — yep, near the Mexican border — you’ll reach Big Bend National Park. Within that enchanting park is Old Ore Road. There, you can ride till your heart’s content. We’re talking 26 straight miles through gravesites, ghost towns, and other signs of a time long past.

Echo Pass – Death Valley

The bar is very high, but we saved the best for last. In fact, any listing of top off-roading trails in the United States must include the most torrid – and difficult – challenge of all. Indeed, after you’ve taken on off-roading highs, it’s time to encounter the lows:  Death Valley, which sits almost 33 feet below sea level and is VERY caliente. So, make sure you have a full tank and a perfectly functioning ride. While Echo Pass isn’t the longest trail in the world, it is tough to conquer – in a good way. In addition to extremely hot weather conditions, you get plenty of rough terrain here. Go for it.

So, have a blast on the best national park off-roading trails – in the perfect vehicle to do so. 

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