Dirt roads and trails left from the pioneer days ribbon through southern Utah’s landscape, making for some of the best off road (OHV) riding in the state. There are over 400 miles of designated trails in the high mountain passes of the Dixie National Forest area of the Markagunt Plateau and with nearly more 500 miles of trails designated near Parowan Gap in 2017. Three Peaks Recreation Area west of Cedar City is becoming famous with 4 x 4 rock crawlers.
OHVs (Off-Highway Vehicles) include any snowmobile, ATV, motorcycle, or other off-highway vehicles capable of travel over unimproved terrain. Only registered OHVs may be operated on public lands or roads that are signed or designated as open to OHV use. Do not operate your OHV on private land without the owner’s permission.
Color County Trail System
The Color County OHV Trail System is a network of trails off-road enthusiasts can enjoy throughout Iron County in southwest Utah. The system connects to other trail segments in adjoining counties so you can enjoy the magnificent scenery found throughout the area, including the southern end of the Paiute trail and the High Desert Trail. The Color Country System is broken into segments with their own core trails and loops. Each loop is identified by name and marked with signage. There are some segments still under development, so please check back on the trail’s website, ironcounty.net/trails, for updated information and maps. You can download maps onto your GPS device or cell phone using the AVENZA maps app.
Dixie National Forest — Markagunt OHV System
The Markagunt OHV System is located on the Markagunt Plateau of the Dixie National Forest in southwestern Utah. The system is made up of roads and trails that travel through mixed conifer forests and wide-open meadows. The landscape of the plateau is influenced by ancient volcanic activity with volcanic peaks and rough lava fields. Surrounded by several National Parks and Monuments, the roads and trails in the system offer outstanding views of the contrasting forested plateaus and the lower red rock canyons.
Responsible OHV Use
Utah’s off-highway vehicle (OHV) laws and rules promote safety and protection for people, property, and the environment. While being operated or transported on public lands or roads, OHVs must display a current OHV registration sticker. Off-highway motorcycles may be registered as street legal, if they are safety inspected and insured, or as off-highway vehicles.
Obtain registration from the local Utah Division of Motor Vehicles.
If you are a nonresident visiting Utah, please go to this website: www.stateparks.utah.gov.
Who can operate OHVs on public lands or roads?
No one under eight years of age may operate an OHV on public roads, trails, or lands. Drivers from eight to 15 years of age must possess an OHV education certificate issued by the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation. Drivers 16 years of age and older must possess a valid driver’s license or an OHV education certificate.
Education certificates will be issued to anyone eight years old and older who completes the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation OHV education course or passes an OHV knowledge and skills test. Contact the Division for Education information at (800) OHV-RIDE.
What about helmets?
Properly fitted, safety-rated helmets must be worn by OHV drivers and passengers under 18 years of age. All drivers and passengers of any age should wear protective head gear.
Other OHV Laws:
- Ride only in areas designated as open to OHVs.
- Ride on the right side of the road and in single file.
- Be alert to oncoming traffic, especially on blind curves or in dips and on hill crests.
- It is illegal to drive an OHV while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- A brightly colored “whip flag” must be attached to OHVs when riding in sand dune areas.
- Lights must be used between sunset and sunrise.
- Be sure your brakes will control and stop your OHV.
- Mufflers are required on all OHVs.
Must See & Do Three Peaks
Iron County and the Bureau of Land Management have teamed up to develop the Three Peaks Recreation Area west of Cedar City. The rolling hills and volcanic rock formations at Three Peaks provide a fantastic location for picnicking, camping, bike riding and off-road vehicle use.
Utah Highway Patrol
Iron County Sheriff
Kane County Sheriff
Garfield County Sheriff
National Weather Service
press 1 for flash flood; press 1 for local forecast; 25 for southwest Utah (Beaver, Cedar City, Fillmore)
Report a Fire
Forest Service Law Enforcement
Plan Your Trip
Pick up a “Dixie National Forest Travel Map” and the “Color County Markagunt and Parowan Gap OHV Segments Map” at visitor centers in Cedar City, Parowan or Brian Head, any Dixie National Forest Service office or OHV dealer.
Distance from Cedar City
Trail distances vary from trail to trail.
Cedar City Ranger District
Dixie National Forest
1789 North Wedgewood Lane
Cedar City, Utah 84720
Utah Division of Parks and Recreation
1594 West North Temple
Suite 116 Box 146001
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6301
Bureau of Land Management
Cedar City District
176 East D.L. Sargent Drive
Cedar City, UT 84720-9337
National Weather Service