One of the best things about ATVs is in their very name: All Terrain. With an ATV you can relatively quickly and easily reach places you otherwise would have had to hike in to, or ride horseback. This has opened up many areas that previously few people ever saw.

Among the frontiers largely open for exploration are the western deserts and mountains. One might think of the desert as a boring place with nothing to see. On the contrary, there are many interesting places to explore and things to discover.

Much of the west was originally settled for mining. There are plentiful supplies of many precious metals and minerals, and at the time it was easy to find a spot and start digging. Some proved fruitful, some not so much. Because of thisghost towns are plentiful in remote areas. Areas one may be able to access with an ATV.

The 1800s saw huge expansions into the western United States. It was fairly common to find what they called a boom town: a place where some lucky fellow struck gold and hundreds--or even thousands—crowded into the area hoping to find their fortunes. Sometimes the excitement died quickly when the claim proved to be fake, or a fluke. Others left lasting marks on the land.

A boom town of this nature may have survived only a few years, or they could still be around today. The most interesting though are the ones that were abandoned but are still standing. Sometimes in your explorations you'll come across a building or two left over, or just the foundations of an old town. There are actually entire towns out there without a soul living there. Some of these were built and abandoned within just a few years; some weren't even occupied long enough to make it on a map.

Mining towns aren't the only kind either. In seldom visited parts of the forest there are old lumber camps left behind long ago. This writer is aware of one deep in the Uinta mountains that still contains much of the original equipment: giant saw blades, old fashioned axes, shovels, brooms and even kitchen ware. It is preserved as though frozen in an earlier time. Regardless of your destination, make sure you prepare yourself and your ATV, shocks and all.

Occasionally you may be the first one in some time to visit. You might find something historic like the items described above. There may be old equipment or other knick knacks left behind. It's important never to take anything you might find without express permission from the property owner, be it private property or government owned. Even taking things from public lands can be prosecuted as a felony.

Whatever you find, keep track of it. Join a group or message board with others who share your interests. There are many groups who go together to visit and explore these off the beaten path locations. So get your ATV shocks ready for an out of the way ride and go exploring!