Top 10 Off-roading and 4×4 trails in Texas

Off-road 4x4 Toyota
Off-road 4×4 Toyota

What is the best way to enjoy Independence Day weekend? Most people enjoy the 4th of July Weekend with their family grilling outside and watching fireworks. That is why this week we launched our 4th of July fireworks giveaway!

Here at OUTLAW Off-Road + Performance we wanted to make a list of activities for anyone who loves the outdoors, loud engines, adventure, mud, and speed. Today we are counting down the top-ten best off-roading and 4×4 trails are a must!

Ready to make some 4th of July weekend memories?

1) Texas Hill Country Overland Route – Llano Texas

The Texas Hill Country Overland Route is near Llano Texas and passes Mason and Fredericksburg. The 191 mile off road point-to-point track has elevation gain of 9,271 feet. The trail may require the entire day so plan on viewing parts or planning accordingly. The trail is perfect for large off-road vehicles like a Tacoma 4×4 or a Ford F-150.

Off-road wheels, tires (Nitto ride or Trail grapplers would be good, and lifted trucks are ideal for the trail but most of the path is regular dirt and paved road. Some of the interesting sites include enchanted rock and the Llano River.  This trail is moderate and great for anyone starting to off road or hoping to spend more time outdoors.

2) River Run ATV Park

The River Run ATV Park is a moderately difficult trail. This trail also allows dogs as long as they are on a leash!

The track covers a 2,000-acre tract of land. The Neches River crosses it at various points and visitors can go fishing, swimming, and enjoy cooling off after riding ATVs or 4×4 vehicles. The trail has mud pits, sights of oil field back roads, and features riding that is rough and requires skill when navigating in ATVs or 4×4 Trucks. This trail is not for people new to off-roading but is a thrill for those willing to test their skills. The total length for the trail is 12.0 miles and reaches an elevation of 328 feet.

Off-road travel on mountain road, with light off sunset.
Off-road travel on mountain road, with light off sunset.

3) Ironweed Trail System – Eisenhower State Park

The Ironweed Trail System is scenic route at Eisenhower State Park. Entrance fees are $5 per person. The park requires riders to have approved safety gear like helmets and also reserve a spot ahead of time. For more information about the park check here.

Take in views of the lake, birds in the woods, and traverse various mud pits and rocky terrain. There are many more activities to check out at Eisenhower so think about this spot if you’re looking to get outside for the 4th of July weekend!

Capturing ATV in Mud Pits
Capturing ATV in Mud Pits

Big bend National Park

4) Old Ore OHV Park

In beautiful Big Bend National Park, the Old Ore OHV Park is a stunning 26.5 miles point-to-point trail which takes riders on scenic and moderate trails. Off-road vehicles and all terrain trucks are great for this trail.

Some riders enjoy taking motorcycles but beware of the high heat indexes over summer. Take plenty of water, food, and protection from sun exposure.

Enjoy views of Ernst Tinaja, beautiful rock formations and canyons! Be on the lookout for abandoned stone houses, gravesites, and local animals. There are many sights to enjoy at Old Ore and those with lifted trucks, upgraded all-terrain tires, and suspension will enjoy few rocky spots which require navigation and careful treading.

5) Black Gap OHV Trail

This trail is also located near Big Bend National Park. The Black Gap OHV Trail offers amazing sites of hills, rock formations, and wildlife.

The trail is 16.3 miles and experiences an elevation gain of 935 feet. The trail is primarily for ATVs and larger 4×4 vehicles but it isn’t rare to find people horseback riding on the trail. Some sections on the trail may be difficult for larger than full-sized vehicles.

Black and White shot of Jeep in Deep Water
Black and White shot of Jeep in Deep Water

There are a few wet creeks and the trail ends at Glenn Springs. When it rains the trail gets muddy and is perfect for those with SUVs like a Jeep Wrangler of Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-road premium.

