San Juan Mountains: Off Roading Colorado’s ATV Trails in a Polaris RZR

While there is a very good chance that every traveler or adventure seeker dreams of spending lovely nights on a luxury ship like Hapag-Lloyd’s MS Europa 2 or getting pampered at a relaxing spa every once in a while, the truth is that many of us also like to live a little on the edge and get our blood pumping full of adrenaline. Off Roading Colorado’s San Juan Mountains in a Polaris RZR is an adventure that can give you that feeling.

San Juan Mountains: Off Roading Colorado’s ATV Trails in a Polaris RZR

What is a Polaris RZR (Razor)?

Let’s start at the beginning; a Polaris RZR is the ultimate side-by-side off road vehicle. The RZR (pronounced ‘Razor’) is basically an ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) or a UTV (Utility Vehicle) if you like.

This high performance vehicle can carry anywhere from 2 – 6 adventure loving people who want to go:

  • Rock crawling
  • Mudding
  • Duning
  • Desert or trail shredding

These highly practical vehicles are built with tough in mind. They are the perfect combination of power, suspension and agility. They are built to tackle any off-road terrain that you may want to explore at relatively high speed.

About Polaris Adventures?

By organizing ride and drive experiences all over America that combine interesting terrains with unique vehicles, Polaris Adventures in collaboration with various excellent outfitters (like Rock Pirate Backcountry Adventures in Colorado!) elevates travel experiences on the road. There are travel options for families, couples or groups across age groups and skill levels. They are focused on safe, memorable adventures and making experiences like these accessible to everyone, all ages.

You can ride on roads that are easy to travel, and also those that are a bit more challenging to drive on. Open air roadsters, the Polaris Slingshot, and two to four-seater RZRs are some of the cool vehicles used for exploring various roads during trips. (I also did a Polaris Slingshot adventure on Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway!)

Through the network created by Polaris Adventures, you can now drive a Polaris RZR through the desert terrain of Ocotillo Wells, California, through the tropical paradise that is Maui, Hawaii and, of course, through the gorgeous mountain passes around Silverton, Colorado (the tour I took!).

More Information

  • You can opt for a full day, half day or self guided tours that takes you on an exhilarating ride through various places including mountain ghost towns. Book a tour here or just rent one by the hour to explore on your own.
  • Safety and guidance are given prime priority by the outfitters resulting in a memorable ride.
  • You must be 25 years or older with a regular driving license to operate this vehicle.
  • If you’re in Silverton for a longer length of time outfitters Rock Pirate Backcountry Adventures also offers fun Polaris Slingshot tours.

About the Off Roading Adventure

My adventure started at the Rock Pirate Adventures office in the cute town of Silverton, Colorado. And they had one heck of an adventure-filled experience waiting for us. Our Polaris RZRs would be taking us off roading through the San Juan Mountains along the Alpine Loop and to the Animas Forks Ghost town.

San Juan Mountains

The San Juan Mountain are a range that makes up the southwestern part of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. They span the continental divide, sprawls almost 2 million acres and are riddled with countless stunning peaks (including 13 that tower over 14,000 feet!). It is an adventure lovers playground with lakes, waterfalls, ghost towns and relics from the gold rush.

The Alpine Loop

The Alpine Loop is a 65-mile scenic off roading route located in the San Juan Mountains and connecting the cities of Ouray, Silverton and Lake City. With its boundless beauty and passes that have you climbing up to 12,000 feet the loop is a popular drive for four wheeling adventurers.

Animas Forks Ghost Town

Animas Forks is a complete ghost town about 12 miles from the city of Silverton. To get there you will need to take your Polaris RZR through numerous mountain valleys and along some of the most refreshing mountain streams you will ever see. Once you get to the ghost town itself, you can walk around and explore; see how they used to live back in the day.

I have been to coastal regions with the whitest sandy beaches and have even swum with beluga whales, but there is really nothing quite like speeding over rugged terrain in a four-wheeler.

The San Juan Mountains scenery is absolutely breathtaking and exploring them in an adventure vehicle is surreal. There’s nothing quite like skidding up steep mountain passes surrounded by nothing but pristine nature and thousands upon thousands of feet of mountain side elevation.

YouTube video


Polaris Slingshot Adventure: Driving Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway
A Colorado Dude Ranch Vacation: Drowsy Water Ranch in Grand County
Silverton Bucket List: 10 Things to Do in the Southern Colorado Town

1 thought on “San Juan Mountains: Off Roading Colorado’s ATV Trails in a Polaris RZR”

  1. I absolutely love the San Juan mountains, but I’ve never explored them with an ATV before. I will need to add this to my to-do list the next time I head down there to do a 14er or two, maybe San Luis Peak or Handies Peak. Thanks for sharing!


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I'm Annette.

I’m a goal obsessed mid-lifer, traveler, experience collector, fear crusher, digital marketer and author with big bucket list dreams. Let's Connect!

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