Trail difficulty ratings are a subjective classification system we use to let you know what to expect when out exploring. The ratings on each trail are based out of 10, with 10 being the most difficult and 1 being easiest. Numerous factors go into creating the rating which includes: difficulty, remoteness, danger, and self-reliance. Of course, no scale is perfect and your interpretation of the rating will be directly rated to your vehicle capability and experience offroad. As you become more skilled, ratings will slide towards the easier end of the spectrum. Our ratings are based for the average person in an average to moderately built vehicle. Extremely technical trails are beyond the scope of our website at this time.
1 - Very Easy
Wide and fast-moving graded dirt roads with minimal elevation gain. These trails usually aren’t remote and contain no real danger or fear-factor. Suitable for low clearance except after rain or snow. May have some washboards but typically accessible by every type of vehicle.
2 - Easy
Trails with a "2" rating will typically be semi-maintained roads (like forest service roads). Usually wide and graded although could have sections where it is narrower and rougher. Expect washboards and wash crossings where sand could be encountered. Enough room to pass 2 vehicles easily. Low clearance can do most trails although not recommended after weather.
3 - Mostly Easy
Rougher and narrow, these trails may be semi-maintained roads with rocks and washboards. Trails are typically wider but have sections where sharp drop-offs and steep terrain could be encountered. Steeper climbs and wash crossings make high clearance vehicles preferred. Stock vehicles with good clearance should do fine.
4 - Moderate to Easy
Majority of "4" rated trails will be narrow and rough. Two vehicles should be able to pass at most points. Expect long, semi-remote trails with long stretches of sandy river bottoms and steep drop offs in the mountains. High clearance and 4-wheel drive preferred. Stock vehicles should be fine on most of the trail but could scrape. Water crossings possible, especially after rain. Washouts likely.
5 - Moderate
Trails in this category will be long, rough, and remote. High clearance and 4-wheel drive required. More aggressive vehicles favorable. Stock vehicles can make it with careful driving but expect pin-stripping and possible scrapes underneath. Trails are often narrow and rutted, where backing short distances may be required to pass other vehicles. Expect steep hills with drop-offs. Water crossings possible which could make trail impassable after rain
6 - Moderate
Most of "6" rated trails will be slow-going and rough, where 4-Low may be needed a good portion of the time. Large sections of rocks (like creek bottoms) with no bypass possible. Expect tight turns and narrow trails with steep drop-offs. Backing required to pass. Aggressive vehicles recommended with a small lift (at least 2") and larger tires which should be aired down. Deep sand possible in dry washes and mud/water possible after a rain storm.
7 - Moderately Difficult
Trails with a "7" rating require more serious vehicle modifications like a lift (3"+), larger tires (31"+), and skid plates. Lower vehicles could risk damage. Expect lots of ruts, rock ledges, and washouts on the trail. Prior 4x4 experience helpful and carrying recovery equipment a good idea.
8 - Moderate to Difficult
Bordering on the edge of difficult, trails with an "8" rating require aggressive vehicles with plenty of clearance. 4-low could be used a majority of the time. Recommended 4" lift and 31"+ tires. Skid plates and lockers useful. Expect sections of ruts and rock ledges where rock stacking and/or good articulation is necessary. Water crossings up to 12" possible with the trail being impassable following a recent storm.
9 - Difficult
These are difficult, meaning experienced drivers in a capable vehicle required. Expect lots of rock crawling over boulders in 4-low. Only the most aggressive vehicles should attempt. Recommended 5"+ lift with 33"+ tires. Lockers, skid plates, hi-lift jack, and other equipment useful. Stacking rocks and using a spotter may be needed. Expect long, loose, and steep hills with drop-offs. Lots of trail erosion possible in the form of washouts and ruts. ATV's and smaller vehicles should be skilled and use extreme caution.
10 - Very Difficult
The "10" rating is reserved for the most difficult trails which require the most capable vehicles and a seasoned driver. Damage possible. Serious vehicle modifications required. Massive lift (6"+), large tires (35"+), roll cage, winch, and other recovery items required. Not recommended for ATV's, UTV's, or dirtbikes due to steep and rough terrain.