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Utah ATV Laws: Where And How To Ride Your ATV Legally

Utah ATV Laws: Where And How To Ride Your ATV Legally

Utah is the thirteenth largest state in the United States of America; it is also the eleventh least populated state. Located in the Mountain West region of the western part of the U.S., Utah is famous for its natural diversity and variety of indigenous groups. It is home to impressive features, including dunes, arid deserts, mountain valleys, and pine forests.

Some ATV laws in Utah are: all ATVs to be operated on public lands must display a current OHV registration sticker, non-residents of Utah with ATVs are expected to purchase a non-resident permit. You can ride an ATV on the West Desert ATV Trails, Paiute ATV Trail System, and Great Western Trail.

Most ATV riders who go on tours around different states have attested to the fact that Utah is one of the best places for ATV riding. The scenic mountains, the open deserts, and the dunes are some of the exciting sights you will catch when riding in Utah.

welcome to utah sign

Utah ATV Laws

ATVs are classified as Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV), along with snowmobiles and motorcycles. There are two classifications of ATVs in Utah, Type I ATV and Type II ATV. Type I ATVs have a dry weight of 1500 pounds or less, a width of 52 inches or less, travel on three or more low-pressure tires, and have a seat to be straddled by the rider.

Type II ATVs are vehicles that are not Type I ATVs, motorcycles, or snowmobiles designed for travel over off-road terrains. Let us look at some of the ATV laws in Utah.

  • Any ATV to be transported or operated on public roads, lands, or trails must display a current OHV registration sticker.
  • All OHV registrations expire annually on the last day of the month the ATV was purchased.
  • All ATVs to be used on ranches and farms or for other agricultural purposes must be registered as implements of husbandry.
  • ATVs to be used for recreational purposes on public lands, trails, or roads must be registered for that purpose.
  • All OHV registration stickers must be attached to the OHV, it must be attached to the rear of an ATV, the left fork of a motorcycle, and on the left side pan, hood, or tunnel of a snowmobile.
  • All visitors from out-of-state must purchase a Non-resident Permit for every ATV they bring into Utah.
  • All ATV operators must always wear safety helmets when operating snowmobiles, motorcycles, and Type I ATVs.
  • Helmets to be worn by ATV operators must be properly fitted, fastened, and have a DOT Approved safety rating.
  • Youths between 8 and 15 years must possess an OHV Education Certificate before riding an ATV.
  • No one below the age of 8 can operate an ATV on any public land, road, or trail.
  • ATV operators above the age of 16 must have an OHV Education Certificate before riding an ATV or possess a valid driver's license.
  • It is mandatory to attach an orange or red whip flag that must be at least eight feet off the ground when operating an ATV in dune areas.
  • All ATVs to be operated in Utah must have a functioning brake system, a muffler, and a spark arrestor.
  • Your ATV must be equipped with a headlight and tail light that must be well illuminated when riding between sunset and sunrise.
  • Before operating an ATV on private property, you must obtain written permission from the landowner.
  • Ensure you wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet, long sleeves, eye protection, long pants, boots covering the ankle, and gloves.
  • It is prohibited to carry a passenger on an ATV designed to be operated alone.
  • It is prohibited to operate an ATV when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Operating an ATV in a manner that can vandalize or damage properties is prohibited.
  • It is illegal to operate an ATV in a manner that harasses the safety of wildlife and domestic animals.
  • It is illegal to operate an ATV in a dangerous way that can damage the environment through excessive pollution.
  • It is illegal to operate an ATV in a manner that produces excessive noise.

Where Can You Ride An ATV In Utah?

Utah is an ATV-friendly state, probably one of the friendliest in the United States. Many of the things that many states prohibit you from doing with an ATV are allowed in Utah. There are many attractions and sites you will enjoy viewing while riding in Utah, along with the thrilling trails. Some of the best places to ride ATV in Utah are:

West Desert ATV Trails

This is one of the popular ATV trails in Utah, and it has four unique trail systems: Amasa Basin, Conger Mountain, Burbank Hills, and Cricket Mountains. Amasa Basin provides about 33 miles of trails for riders of all skill levels. The trails range from easy to difficult. The trailhead is in Miller Canyon.

Conger Mountain provides about 127 miles of trails, also ranging from easy to difficult. The trailheads are located at Kings Canyon and Little Valley Well. Burbank Hills has about 98 miles of trails; the trailheads are at Mormon Gap Reservoir and Pruess Lake on the west and Red Pass and Cedar Pass on the east.

Cricket Mountains offer approximately 129 miles of trails, and the trailheads are located at Little Sage Valley, Johnson Pass, Headlight Canyon, and Cedar Pass.

Paiute ATV Trail System

This is one of the largest ATV destinations in Utah. Offering about 1000 miles of marked side trails, Paiute ATV Trail System is the longest ATV trail system, and it is located in south-central Utah. The trail in this destination is a loop without beginning nor end. It winds through several towns, and there are side trails leading to other trails.

According to Dirt Wheels Magazine, Paiute ATV Trail System is rated one of the best trail systems in the United States of America. The main trail is about 275 miles long, and the side forest trail is about 1500 miles long. When riding through this trail, you will enjoy the atmosphere and scenery of a dense forest. You will also see wildlife, occasionally herds of roaming elk and deer.

atv in utah open field

Where Can’t You Ride An ATV In Utah?

An ATV is not allowed to be operated on a highway, or a street, except the rider is crossing. However, the rider must come to a complete stop and yield the right of way to oncoming traffic. The crossing must be done at a 90-degree angle. It is also illegal to operate an ATV in wilderness areas.

Can You Ride An ATV On The Street?

ATVs are only permitted to be operated on the street if they have been made street legal. A street-legal ATV must comply with the requirements for vehicle identification, titling, license plates, emissions inspections, and registration requirements for motorcycles. It must also comply with the requirements for driver insurance, licensing, and safety inspections of a motor vehicle.

For an ATV to be street legal, it must be equipped with a braking system, headlamps, a rear stop lamp, a horn, rearview mirrors, a muffler, a red rear reflector, a windshield (or the rider wears safety goggles), reflective tape on the rear and front, an illuminated speedometer, and a lamp with a white lamp to illuminate the registration plate.

Final Thoughts

Utah's government is very particular about the welfare of its residents, so most of the laws are to ensure the safety of ATV riders. If you have been confused about ATV laws in Utah or the best places to ride an ATV, this blog post will help clarify some of the misconceptions and confusion. You cannot have a bad day riding an ATV in Utah.

Further Reading: