Summer is right around the corner, and that means it’s time for road trips, vacations, and weekend fun. This year, why not go beyond the traditional summer getaways of beaches and amusement parks and consider something a little more exciting? If you're ready to try something new, nothing will rev up your summer more than exploring the great outdoors with an off-road adventure.
But what exactly is off-roading? There are a lot of different types of off-roading, but they all have one thing in common: driving or riding a vehicle on gravel, dirt, sand, creek beds, snow, rocks, mud, and other natural terrain—pretty much anything but a paved road. Off-road vehicles (ORVs) include dune buggies, SUVs, side by sides, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and more.
Here are five reasons to add an off-road adventure to your list of things to do this summer.
Off-road vehicles have a superpower: They allow riders to access remarkable destinations. This is likely the biggest reason why off-roading has become so popular. Long gone are the days when off-roading was associated primarily with intense gearheads. Today, people with no mechanical background and zero off-road driving experience are flocking to the sport because it’s an incredible way to explore the outdoors!
ORVs are built to navigate narrow trails, rocky hillsides, muddy bogs, and sandy dunes. Top-of-the-line ORVs from reputable manufacturers can handle virtually anything that’s thrown at them. That means that today’s off-roaders can climb high in alpine forests, venture far into red rock formations, traverse miles of muddy riverbeds, and more—and enjoy unbelievable vistas and breathtaking sights along the way.
Planning a family getaway? Off-roading is bound to make everyone happy—even the hard-to-please teens in your group. Most off-road vehicles have minimum height requirements for safety reasons, but if your kids can plant their feet firmly on the floor of the vehicle, they’re good to go.
Additionally, many of today’s ORVs are built with rider comfort in mind. Excellent shock absorbers, cushioned seats, and other ergonomic features deliver a surprisingly smooth ride (which can be important for those who want to experience the fun of off-roading without worrying that they’ll need to visit a chiropractor after the ride).
Never driven or ridden in an off-road vehicle before? Not a problem! Reputable outfitters always make sure that new drivers and riders feel comfortable with the vehicle before they venture out. Safety training is also a requirement. And, if you choose an off-roading adventure that includes a guide, you can enjoy the added confidence of knowing that they’ll be able to coach you through any challenging spots on the trail.
You won’t need to look far to find a business or outfitter that rents off-road vehicles. Chances are good that there’s an outfitter near you. And, if you’re traveling to a popular outdoor vacation destination, it’s likely that you’ll have several options to choose from. More and more travelers are looking for off-roading opportunities, and outfitters are happy to deliver!
For example, Polaris Adventures offers amazing off-roading experiences at more than 220 Adventure Outfitters nationwide, plus Canada, Mexico, and even New Zealand. All these outfitters exclusively feature Polaris vehicles, and you can count on them being the latest model. From one-seater ATV rentals to six-passenger side by side rentals, Polaris vehicles are widely recognized as the best in the industry, and nearly all feature in-vehicle navigation systems that outfitters can pre-program with fantastic itineraries to help you maximize your time.
Most outfitters let you choose from guided and self-guided adventures. Both options are popular with riders, although people new to off-roading tend to prefer guided tours. Riding with a local expert is especially great for those who want to learn about their surroundings throughout the ride. Polaris Adventures guides will teach your group about the area’s history, geology, wildlife, and more.
It’s understandable that off-roading raises eyebrows when it comes to environmental impact. In the not-too-distant past, there was a segment of off-roaders who prioritized RPMs over sustainability. But that’s changed. In fact, today’s off-roading community is one of the biggest champions of preserving the beautiful outdoor environs in which they operate for generations to come.
When you choose a reputable adventure outfitter like those who partner with Polaris Adventures, you’re supporting a local, small business that has deep ties to the community and an extreme respect for the backcountry where their rides take place.
Rider education emphasizing trail etiquette, local stewardship events such as tree planting and trash cleanup, and participation in national sustainability initiatives like Tread Lightly! are just a few of the ways Polaris Adventures Outfitters care for the outdoors.
Just as important, off-roading enables people to interact with nature in a way they never have before, inspiring a renewed appreciation for the great outdoors. In our modern, technology-driven world, off-roading provides a powerful way for people to reconnect with nature, which often results in a stronger commitment to supporting effective environmental stewardship efforts.
Nothing against summer barbecues and pool parties, but an off-roading adventure is sure to rank tops among your summer experiences. You’ll no doubt take lots of pics and selfies throughout your ride, but the best memories will be lodged in your brain forever—no photo documentation needed.
Thanks to your off-roading adventure, you’ll have memories of spectacular views and vistas, of the nothing-like-it thrill of traversing beautiful terrain, and of the faces of your friends and family members grinning from ear to ear over every hill and around every twist and turn.
The very best thing about off-roading? The experience itself.
Visit Polaris Adventures to get started. Happy riding!
P.S. Listen to this podcast to learn more about off-roading and the Polaris Adventures opportunities available to you!
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