If you are looking for trails in Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, and Utah, I recommend several series of Trail Guides.
These books contain 100’s of trails covering thousands of miles – there are all levels of difficulty from easy to Hardcore.
The books have detailed driving instructions. The GPS coordinates are a great confidence booster that you are on the trail and exactly where you think you are.
Whenever you decide to try one of these trails, remember the first rule of safety: Take at least one other vehicle with you and lots of friends!
Here is a source to order some of these trail books: Badlands Off-Road Adventures Store
You can order directly from the publisher:
Check out FunTreks’ web site at www.FunTreks.com! Or call 1-877-222-7623
Check out SUV Trails’ web site at www.trackandtrailpublications.com! Or call 559-683-6984
Check out Back Roads Publications site at http://www.montana4x4trails.com/home! Or call 406-726-4126
The Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) produces maps that show open trails in western states. Since 2011, they provide “Off-Highway Vehicle Route Supplement” maps by Field Office sub regions. All open trails (with trail numbers) are identified. These maps do not have contour lines or other details and should be used with other maps like the BLM Surface Management Status maps.
All national forests are required to publish a “Motor Vehicle Use Map” (MVUM). The maps are little more than line drawings of the trails with trail numbers. They show the major paved road to help orient you. You can down load many of them into a free app – PDF Maps – although not all Forest have them in available for down load.
In California, the California Trail Users Coalition (CTUC) publishes maps with the MVUM overlaid on more fully featured maps for $3.00. CTUC Web site
Obtain several maps so you know where to find legal trails. Another good resource are trail guides.