Trail conditions change, and something what is hard for one driver might be easy for another, even if they are driving the same vehicle. A rainstorm might make an easy trail impassable, or a hard trail easy.
Rating trails is tough and subjective. Be aware that conditions can change and the experience level of the person doing the rating may be different from yours. While we've tried to make this system useful, take these or any rating methods with a grain of salt - use our ratings as guidelines only.
Graded dirt or gravel road
Vehicles: Any, including passenger cars
unimproved dirt road, 4WD and extra clearance may or may not be needed, street tires ok
Vehicles: Any 4WD, high-clearance pickup trucks with 2WD
4WD Easy +
4WD needed, some low range, suitable for novice drivers, street tires ok
Vehicles: Any 4WD, including stock SUVs
4WD low range required, difficult terrain, some steep grades but no major rock obstacles, trail tires needed but stock suspension ok, challenge for novice drivers
Vehicles: Any modified 4WD stock SUVs with trail tires
Difficult trail, with obstacles, can be done with a stock vehicle with a very experienced driver but not recommended. This is the limit of a stock SUV. Occasional off-camber situations, some steep grades, may be water crossings or sand hazards.
Vehicles: 31 inch tires, at least a mild lift, rear locker or limited slip
Difficult trail. Grades and off-camber situations may exceed 25 degrees, water crossings 2 feet deep, lots of rock crawling, body damage possible.
Vehicles: Modified with lift, hard locker, 31 inch tires minimum
Tough trail. Lots of rocks, grades and off-camber situations may exceed 30 degrees, winch may be needed. Body damage or equipment failures likely.
Vehicles: 2 to 4 inch lift, 33" tires, locker in rear, limited slip or locker in front, winch, extra gears.
Very tough trail. Lots of rocks, grades and off-camber situations may exceed 30 degrees, winch may be needed. Body damage or equipment failures likely.
Vehicles: 4 inch lift or more, 35" or mre tires, lockers front and rear, winch, extra gears.
OutdoorWire, 4x4Wire, JeepWire, TrailTalk, MUIRNet-News, and 4x4Voice are all trademarks and publications of OutdoorWire, Inc. and MUIRNet Consulting. Copyright (c) 1999-2020 OutdoorWire, Inc and MUIRNet Consulting - All Rights Reserved, no part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without express written permission. You may link freely to this site, but no further use is allowed without the express written permission of the owner of this material. All corporate trademarks are the property of their respective owners.