Best ATV for Rocky Terrains

Finding the best ATV for rocky terrain can be a challenge. There are many different models, and it is hard to tell which one is better than another.

If you own a 4×4 off-road vehicle, then you know what it’s like to drive on rocky terrain. You may have even experienced the feeling of dread when your tires hit rocks.

But there is hope! The good news is that there are some amazing ATVs out there that can handle any type of terrain. These vehicles were designed for just this purpose and will give you a safe ride no matter where you go.

There is a lot of research and testing that goes into finding the Best ATV for rocky terrain. We will review some of these models in this article. You can read about each model’s pros and cons, as well as what makes them ideal for riding through rough terrain.

Best ATV for Rocky Terrain – Our Top 5 Picks!

In this article, we will discuss 5 different models of ATVs that are great options if you want to ride on rugged trails or even off-road races like Baja 1000. And don’t worry; we’ll talk more about how much they cost at the end, so you know which one fits your budget!

Without further ado, here are our reviews of the Best ATV for Rocky Terrain.

1) ZFORCE 950 SPORT – 2021 Model

Top features for ZFORCE 950 SPORT – 2021 Model :

  • A four-speed gearbox with high/low range transmission
  • A large 21-inch front wheel and a 16-inch rear wheel for increased stability
  • Real 4×4 suspension that delivers high performance for any terrain
  • The ZForce 950 Sport can be converted into a 2- or 4-wheel drive ATV with the flick of a switch
  • Air-cooled engine with electronic fuel injection provides reliable power and excellent throttle response

The ZForce 950 Sport comes with a revolutionary powertrain that is purpose-built for any terrain. It has been designed to go where other ATVs cannot, and at the same time, it’s as easy to ride as an ATV that is built strictly for low-impact riding. The new SPS system on the ZForce 950 Sport delivers more of the most important thing you need off-road: POWER!

This model features a handmade frame with a true X-frame design which maximizes clearance and stability. It also delivers high ground clearance and long suspension travel so you can tackle even the roughest terrain without getting hung up in holes or rocks.

The ZForce 950 Sport by ARROWHEAD is powered by a fuel-injected 942cc SOHC single-cylinder engine with a manual clutch. It puts out close to 40 horsepower and has lots of torque, which helps you climb any hill or get over obstacles with ease.

The thing we enjoyed riding this beast is that it features more than 11.5-inches of ground clearance which can be a lifesaver off-road.


  • 4×4 ATV with 4WD High/Low transmission
  • Front and rear suspension
  • Power steering for easy handling
  • Adjustable seats with backrests and lumbar support
  • Extra-large fuel tank
  • Vented front disc brake and rear drum


  • This ATV is a bit heavy, weighing in at over 1,200 LBS pounds.

Our Verdict:

We have put the ZForce 950 Sport through its paces out on a variety of trails and it has performed beautifully. The new SPS system is amazing and delivers more power than almost any other ATV out there. If you are looking for an ATV that can easily handle rough terrain, then this model is a great choice.


2) RAPTOR 700R


Top Features:

Digital Ignition – Digital ignition reduces maintenance and ensures optimal engine performance at all times

ABS – The Bosch ABS system provides enhanced control.

Powerful Engines – There are two engine options available on the ATR 700 R. These include:

  • A 686cc gas-powered, SOHC, four-stroke engine
  • An electric start 658cc gas-powered, SOHC, four-stroke engine.

Fuel Tank – The fuel tank on the ATR 700 R holds 6 gallons of gas, which is sufficient for long trips.

The ATR 700 R is a great option for ATVs that need to tackle rocky terrain or any terrain really. It’s an excellent choice for people who want a lot of features and versatility at a low price.

This machine can handle off-road conditions without missing a beat. With its lockable front and rear differentials, you can go wherever your heart desires! It offers the perfect solution for people who like traveling on rough terrain.

This model has improved suspension which provides greater stability in bumpy conditions – whether it’s dirt, sand, or hard-packed gravel. It also has improved engine cooling with larger radiator fins and radiators. The exhaust pipe is longer which allows more airflow to the engine bay.

The ATR 700 R comes with a five-speed manual transmission and 15.5 inches of ground clearance, but the best part is that you can adjust your ground clearance from 8-inches to 13-inches.

ABS is also standard on the ATR 700 R which helps you stop on a dime so you can quickly react to changing conditions.


