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Jklee

Laws and regs

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Where does one go to get the laws and regulations for the different offroad areas? I was out off table Mesa last weekend and there where a ton of new signs and a ton of roads blocked off. Lots of officers out enforcing the laws also. I would love to know what exactly the rules are so that I never have a run in with "the man". Not for just that area but every area I go to. I do read the signs and look at the maps but for instance where I used to park now has signs saying I need a permit? What permit and where do I get it? So I need a permit to park in a dirt lot? Less than a mile down the road I found a lot without the signs? So was I parked illegally? Or no sign means no permit required? Another example is my brothers jeep. I know it has to be street legal to be off road, I get that. His windshield is busted out/removed tho. I asked if that was ok since we trailered it to offroad area and I got a hundred different answers. Even from my cop buddies. So as I said where is it written lol thanks

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Where does one go to get the laws and regulations for the different offroad areas? I was out off table Mesa last weekend and there where a ton of new signs and a ton of roads blocked off. Lots of officers out enforcing the laws also. I would love to know what exactly the rules are so that I never have a run in with "the man". Not for just that area but every area I go to. I do read the signs and look at the maps but for instance where I used to park now has signs saying I need a permit? What permit and where do I get it? So I need a permit to park in a dirt lot? Less than a mile down the road I found a lot without the signs? So was I parked illegally? Or no sign means no permit required? Another example is my brothers jeep. I know it has to be street legal to be off road, I get that. His windshield is busted out/removed tho. I asked if that was ok since we trailered it to offroad area and I got a hundred different answers. Even from my cop buddies. So as I said where is it written lol thanks

 

damn good question. unfortunately i don't think there is an all-in-one place...

 

- i start by identifying what type of land management the area i want to recreate in is under. excluding private land, most of the southwest that allows off-roading is going to be either BLM, State Trust or National Forest. to find out which it is, you can google the trail name, use a map, or a trail book. most of the detailed topo atlases show the type of land, but it can be ambiguous still. my favorite resource are the off-road books - if i can find a trail near the area i'm going, then they usually tell you what agency that area is under.

 

- currently most of the agencies publish a MVUM (motor vehicle use map) which will tell you what trails are legal and for what types of vehicles. often they have an overview of all the regulations for the area too. you can download these in PDF (hard to work with) or pick them up in person - unfortunately most don't have a way to buy it and have it sent to you.

 

- spending a minute calling your guess at the correct agency is the best thing you can do. if it turns out they don't manage the area you are headed to, they probably know who does. they can also tell you the exact regulations and often more info about temporary closures and weather and such (well it's 50/50 whether you get someone helpful or an idiot on the phone).

 

some general things i do know:

 

- regardless of where you are headed, if the trail is really a "Forest Road" or "County Road", then any vehicle you operate on it has to be 100% street legal and if it's not then you *could* get a ticket for anything wrong with it (like a busted out windshield). if the trail is not a road, but rather a real "Trail" then you can ride non-street-legal stuff on it. 99% of anything in a National Forest is a "Road" of some kind and not a "Trail".

 

- if you only trailer your rig, and only run "Trails", then you can qualify for the OHV sticker i think and not have to register your vehicle as street-legal any more (even for jeeps/trucks, not just quads). check with the DMV website to be sure on this. however, it's really not practical as to get to nearly any "Trail" you still end up on some dirt "Roads".

 

- Tonto national forest and many others require a day pass hang tag if you are parked, but not if you are just driving through. if you stop by the side of the road to eat lunch, then that is a grey area, best to just have some extra hang tags in your glove box at all times, they are cheap. The Sedona area is similar, except they enforce their "Red Rock Passes" much more aggressively.

 

- in general i have found that the number of rules and level of enforcement increases as you go from State Trust, to BLM, to National Forest.

 

use the above info at your own risk - again, i'll say CALL the place you think manages the land for the best answers AT THE TIME - as things change. plus if you do get a ranger/cop/land-owner asking you questions or harassing you, it's always helpful to be able to say "well i talked to Debbie down at the XYZ office before i came and she told me ...."

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Great info thanks.

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Does that mean that the Table Mesa area is going to finally maybe be cleaned up? I can't stand to go there anymore; it is so trashed. I first went offroading there in 1979 and it was pristine. I could be out there on a Saturday and never see a soul. Now it's quite different...

 

On the Prescott National Forest MVUM they have trails designated for vehicles 50" or less in width. Interestingly that DOES NOT include "side by sides" (or as I call them, "sofas with wheels"). Side By Sides are classified they same as regular vehicles which means they have to stay on ROADS and not trails (Most people don't understand the difference between the two words and use them interchangeably).

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I was born in 1979 lol. Yea table Mesa is trashed and it is getting regulated more which means cleaned up. I just go because I live so close. It's very convenient and cheap. I prefer to go anywhere else.

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Another young whippersnapper!!! :D There's some history in that area which makes it more interesting. Unfortunately that history is slowly being obliterated by careless people. I don't know what's going on at Gilette; and then there's Tip Top which is one of my favorites.

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Another young whippersnapper!!! :D There's some history in that area which makes it more interesting. Unfortunately that history is slowly being obliterated by careless people. I don't know what's going on at Gilette; and then there's Tip Top which is one of my favorites.

 

Tip Top is awesome. Doc Holliday spent some time there before going to Tombstone.:)

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There's a lot more to Tip Top than first meets the eye.

 

If anyone pursues getting a MVUM from a particular forest, it will be the BIGGEST map you ever saw. At least the one from the Prescott is. I would advise against the pdf/computer route. Very large file(s) and very cumbersome to navigate

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I believe Tip Top is still privately owned. I am uncertain about Gilette. I am sadened everytime I ventured out to find old historic buildings trashed and mine/townsites destroyed. The ease of young unappreciative snots to get to these places now just increases the likely hood of damage. Kids these days have no respect for personal property, mostly because their parents to do not give a damn of teach their kids. Families no longer spend time together in the outdoors. They are all glued to their Ipad and cell phones and could care less about eachother or the outdoors. I have students every semester that have less and less initiative to do anything...sploppy, lazy and want everything without working for it. Most of all, no tact or respect. Grrrr. Most of the trash I find is from shooters leaving their garbage out there, which ruins the name of responsible shooters. Sorry for the rant. Back to topic.

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Heh Heh You said it for me. But I wouldn't blame just the young folk. I have seen slobs across all ages but curiously it seems to be the guys who do most of the littering and trashing. You're right on though about the "next generation" being glued to electronic goodies. They have no imagination and no sense of history. We who visit the "outback" may very well be a dying breed!!!!!

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