Best UTV or ATV Campsites for Families>
What could be better than a family vacation that combines the classic joys of group camping—campfire marshmallow roasting, stargazing, nature walks, etc.—with some good old-fashioned off-roading? Here at Polaris, we love seeing riders of all ages enjoying the up-for-anything capabilities of our ATVs and side-by-sides: the perfect vehicles for family adventure, whether in a well-developed, close-to-home recreation park or the deep backcountry.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the basics of UTV and ATV trail riding vacations—plus a roundup of some of the top off-road vehicle (ORV) resorts and campsites in the country!
What Makes Up a Good Off-Road Vehicle Campsite for Families
It’s hard to generalize the ingredients of a prime ATV or UTV family campsite, because there are all kinds of families out there. If you’ve got very young kids in tow, you may want a home base that’s a bit more accessible, with a fair amount of amenities and services at hand. If you’ve got older kids—or a family crew well-versed in roughing it, you may prefer seeking out more off-the-beaten-path destinations, and do just fine overnighting at more primitive campsites in the middle of nowhere.
What is the Best Side by Side UTV for Families?
A UTV—also known as a Side-by-Side (SxS)—makes a really fantastic off-roading vehicle for families. First and foremost, they offer the multiple seating that an ATV lacks. You’ll also appreciate the stability that comes with a UTV’s greater weight and width, not to mention the cargo space for hauling coolers, picnic grub, and other supplies. In addition to the UTV’s roll bar or cage, you might also consider models with windshields or roofs for added security and protection.
Any Polaris SxS can serve as a standout family adventure vehicle, but we especially recommend our GENERAL and RZR UTVs, which boast multiple seating arrangements and designs ideal for recreational use.
Pick a Campground with UTV or ATV Rentals
If you’re not a current SxS or ATV owner, it’s quite easy to rent one for your next family camping trip. Many resorts that offer off-roading activities also provide on-site rentals: a pretty cost-effective turn-key option that allows you to ride, without having to transport an OHV long-distance.
Things to Do at a UTV/ATV Campground
Tooling around the trails, whether they’re actually on the campground property or simply nearby, is a great centerpiece to your off-road family camping trip, but it’s not the only thing to do. Depending on your specific destination, you’ll likely have other activities to enjoy such as hiking, paddling, horseback riding, cycling, or archery. More developed campgrounds or resorts often include swimming pools, arcades, sports facilities, and more….
Think About Store and Laundromat Options
There are many joys to more primitive camping, whether at an off-roading resort that offers barebones sites or a remote and lightly developed campground on public lands. But if you want more amenities readily at hand during a camping trip, there’s nothing wrong with that. A laundromat can certainly be a welcomed resource on a four-wheeling vacation, given the beating everybody’s clothes are likely to take out on the trails. A resort or campground with a general store of some kind also helps when it comes to keeping all those hungry riders well-fed, not to mention for grabbing sunscreen, camp stove fuel, first-aid supplies, and all the other essentials you forgot back at home.
The Top Places to Vacation With UTVs and ATVs
From the Appalachian highlands to the California desert— these UTV- and ATV-friendly vacation destinations certainly hit all the marks. Any one of these spots can deliver an unforgettable family trail-riding getaway.
Twin Hollow Campground (Gilbert, West Virginia)
Twin Hollow lies along one of the standout OHV hotspots in the country (heck, the world): the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System, which boasts better than 600 miles of routes and knits together a whole string of ATV- and UTV-friendly hamlets. Those include Gilbert itself, the H.Q. for this family-run campground hosting primitive campsites, full hookups, and cabins. Camping at Twin Hollow, you’ll have direct access to three of the main Hatfield McCoy systems—the Rock House, Buffalo Mountain, and Devil Anse—while staying within easy reach of the Bear Wallow and Pinnacle Creek trailheads.
Twin Hollow offers SxS and ATV rentals and also maintains an on-site restaurant, a private fishing pond, and extensive hiking trails.
Windrock Park (Oliver Springs, Tennessee)
You’ve got 73,000 acres of off-roading playground at your disposal as a visitor to Windrock Park, which caters to everybody from mountain bikers and dirt bikers to four-wheelers of every description. More than 300 miles of trails—from level and laidback gravel roads to gnarly, rock-cluttered goat paths—lace the Appalachian backcountry at Windrock, the biggest privately owned riding area in the country. You can rent two-, three-, and four-seat SxSs at the Windrock General Store, also host to a pressure washer and gas pumps.
The Windrock Park Campground offers everything from yurts, cabins, and RV sites to primitive tent spots. There’s also mountain biking and shooting on the potential itinerary here.
Hidden Falls Adventure Park (Marble Falls, Texas)
Hidden Falls Adventure Park tempts with more than 200 miles of ATV, UTV, and full-size OHV trails looping around its rough Texas Hill Country backlands just about an hour from Austin. These trails encompass a wide range of difficulty, which means there’s an off-roading route for just about everybody in this brushy, bouldery, and scenic four-wheeling playground.
Overnighting options include both primitive and improved campsites as well as RV spaces and cabin and bunkhouse accommodations.
Oregon Dunes KOA (North Bend, Oregon)
Set within a few minutes of the incredible Oregon Dunes Recreation Area—the most extensive coastal dune field in North America—this KOA campground is one of the most OHV-ready campgrounds anywhere. The Dunes are an amazing place to off-road—huge sand mountains and ridges, pockets of lush conifer forest, foggy views out to the wild Pacific—but also a gritty place, so it’s handy to have a base camp outfitted with showers and other camp luxuries.
You can tent-camp here, RV it, or opt for a stay in one of a full range of different rustic structures—from Conestoga Wagons summoning the spirit of the Oregon Trail to the spacious Grand House. When you’re not rocketing around the sand-scape, you’ll appreciate the Ping-Pong tables, shuffleboard, and other
Pirate Cove Resort (Needles, CA)
Upwards of 3,000 miles of trails await you as an off-roader at Pirate Cove Resort, including otherworldly desert sand dunes. This decked-out Colorado River oasis offers Polaris rentals, free loading and off-loading zones, and other rider conveniences, plus beachfront camping and cabin stays as well as a restaurant and boat marinas.
Hit the trails this year with the whole gang on one or more UTV/ATV trail-riding vacations. Whether you’re looking for easy scenic rides or the kind of grades and heavy-duty terrain that demand putting your heads together to plan out the best approaches, these off-roading getaways make for wonderful bonding experiences. And as fun as a daytrip to an OHV area is, it’s all the better when you can extend the fun at a campsite or cabin within shouting distance of the trailhead!
Polaris Adventures Locations Nearby:
Oliver Springs, TN
Outfitter: Blue Diamond Adventures – Huntsville TN (1 hr drive)
Marble Falls, TX
Outfitter: Hidden Falls Adventure Park
North Bend, OR
Outfitter: Pirate Cove Resort
Again, the above list of UTV trails is in no way exhaustive—there’s plenty more all across the country—but it should give you some ideas on locations to check out this summer. Find a trail close to home, or a destination trail to pack up and hit with family and friends. And that means plenty of opportunities to strut your stuff with a best-in-class Polaris off-road vehicle.