  • Five-speed transmission with high/low range
  • Lockable front and rear differentials
  • Digital ignition for improved performance
  • Automatic centrifugal clutch that’s easier to control and provides smoother shifting
  • Self-contained cooling system and high-performance radiators
  • Hydraulic disc brakes for increased stopping power


  • Although this model has plenty of power, it’s not the fastest ATV out there.

Our Verdict:

This model comes at an affordable price and delivers so much value. It provides a smooth ride and is a great option for people who want all the features of an expensive ATV at a fraction of the price.

This model handles all types of terrain with ease and is a great choice for riders who want to venture off the beaten path. We have really enjoyed riding the ATR 700 R because it’s so user-friendly and feels very safe.



Top Features for YAMAHA YXZ1000R SS XT-R :

Engine – 998cc liquid-cooled DOHC inline three-cylinder

Fuel Delivery – Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI)

Transmission – 5 Speed Automatic

Suspension – Front: Double Wishbone Swingarm; Rear: Monoshock

Tires – Front: 90/100-21; Rear: 110/90-18

Brakes – Front: Hydraulic disc; Rear Hydraulic disc

Wheels – Front: 21X7-10; Rear: 18X9.5-12

The ATR YAMAHA YXZ1000R SS XT-R is best for rocky terrain. It can also tackle steep inclines and declines with no problem! If you go off-road more than a few times each year, the ATR Yamaha YXZ1000R SS XT-R is the perfect bike for you.

What makes the ATR Yamaha YXZ1000R SS XT-R ideal for off-roading?

The 4-wheel drive feature is the main reason why this is one of the best ATVs for rocky terrain. No matter where you go, you will be able to get back home without damaging the undercarriage of your vehicle. And because you can go on more difficult trails, there is a better chance that you will find wildlife to see.

The Yamaha XT-R SS ATV is great when it comes to maneuvering in tight spots as well; this is especially important when you are riding in rocky areas where there may be large boulders or uneven terrain. The Yamaha XT-R SS ATV is also great when it comes to hills because it is rated at a lower weight and has more torque than many of the other ATVs.

The tires on this ATV will last a long time and do not need to be replaced very often – that’s how good they are! When you want to go on an off-road ride, just turn the fuel and ignition on and take off.


  • It can withstand almost any kind of weather condition, including mud and rain.
  • An excellent engine and transmission, which are very reliable.
  • The ATR Yamaha XT-R SS ATV has enough torque to go over difficult terrain.
  • The fuel tank holds more gas than most other ATVs.


  • It is not the lightest model (1625 lbs) available, which can cause it to be difficult to transport.
  • The ATR Yamaha XT-R SS ATV is a bit pricier than other models available.
  • The cost and financing are higher than other models.

Our Verdict:

The ATR Yamaha XT-R SS ATV is a great model for off-roading, but it is also pricey. However, it really pays off when you consider the value of this ATV. The features are outstanding, and the engine is extremely powerful; it’s also easy to operate and control.

Before purchasing this model, we recommend taking a trip to the dealership so that you can test drive it first.

4) Arctic Cat’s Alterra 450 

Top Features for Arctic Cat’s Alterra 450:

Engine – 450cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder, EFI

Transmission – 4 Speed Automatic with Hi/Low Range

Ground Clearance – 10.7 inches

Suspension – Front: Dual A-Arm; Rear: Swing Arm

You can’t go wrong with a brand like Arctic Cat. They are one of the most trusted names in the ATV industry and they specialize in offering ATVs for the roughest terrain.

The Alterra 450 is a great example of this. This off-road vehicle was designed to meet the demands of rugged terrain and it does so successfully. It is built with a lightweight chassis which gives it extra stability and allows for better handling.

The Alterra 450 is powered by thick, high-grade tires which are great on paved roads and rocky terrain. The vehicle is also specially made for steep terrain with its 46-degree approach angle.

One feature that sets the Alterra 450 apart from other ATVs is its integrated rear fenders. These plastic fenders are designed to protect the body and keep mud from flying onto the rider.

Another great feature is its optional LED light kit. You can get a set of lights that are specifically designed for the Alterra 450 and mount them to your machine wherever you want!


  • The design of the Alterra 450 is rugged and sturdy.
  • Very Affordable
  • High-quality tires that are great for any terrain.
  • Powerful engine and transmission.
  • Excellent steering response


  • The seat is not very comfortable, especially if you’re riding for long distances.
  • The Alterra 450 is not the best option for taller riders.