6) Kelly’s Pond Loop – Sam Houston National Forest

Located in Sam Houston National Forest, Kelly’s Pond Loop is a moderate trail which is often used for OHV, ATVs, and dirt bikes. The trail typically has hikers, bikers, and others using it for off-roading so plan-ahead and adjust if there is moderate traffic.

Take in the natural pine trees lining the road, local foliage, and enjoy dense canopy which provides cool shade from the sun.

Kelly’s Pond Loop has a $5 fee and is 17.3 miles and reaches a max elevation of 715 feet.

Jeep Off-roading in backcountry
Jeep Off-roading in backcountry

7) Williams Ranch Road OHV Trail — Salt Flat

South of Guadalupe Mountain National Park you will find Williams Ranch Road OHV Trail in Sal Flat, Texas. The trail is 7.5 miles long and reaches an elevation of 419 feet.

The trail is available year-round and has amazing views of mountains, flat valleys, and reaches Williams Ranch at the start of Guadalupe Peak. Enjoy seeing deer, snakes, birds and various different desert plants.

In order to get the gate to access the trail you must first check in at Pine Springs Ranger Station.

It is recommended you brink a spare tire air compressor and jack as there is no cellphone service out there. Bring water and food and vehicle with the tires that can make it through rough terrain. The trail has several heavy brush spots and sharp rocks so sliders are recommended and you may not want to attempt after a new paint job! If you do get stuck out on the trail the ranger service will bill you $1,000 so beware and tread lightly.

8) CreekSide Off-road Park OHV Trail

Located in Splendora Texas, this 3.2 mile trail with an elevation gain of 68 feet is no joke. Although some may see the ponds, mud pools, and other boggy terrain as a simple drive-through, this trail is one that has seen Jeeps, trucks, and other all-terrain vehicles need repairs and get stuck.

After rain this trail is muddy, has deep pools that are misleading, and is a memorable time for any fans of the rough and dirty all-terrain experience. This is one of the best places to go mudding near the Houston area, it is recommended you bring a couple of spares and a winch in case your vehicle does get stuck.

For more information on CreekSide Offroad Park OHV Trail check this link!

Wheel close up in a countryside landscape with a muddy road. Water splash in off road racing. Off road vehicle coming out of a mud hole hazard
Close up in a countryside landscape with a muddy road. Water splash in off road racing. Off road vehicle coming out of a mud hole hazard

9) Brazos Valley Off-road Ranch Trail

Ready for a challenging off road trail? Right by College Station and east of Austin the Brazos Valley Off-road Ranch Trail is not for the faint of heart. Originally designed for 4-wheelers and ATVs this ranch trail is rugged, muddy, and risky.

The owner of the trail is welcoming and always ready to help those new to off-roading. However, beware that the trail becomes much more complicated about a 1.5 miles in and there typically is no turning back once you get started. The trail is a total of 3.9 miles and has a low elevation gain of 124 feet. The route is a loop and getting lost is not possible unless you are trying!

ATV Pushing through muddy and rocky water pool
ATV Pushing through muddy and rocky water pool

10) Malaquite Beach Walk

Featuring a trail that has no mud but rather a whole lot of sand, the Malaquite Beach Walk is a 4.6 miles located near Corpus Christi and managed by the Padre Island National Seashore. For those hoping for a beach getaway with a thrill, this is the perfect trail.

Dogs and kids are allowed but there is little shade available and heat can become serious during mid-day and afternoon hours. The Padre Island National Seashore charges entrance fees of $25 per vehicle. The fee is less for motorcycles.

We hope you find these locations are a fun get-away from your busy life. Here at OUTLAW Off-road + Performance we encourage everyone to explore the adventure and thrill of off-roading regardless of what their skill level will be. When the getting gets tough, and your vehicle needs service or an upgrade, you dream it and we will build it!

OUTLAW Off-road + Performance is located at 12120 IH35N San Antonio. We specialize in lift kits, tires and rims, shocks, bumpers, accessories, leather seats, tint and wraps for 4X4 and pre-runner trucks.

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