Niagara OHV is one of the more popular places with established and dispersed camping available
An activity Chris and I recently found to be very rewarding when it comes to exploring the beauty of Sonora Pass is off-roading. Much like backpacking or horseback riding, trail riding in an OHV (Off-Highway Vehicle) can bring you to places not many people get to see. A trip off the pavement takes you away from the crowded fishing holes, vista points and campgrounds and brings you to places you didn't know existed. I was an avid backpacker in my twenties and it was one of my favorite recreational activities. As I grew older and occupied my life with a career and family, I found it much easier to use conventional campgrounds and ultimately an RV. In a way, choosing an off-road vehicle and dispersed camping in the forest is much more like the adventure of backpacking and trail riding on a horse. No crowds or noise, just solitude and new adventures.
There are many different types of off-road vehicles, ranging from Jeeps and other sport utilities, to ATVs to motorcycles. Each has advantages and disadvantages including restrictions on where they may travel. Our recent purchase of a UTV (commonly referred to as a side-by-side) turns out to be a happy middle ground for the two of us. California has much stricter regulations regarding off-highway vehicles and although the UTV is not street-legal, it can share many of the roads a Jeep or pickup can off-road and often with more capability and less harm to the environment. Because of California's more restrictive laws, it's important to obtain a US Forest Service Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM). For the Sonora Pass area, these are available free of charge at the Summit Ranger Station located on 108 at the Pinecrest turnoff.
Chris and Hammie in the Can Am