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Jeep Vacation Destinations

Jeep Vacation Destinations
Written by editor

You have a Jeep, for crying out loud, one of the most storied four-wheelers in the world. At some point, you need to engage it an adventure, preferably during a vacation, when you can also take in some scenic beauty and do a little camping. 

Here are some top Jeep vacation destinations to help get you going.

West Coast

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, Oregon

The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is spread over some 40 miles of the Pacific Coast’s edge. You can use your Jeep on about half of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area’s 31,500 acres. In the northern and middle areas, you can put your Jeep on the vaunted dunes, some of which tower several hundred above sea level.

While the southern area has more restrictions, it can get crowded, with trails snaking through vegetation near the beach and along the shore. Be wary of fellow enthusiasts as you experience off-roading in the sand. You can camp in the area or lodge nearby.

Rubicon Trail, California

The first Jeep Jamborees were staged on the Rubicon Trail more than 60 years ago to promote area tourism. These days, scores of Jeep lovers and other 4×4 types traverse the popular 22-mile trail annually. In fact, for Jeep enthusiasts, doing so is a kind of rite of passage.

The trail through California’s sierra Nevada mountains is a blast but duly challenging, and there’s nothing like the camaraderie of being around others who are wild about their Jeep. You can go on your own, but it’s best to hook up with an organized trail run to get the most from the experience. See Jeep lease deals.

East Coast

Wharton State Forest, New Jersey

If you want to get away from it all, point your Jeep toward the quietude of New Jersey’s Wharton State Forest. Within its 122,000-plus acres are 225 miles of imminently explorable unpaved roads. Your Jeep will come in handy here, as routes can be sandy and soft, particularly post-rainfall. 

While in the forest, check out the historic Batsto Village, which until the mid-1800s was a center of bog iron and glass making.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

Take advantage of one of the few East Coast shoreline areas that permits beach driving. Before hitting North Carolina’s Outer Banks, just remember to reduce your tire pressure a bit to help your Jeep on the flat beach – the sand makes it easier to dig in and get stuck. You’ll also need a permit to drive in most of the beach areas.

Don’t leave without seeing the wild horses hanging out at the Banks’ northern end, as well as the Wright Brothers National Memorial.

The Mid-West

Drummond Island, Michigan

The Mitten State’s Drummond Island offers an exhilarating mixture of terrain and trails for beginners and expert four-wheelers. In fact, the island has an expansive network with 40 miles of routes for Jeeps and other 4x4s that range from muddy paths to beauteous open meadows.

If you’re going to try some of the more challenging routes, it helps to have skid plates and locked differentials, and big tires. You’ll face some pretty tall stone steps that you’ll need to navigate.

Big Bend National Park, Texas

Covering more than 800,000 acres, this is one of the nation’s largest national parks. Big Bend National Park features some 100 miles of rather primitive dirt roads that necessitate the ground clearance offered by Jeeps. 

You’ll need a full day to explore the 51-mile River Road, which twists around some of the Rio Grande. Your Jeep will also come in handy when hitting the 18-mile Black Gap Road, which is known for its washouts, water crossings, and the fun but tricky Black Gap Step.

Jeep vacation destinations offer terrific ways to explore places you wouldn’t ordinarily get to see in a standard vehicle while traversing more terrain than possible on foot. Get in that Jeep this year and enjoy a one-of-a-kind adventure.