At Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area near Livermore, all types of off-road vehicles are allowed, but some are restricted to certain areas. Only ATVs and dirt bikes have full use of the park. More common off-road vehicles include:

  • Four-wheel drive: Four-wheel-drive vehicles have a drivetrain that allows all four wheels to receive torque from the engine simultaneously. Many types are street legal, such as four-wheel drive trucks, Land Rovers, Hummers and Jeeps.

  • All terrain vehicles (ATVs): Three-wheel or four-wheel (quad) vehicles that travel on low-pressure tires and have a seat straddled by the rider. ATVs have handlebars for steering, a throttle controlled by a thumb lever, and hand levers and foot pedals for brakes.

  • Dirt bikes: Two-wheel motorcycles specially designed for off-road events, trail riding, competitions (motocross, hill climbing, enduro, trials) and dual sport (on- and off-highway recreation). They're equipped with lightweight engines and large wheels for riding in mud and dirt.

  • Dune buggies: Four-wheel recreational vehicles with large wheels and wide tires, designed for use on sand dunes, beaches or in desert environments. Buggies can seat two or more and are often modified from Volkswagens, and have a fiberglass frame and a roll bar.


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  • Recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs): Also known as "side-by-sides" or utility task vehicles (UTVs), ROVs are small two- or four-person four-wheel drive off-road vehicles used similarly to ATVs. They have a steering wheel, roll bar, seat belts, and acceleration and brake pedals.

  • Rock crawlers: Extreme off-road vehicles, usually modified four-wheel-drive trucks, Jeeps and buggies. They're built to traverse obstacles such as boulders, foothills and rock piles.

  • Sandrails: Similar to dune buggies, sandrails are lightweight, four-wheel vehicles often lacking windows, doors or body panels. They're made for traveling on sand but can be used on just about any terrain. They generally seat two to four people.

    Source: Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association, California Off-Road Vehicle Association.