What Are The Best Tires For Off-Roading On The West Coast?
September 8, 2022
Best Off-Road Tires For The West Coast
In every region of every country in the world, there are plenty of varying geographical features, terrains, environments, and climate conditions that certain types of tires are suited for, and others, well, not so much. We've been looking pretty deep into the types of tires that are best suited for different regions of the United States, and what we found is that within each different region, there are subregions and areas where some tires work great, and others barely work at all.
So, today we want to look at which tires are the best in the West. More specifically, we'll look at the hot climates and rough terrains of Central and Southern California, then throughout the Sierra Nevada mountains, into the Cascade mountain range, and Pacific Northwest regions. Granted, we know that there will be some crossover between climates, and certain brands and models of tires that are great for multiple areas, but this way, it'll help guide us in the right direction to consider which tires are best for you depending on where you live. So, let's start our journey below.
Best Off-Road Tires for Central and Southern California
We'll start with Southern California, along with Cali's Central Valley, as it shares a pretty similar environment to SoCal. The great Central Valley region of California, along with the state's southern portion, consists of hot, dry, sandy, and rocky terrains and environments, so a tire's contact patch, rubber compound, and robust construction are going to be the key features to consider here. We'll want as much rubber meeting the road as possible, and our tire needs flotation capabilities and plenty of spring to help with additional traction on rocks.
Also important for this tire is to shy away from a softer compound that's more typical of a mud-terrain tire, as the hot, dry, gritty roads will wear them down much faster than an all-terrain tire with a higher treadwear warranty. That's because higher treadwear warranties are indicative of a rubber/silica compound that's designed for longer life in warmer climates, but obviously, this is all situational. Our focus for this tire is for daily drivers and weekend warriors, so what are our options here?
For starters, we want to focus on the tires in the all-terrain category, as this is where we'll find the highest treadwear warranties and larger contact patches. From there, we'll filter further and look for a tire that is either light truck rated or comes in standard flotation sizes, as these types of tires have thicker sidewalls than an average passenger tire. This leads us to the first tire on our list, the BFGoodrich KO2 - this has been a dominating tire in these types of grueling conditions and was actually born out of testing on trophy trucks in the Baja California peninsula, originally designed to thrive in hot, dry desert conditions.
Obviously, the BFG KO2 isn't the only one, and another great tire available with a heck of a great deal is the Falken Wildpeak A/T3W in LT and flotation sizes. This is another great tried and true tire, and its reputation precedes itself with how many of you guys there are that have already told us how awesome the Wildpeak is. We have a massive selection of the WildPeak and KO2 in stock in our inventory right now, so if you're planning a weekend in SoCal, we've got your picks ready to go.
Best Off-Road Tires for the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range
If you're doing most of your traveling and off-roading in Cali's Sierra Nevada range, then our climates and terrains are gonna be a bit more bipolar. We're gonna be facing a lot of loose dirt, loose gravel, loose rocks, huge hills, and boulders, all packed in temperatures that will vary from hot to extreme blizzards depending on your location and elevation - Donner Pass would be a great example here.
A great tire to handle these types of conditions is gonna have a three-peak mountain snowflake rating, which the BFG KO2 and Falken AT3W have, and would work great. But another tire we think would really excel in this area is the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T Hybrid, and the reason we say that is because not only does it have a three PSF grading, but it also features a tread design suitable for a multitude of varying terrains with its asymmetrical tread design. This helps not only reduce road noise but also helps with braking and acceleration performance on the road and utilizes both the outer and inner tread patterns for optimized handling.
Best Off-Road Tires for Hawaii
Last on our list for today is gonna be the Life of the Land That Is Perpetuated In Righteousness, Hawaii. We didn't just get an English degree for this, that's actually Hawaii's state motto, which is pretty cool. So what tire is the best all-around tire for the land that's perpetuated in righteousness? We have misty green plateaus, tropical coastal areas, lava deserts, fern and bamboo forests, and even a snowcapped mountain peak on Mauna Kea.
We didn't have to think too hard about this one - we obviously don't need a winter-rated tire, but we're gonna want something that has a decent amount of off-road traction and definitely a tire of quality so it lasts as long as possible, just because it isn't cheap to ship tires to Hawaii. So right away, the Toyo Open Country A/T III is the first tire that comes to mind, and then right after that would be the Nitto Ridge Grappler. These are two perfect options for Hawaii's warm tropical environments, and different terrain types.
Shop Off-Road Tires For Your Rig at TrailBuilt Off-Road
If you live in these areas or are just planning a visit, we've got you covered with some of the best tires in the business, all in stock and ready to ship to your door so you can get your rig prepped for the trails. Check out our inventory and grab your tires today - we're always happy to help you find which one is best for your needs and location as well. We'll see you out on the trails!