Our Verdict:

We tested this model in all kinds of environments and weather conditions. The bottom line, you can really take it anywhere! However, be prepared to maintain this machine regularly.

The Alterra 450 is an excellent option if you’re looking for a rugged ATV that will take on difficult terrain with ease. It’s also great for riders who are looking to do some racing. The Alterra 450 will make a great addition to any terrain and is priced reasonably too.

5) Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 EPS

 Top Features for Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 EPS:

Engine – 950cc, SOHC 4-Stroke with the twin-cylinder engine

Transmission – Automatic PVT Transmission with Sequential Shift Kit

Suspension – Front: Dual A-Arm Suspension; Rear: Swing Arm Suspension with 8″ of Travel

Ground Clearance – 11.5″

The Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 EPS is another popular ATV that is best suited for off-roading. This medium-sized model can handle many different terrains and its features are designed to support this.

This model has a 90-Horsepower powerful engine that provides plenty of torque, and its transmission is designed for off-road use.

The Sportsman XP 1000 EPS also has a locking differential which aids in steering and traction. The shocks are firm, but comfortable enough for an off-road ride.

A big reason why this model is so popular among riders is because of its power and comfort. The ride is smooth, even on rocky trails, and the Sportsman XP 1000 EPS can navigate with the help of GPS tracking.

Climbing steep grades is not difficult with this model; it has a 30-degree approach angle, along with a 31.5-degree breakover angle.

There are several upgrades available for this model. These include added suspension travel, plate guards, and a larger fuel tank among others.


  • A smooth ride and excellent handling on all types of terrain.
  • Powerful engine and transmission
  • Plenty of accessories to upgrade this model.
  • Great maneuverability on uneven terrain thanks to the wider tires


  • For better traction, you will need to purchase mud tires.

Our Verdict:

This model is a good option if you plan on riding in muddy conditions. Otherwise, we don’t recommend it for serious off-roading. The Sportsman XP 1000 EPS is excellent for cruising the trails and general use around your property, but you might want to look elsewhere if you need a serious mudder that can take on larger obstacles.


Buying Guide for Best ATV for Rocky Terrain

The best ATV for rocky terrain should be able to handle any terrain and all types of weather. You should be sure to look for the following features:

Powerful engine:

The most important thing to consider is the engine. You want something that will have plenty of torque and horsepower depending on your riding needs.

Easy-To-Use Transmission:

The transmission should be smooth and easy to use. You want the ATV to respond quickly to your movements and not stick, especially when you’re riding over rough terrain.

Wide Tires:

Having wide tires is important. They help you traverse different types of terrain and are able to absorb rocks.

GPS Tracking:

Using GPS, you can track your location and even measure the distance and speed that you traveled. This is a great feature for off-roading as it can help you plan your next move and make adjustments if necessary.


Do you need special ATV tires for rocky terrain?

You don’t necessarily need a new set of tires. However, if you plan on riding through mud or other watery terrains, it’s a good idea to invest in some mud-terrain tires. These will provide more traction and prevent your ATV from slipping off the trail.

What is a good ATV length?

ATVs are made in many different sizes, but the length shouldn’t be a problem. If you want something smaller that can still handle rocky terrain, the YAMAHA YXZ1000R SS XT-R is a great option. It’s smaller in size and still has plenty of power for rowing through all types of terrain.

How can I maintain my ATV?

Most models are fairly easy to maintain. Start by checking the air filter and oil levels before every ride. Make sure you do this every single time, or you can ruin your engine and other parts. Clean the ATV thoroughly after every ride to prevent damage caused by mud, water, or dirt. You should also replace the spark plugs every few years.



ATVs are a great option if you’re looking for a vehicle that can take on rocky terrain. There are many different types of ATVs available, but they vary in size and power as well as features.

We recommend you to go with RAPTOR 700R if you’re looking for a good off-roading model. It has a powerful engine, unique features, and can comfortably carry the weight of two riders.

If you are low on budget, then Arctic Cat’s Alterra 450 is your best choice. It is the only option on our list that costs less and still has many features that will help you roam the terrains.

We hope this article has helped you find the best ATV for rocky terrain. If you have any questions about our recommendations or tips for finding a good model, feel free to leave a comment below. We’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as we can. Good luck!

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