The last days of February saw thousands of off-road enthusiasts gathering in Sandy for the city’s 5th Annual Salt Lake Off-Road and Outdoor Expo. Participants were treated with a multitude of jeeps, ATVs, and motorcycles.
5 Years Running
The Salt Lake City metropolitan area has hosted the event for the past five years, with participants from other states visiting as well. The event featured the latest off-road vehicles, various parts for modification, and safety add-ons for off-road enthusiasts, as well as climbing gear and equipment for hikers, climbers, and mountaineers. The event proved to be an entertaining family affair as participants brought kids along to enjoy games, bounce house obstacle courses, face-painting, and a magic show.
Visitors also got a taste of rock-climbing with various walls for beginners and experts. However, the biggest draws were still off-road vehicles. Hundreds of exhibitors showcased their products and services, highlighting a weekend filled with off-road greatness.
Off-roading in Utah
Utah’s elevated landscape and rich natural resources give the state some of the best off-road trails in the nation. Whether on a jeep, ATV, or dirt bike — riders can navigate thousands of miles of trails. You can choose your trails based on difficulty, scenery, or length. Some trails offer short rides that last a couple of hours, but the longest trails can take weeks to traverse. Utah trails are filled with wildlife. On the ground, you might see badges, beavers, rabbits, turkeys, and porcupines, while eagles, hawks, owls, and pheasants fly in the air.
Depending on the season, you might even spot deer, elk, and mountain goats. However, you need to stay wary of cougars, bobcats, and bears. Off-roaders from other states frequently visit Utah trails, especially during September and October. One of the state’s most popular and largest off-road trails is the Paiute trail system. With a primary loop that spans 240 miles and over 2,000 miles of primary and secondary trails, the Paiute trail is diverse enough to offer great rides for every driver.
Hitting the Dirt
Utah laws are surprisingly lax when it comes to off-road or off-highway vehicles (OHVs). Helmets are suggested — but not required — if you’re over 21 and children can start riding motorcycles and ATVs at the age of 8. Of course, children (individuals under 16) will need to finish an OHV safety course and qualify for the necessary safety certificates. Picking up the hobby will cost a bit of money.
Off-road motorcycles or dirt bikes can cost $2,000-$3,000 — more if you opt for the more expensive models. ATVs cost a bit more, but you can usually get a decent one for less than $4,000. Off-roading puts a lot of stress on your vehicle, so expect to spend a few extra dollars on modifications and motorcycle repair in Salt Lake City. Safety gear is essential and required by law (sometimes), so don’t skimp out on the helmets, boots, and gloves.
The off-road and outdoor expo might be over, but the spirit of off-roading burns brightly in the hearts and minds of enthusiasts and hobbyists. Then again, there’s always next year.