ORN's Trail Rating System
Trail conditions change, and something that 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 one easy.
So rating trails is tough. 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
Any, including passenger cars
unimproved dirt road, 4wd and extra clearance may or may not be needed, street tires ok
Any 4wd, high-clearance pickup trucks with 2wd
4wd Easy +
4wd needed, some low range, suitable for novice drivers, street tires ok
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
4 inch lift or more, 35" or mre tires, lockers front and rear, winch, extra gears.