Conconully

This entire region is covered with old mining and logging roads that can be enjoyed on your off-road vehicle. The terrain ranges from wide open well-maintained service roads to old, forgotten roads that now look more like trails, way up in the mountains. None of it is particularly difficult, but all of it is beautiful and just makes you feel good about the world.
You can choose to either go down every side turn you see and explore the area in detail without ever getting far from town, or go on long, high speed runs that traverse many mountains and valleys and really rack up the miles.

Wherever you stay, you can ride your ORV from there into town for groceries and fuel, and right out of town into the mountains to start adventuring!

Get details including directions, staging areas, maps, and difficulty levels in the UTV Guide to WA State.

Colockum Wildlife Area

This area provides a mixture of lush evergreen forest and harsh desert landscape. The contrast is as beautiful as it is extreme. You can ride all day here in a large loop with a little bit of backtracking and see canyons, rock formations, rolling hills, dense forests, and get your feet wet in the river.

You can ride on any road that has a green dot marker on it. The area is open year-round, but wheeled vehicles will find it impassible due to snow in winter, usually between December and March. Snow lingers as late as June.

 

Get details including directions, staging areas, maps, and difficulty levels in the UTV Guide to WA State.

Clover Springs

This area provides a mixture of easy and technical trails through lush evergreen forest. There are three official 4WD trails.

There is not much parking at the trailheads, certainly not enough for a toy hauler or large trailer. However, there is a large area with a lot of primitive camping available. You can bring a large toy hauler / travel trailer here, there is lots of room available, and many fire rings. There are also other primitive camping areas along the nearby FS roads if you want something more private.

The trails cover about 20 miles. If you run all three, it’s just over 22 miles with a bit of backtracking.

 

Get details including directions, staging areas, maps, and difficulty levels in the UTV Guide to WA State.

Capitol Forest

This riding area is mostly service roads, but a great many of them. Some side roads that are a little less tame, and some criss-crossing play areas under the power lines. There are a number of 50” trails that are marked, strictly enforced, and closed from December – April. UTVs are prohibited on them at any time. There are many places to stop and do some target shooting. Expect to see and hear that going on around you.

You can spend days out here wandering around on the many side roads, or make a 100-mile loop of the main roads in a single day. You have many choices regarding to how enjoy this area.

Get details including directions, staging areas, maps, and difficulty levels in the UTV Guide to WA State.

Beverly Sand Dunes

Beverly Sand Dunes covers about 300 acres, so it’s not really a big area. It’s a little over 3 miles long and about a half mile wide at the widest point. You can get from one end to the other in just a few minutes, and it’s not really likely that anyone will get lost.

The dunes themselves are pretty small, as well. The highest dune is probably 30 feet, and there aren’t a lot of “witch’s eyes” or other dangerous features that you’d find at larger dune areas. So it’s a great dune area for families with children.

You can complete a circumference of the area in a half hour. How much time you spend running down each of hundreds of short trails, and running back and forth across the dunes is up to you.

Highlights: Circular sand bowls around the base of trees, sandy trails along the creek, and pretty good scenery.

 

Get details including directions, staging areas, maps, and difficulty levels in the UTV Guide to WA State.

Ahtanum State Forest (Tampico)

Ahtanum State Forest has something for everyone: Smooth roads, bumpy roads, twisty rocky trails, off-camber challenging trails, amazing scenery, great camping and picnic spots, and many opportunities for adventure!
Most of the roads are somewhat rocky, but you can find some good stretches of smooth road to get some speed and feel the wind in your hair.
You can ride on any road that has a Green Dot marker on it.

Breathtaking views of mountain valleys, several of WA’s famous volcanoes – when the skies are clear. Hills to climb, campgrounds to hang out at.

 

Get details including directions, staging areas, maps, and difficulty levels in the UTV Guide to WA State.

7 Mile ORV Park

7 Mile Orv Park covers about 600 acres. The area consists of rolling hills made up of sandy dirt, covered with trees and some underbrush..

There are some places to get up some speed.
There are some short but steep hill climbs.
There are some sweet jumps.
There are some whoops.
There are some trails weaving in and around the hills.
There are some rocks to crawl on.
There are some bowls to run around in circles in.

Basically, it’s an open play area big enough for a few hundred rigs, like a condensed sand dune area. Of course, that means on a busy day it might be a little dangerous. Keep your eyes open.
It’s also a great place to go if you want to test out some repairs or upgrades you did to your rig. Easy and quick to get to if you’re in the area, all kinds of obstacles and terrain to try out.

 

Get details including directions, staging areas, maps, and difficulty levels in the UTV Guide to WA State.

Tip for RZR Steering Wheel Removal and Reinstallation

Some advice I have seen people giving for removing the steering wheel is to loosen the nut a few turns but leave it on there, and whack it with a hammer.

