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, especially if you want to give your ATV shocks some exercise and get way off the beaten path.

Much of the west was once home to large groups of Native Americans. The vestiges of Native American cultures, art, and legends can very easily be found in many areas. In some places however, very explicit reminders await the intrepid observer.

One of the most amazing things you can see in places like southern Utah are the ancient petroglyphs on canyon walls or in caves. These images were made anciently by early inhabitants of the area by removing part of a rock surface by carving or engraving. The images may tell stories, record history, or could be just art. Whatever their original intent however, they are amazing to see.

Similar to petroglyphs are pictographs, which were again made by erstwhile inhabitants, but this time by painting the rocks. Like petroglyphs, the original intent of these works is often unclear. Also similar is the feeling of awe one gets when looking at them and contemplating the centuries they've seen, or the people who must have created them.

Other Native American relics you may come across in your travels are artifacts such as pottery, arrowheads, or other tools. It doesn't happen often, but occasionally someone even stumbles across the remains of bygone communities or burial grounds. It's important to remember these can be importantspiritual and historical sites, and should not be disturbed.

Many sites that once contained amazing rock art have been vandalized over the years, or chipped away by tourists who wanted a souvenir. Because of this, what is left is even more precious, and needs to be preserved for future enjoyment. If you are lucky enough to find some ancient artifact, don't be selfish with it. 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!