There are plenty of reasons to take an ATV down a trail in Arizona. If you enjoy scenic views at a faster pace than hiking, you love the action and intensity of splashing through mud and climbing hillsides. If you just like taking your ATV out for a spin through nature, there's a perfect ATV trail system waiting for you somewhere in the Grand Canyon State. Take a look at the five best ATV trails in Arizona and what makes each one special.

The Great Western Trail

Looking for a long trail to explore over several days? The Great Western Trail is the ultimate endurance challenge. This trail technically starts in Canada and runs south through five U.S. states, all the way to the Mexican border, but you can hop on to this series of interconnecting back roads from wherever is closest for you. The full course is over 3,000 miles, but going from the northernmost point of the trail in Arizona to the south end at the Mexican border will take you about 800 miles.

The Great Western Trail isn't just about numbers, though. Over the course of the entire length, travelers pass through national forests, Verde Valley, the Flagstaff pine forests, and pass just north of the Grand Canyon toward the end of the Arizona portion.

Broken Arrow Trail

How to Get the Most out of Your ATV

Image via Flickr by Coconino National Forest

If you're a photographer, or anyone who wants to ride an ATV to see amazing views, then make time to explore the Broken Arrow Trail in Sedona. Red sandstone of all kinds, from shattered pebbles to smooth expanses, provides a beautiful contrast against rich green trees and shrubs. Red stone mountains form an imposing structure against the vast blue skies. Broken Arrow Trail is so striking that it formed the backdrop and inspiration for the 1950 James Steward film of the same name, which won a Golden Globe award.

Broken Arrow Trail is a short but sweet 4.1 miles long. Due to its somewhat challenging terrain, with lots of stone steps and inclines, drivers may only pass through the trail in one direction and complete the loop. Turning back the other way is generally not allowed.

Mescal Mountains OHV Area

Let's say you're a beginner to ATV trail exploration and want to take a 50CC ATV on a nice, easy-going adventure without things getting too crazy. In that case, make this novice-friendly system of twisting park trails your destination for a weekend getaway. The park is especially well designed as far as convenience goes, with campgrounds, picnic areas, staging areas, bathrooms, and fresh water all nearby. A great selection of unique trails awaits, including straight paths and short scenic loops.

The typical trail experience in the Mescal Mountains is level and direct, with the occasional steep but straight hill. You'll be surrounded by views of the towering saguaro cacti and Sonoran Desert shrubbery as far as the eye can see. The trails are also especially wide, but have little to no shade, so bring extra water and a hat during the summer months. However, the nice thing about such an open and sun-exposed set of trails is that it gives you an excuse to swim in the nearby Gila River.

Desert Wells Multiuse Area

If you're looking for a single area full of trails to explore and devote some time to, Desert Wells Multiuse Area is a huge system of rocky, beginner-friendly trails. The only reasonably challenging terrain occurs in the sand washes: softer, dustier ravine-shaped pathways carved by old, dried-up rivers or creeks.

Desert Wells Multiuse Area is large, full of access points, and especially close for residents of Phoenix. Just be aware that while you'll find plenty of great trails that almost anyone can comfortably explore on an ATV, you won't find park services such as restrooms, water sources, campgrounds, etc. It's just a huge collection of accessible ATV trails.

Redington Pass Backcountry Touring Area

Finally, if a hardcore challenge is what you're after, this Tuscon ATV area at Coronado National Forest has some of the roughest, most rugged climbs and descents in Arizona. Don't let the pleasant mix of high desert and oak woods lower your guard, because even high-clearance Jeeps and other 4x4 automobiles may face difficulties here. Take note that the area is only accessible from Redington Road. There is no fee to visit, and there are restrooms at the beginning, but no water.

Arizona is one of the most preserved states in America, with all sorts of pristine and wild land available for public adventurers. Try one some of these great trails and outdoor ATV areas soon and you'll see more and more of Arizona's natural beauty.