This works. BUT, it has a problem; if you have EPS, and most UTVs do these days, it can slam the steering linkage down onto the input shaft at the top of the EPS motor. This could damage the EPS unit. Even if it does no damage, the clamp on the linkage holds it in the new position. Then when you put the steering wheel back on and tighten the nut, the steering is heavy because it is bound up.

So before you smack that nut with a hammer, loosen the clamp at the bottom of the upper steering shaft where it connects to the EPS motor.

That will do several things for you:
1. No heavy impact transmitted to the EPS unit.
2. Less hammering needed to knock  the steering wheel loose.
3. The linkage won’t get stuck and put your steering in a bind.
4. You’ll have the play you need to get the steering wheel back on right.

Once you’ve tightened up your steering wheel, then tighten the clamp at the bottom of the linkage again.

Caskey Lake / Darrington Power Lines area is CLOSED

Important Update: The Darrington Power Lines area is CLOSED.

The Department of Natural Resources has announced that they are closing off access to the Darrington Power Lines area.

Signs have been posted.

A DNR crew who was onsite there spoke with some users and told them anyone caught on the property will face criminal trespass prosecution.

Gates will be installed soon.

The official response from Mark Arneson, District Manager for the Department of Natural Resources in the area in question is:

I would like to thank you for your, and your fellow rider’s efforts in policing the trash and dumping in the Caskey area.”

While I know that ORV riding is an underserved recreational activity in our area (and across the state), the activities going on in the Caskey area cannot continue. As I am coming to understand, the area has been used, loved, and cared for, for years by responsible users. However, this area was never properly permitted and developed to meet multiple environmental and development permits required for ORV areas at the local county, state,and federal levels on DNR-managed lands. And also unfortunately, there is plenty of evidence at this area that there has been increasing, significant environmental degradation caused because of irresponsible users riding and creating trails where none should be. That impact effects multiple landowners in the area, including private lands, and tribal lands. We are talking about damage to salmon habitat, damage to multiple fish bearing steams, damage to other sensitive habitats, damage to archaeological and cultural resources, unchecked erosion, and untold amounts of sediment delivered into these streams and rivers. This area has become a liability to the Department by this unsanctioned use violating multiple federal, state, and county regulations.

“As for public input on Caskey, there unfortunately was no way around it, the activities occurring are violating multiple federal, state and county regulations,and the department is required to stop those activities. As for outreach, I could have absolutely done better. If this was a sanctioned and permitted area like Walker Valley or Reiter, and we were forced to close or modify some portion, then absolutely there would have been more user engagement, input, and outreach.”

Tahuya State Forest on 3/3/2019

Today I visited Tahuya State Forest with Ethan, Graig, and Thomas. It’s been a while since I was out there last. On the way, I met a fellow NW UTV Trail Riders member at a Park n Ride and sold him a set of springs to replace the sagging stock ones on his RZR. Thanks again, Mike!

The 4×4 clubs have been busy at Tahuya. I’d like to say they’ve been improving the place, and they probably feel that they have been. I like some of the things they’ve done, but I also feel that they’ve seriously damaged some of the trails. Current trail planners seem to have an aversion to any trail that you can just cruise on and enjoy some smooth rolling. So they seem to have taken an excavator and scooped huge chunks out of the trails. So it’s TILT WAY LEFT! NOW TILT WAY RIGHT! NOW LEFT! NOW RIGHT! So you feel a bit like you’re in an agitate cycle in a washing machine. One or two trails like that is one thing but when they start giving the entire place that treatment, it gets old. I understand that they are trying to make the place more interesting, but I feel they need to change it up a little instead of just digging holes on alternating sides of the trail every 50 feet and piling the dirt on the other side.

But overall, it was an enjoyable trip. We went across the top of the North loop, met a jeep guy who was kind enough to flag me down and tell me there was a busted Cherokee ahead so we could take an alternate trail around him. We headed down past the main entrance onto 55 Trail, and we were pleased to find that it was NOT choked up with stock pickups so we made good time. After that we cut over to the South Loop and hooked around to the West Loop. There is a more challenging qualifier gate there which we had fun with. After checking out the West Loop a bit we decided to give the rock gardens a miss and head back North. We were in a mellow mood and didn’t want to break anything today. We worked our way up to the mud holes and watched some bikes play around while we figured out CTCSS privacy codes on our radios. After that we headed back up to the parking area.

Due to the  hard packed, melting and slippery snow & ice, we decided  it would be a better idea to back our trailers out BEFORE we loaded up the UTVs, and that worked out great.

On the way home we stopped at The Airport Diner in Bremerton, where I have always found good food and good service.
All in all, a mellow but satisfying day!

Here are some pics from today’s adventure:


We had a little trouble with the icy parking lot. Fortunately we had shovels and some help.


There is a qualifier to go through on the way from parking to the trails, to keep the riff-raff out.

And a couple of short videos!

Your Virtual Guide to Off-Road Destinations