From dirt bikes to four-wheelers to side-by-sides, Coloradans love their off-road vehicles. There’s a good reason why, too – off-roading is extremely fun. Try it if you haven’t. That being said, there are several rules according to trail protection non-profit “Stay the Trail” that everyone should know.

1. Be aware of vehicle noise

Because excess noise is one of the things likely to threaten off-road vehicle access in many areas, be aware of how much noise you’re making. Take steps to prevent causing excess noise by modifying your ride.

2. Only ride routes for your specific off-road vehicle

Because off-road vehicles tend to vary in size, weight, and design from type to type, only take your vehicle on routes where signage clearly says it’s allowed. Not only will this prevent damage to the trail, it will also prevent you from getting into a sticky situation when you encounter terrain your vehicle isn’t designed for.

3. Know the width of your ride

Some OHVs are too wide to go on certain trails, even when that vehicle type may be allowed on the route. Be aware of how large a vehicle you’re in is and if it’s over 50 inches wide, know that you’re likely restricted to certain routes.

4. Ride trails designed for your width

This one is important not only to prevent getting your vehicle stuck, but also so that you can prevent additional wear and tear on the trail. If you ride a trail with a wheel-base that doesn’t match where others are riding, you’ll likely cause excess erosion.

5. Be aware of where you’re staging and loading

Because most OHVs require large vehicles to transport, it’s important that you’re aware of where you’re parking and what you’re blocking while getting ready and leaving your vehicle behind.

6. Know how to go over obstacles

The proper way to handle an obstacle on an off-road route is generally to go over it. Going around an obstacle can cause additional erosion and damage on a route.

7. Pass other vehicles with caution

When passing a fellow OHV enthusiast on the trail, proceed with caution and care. Don’t go off of the trail, as this can cause erosion and damage the off-trail area. It’s also important that you let them know if they should be expecting anyone else behind you. KNOW THAT UPHILL VEHICLES HAVE THE RIGHT AWAY.

8. Be courteous of non-motorized trail goers

According to “Stay the Trail,” off-road vehicle access is always at risk of being shut down or changed. Because of this, it’s important that you’re polite and courteous when you encounter others while on your off-road vehicle. Take their safety as a top priority and don’t ruin their experience in nature with excessive noise or rude behavior.

9. Know rules regarding hunting and OHV use

Special rules apply when off-roading and hunting mix. Find out more about how to be a responsible hunter on an OHV here.

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