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Traveling the Arizona Peace Trail

Updated: 2 days ago

For avid outdoors people and adventurers, no vehicle compares to the power and flexibility of a Side by Side. For semi-retired aviation instructor Al Roden, the vehicle has become the conduit of his premiere passion and past time since moving to Arizona.

Al's street legal SxS (Side by Side) Road trip across the county with his dogs

“When we moved from Texas to Arizona, I was shocked to discover just how much public land the state had,” Roden said. “Immediately, I felt called to explore the trails and see how far they went.”

But Al wasn’t sure what vehicle would be best. A close friend recommended getting a Side by Side (SxS) as they could handle rough off-road terrain, and were street legal in Arizona. Per his friend’s advice, Al bought a Honda Series X and began to adventure across the Arizona Peace Trail, a 675-mile trail loop within the state.

Traveling the Arizona Peace Trail in a Street Legal SXS

His initial exploration of Arizona was simply the tip of the iceberg for Al, who soon decided to see just how far north he could travel in his SxS.

“I wanted to go north as far as I could,” Roden said. “Once I got to the Canadian border, they turned me around and sent me back.”


He ran into trouble in Colorado on the long journey back to Arizona. Although he had highway registration for his SxS, troopers in the state forced him to take a different route. This encounter led him to search for a solution to avoid this type of conflict in the future. He ran across LLCTLC and our convenient registration and LLC management services in his search.


Because we are based in Montana, a state where SxS’s are entirely street legal, we can register them for permanent plates. “Rather than pay $350 a year to maintain street legality in Arizona, all I had to do was pay the up-front fee and then $165 annually to maintain my LLC. It’s quick, convenient, and cost effective" Roden said. Paying a small annual renewal fee to keep your Montana LLC in good standing allows you not have to pay annual renewal fees on the SxS registration.


With his freshly minted Montana plates, Al again took to the trails. His goals were more ambitious this time: to take a loop

across the entire country. This is easier said than done, and the prep time alone to map out his route took Al over a year. But once he hit the road with his dogs Handsome Luke and Gentlemen Jack in tow, all his stresses subsided.

ArizonAl stopping to take some pictures with his Side-by-Side and trusty dogs in Wyominga Peace Trail


A few weeks into his 43-day trek, Al bumped into a group of off-roaders on a similar journey who invited him to join them in their trek and Facebook group. They share tips on repairs, best routes, great places to camp, favorite places to eat, etc. Since then, Al has made this journey an annual event.


“I’ve done the loop the past two years and am already prepping to do it again in August,” Roden said. “Every time I get back, I tell myself, I’ll never do it again, but after a few months' rest, I’m ready to go on the journey again and travel to new areas I’ve never been.”


Al and his dogs on their SxS roadtrip

While the thrill of having the wind against his face and being immersed in the beauty of the US is part of why he loves embarking on these SxS journeys, Al’s favorite aspect of the trips is the people he meets along the way. Whether it be a repair shop, an antique store, or a restaurant, there’s always someone interested in exchanging stories.


“Most people you come across on a trip like this are nice and friendly people,” Al said. “Usually, these people haven’t come across a group of these machines traveling together, so when you pull up to their business, they’ll call their friends over, and it becomes almost like a car meet. You can’t replicate the joy of learning more about people’s experiences,” Roden continued. “These small moments are the ones I’ll never forget and always cherish.”


For those looking to get into SxS’s as a hobby, Al shared some key pointers to both make the most of your machine and avoid issues with local law enforcement.


Al stopping to take some pictures with his Side-by-Side and trusty dogs in Wyoming

“The first thing you should do after getting a SxS is equip it with a street legal kit,” Roden said. “This includes appropriate tires, installing blinker lights, and illuminating your license plate. These are the first things officers look for. Once you’ve done this, register your SxS with LLCTLC,” Roden continued. “It’s the easiest and most cost effective way to ensure your vehicle is street legal and every one there is always kind and helpful.”


Whether you’re looking to journey across the US like Al, or simply enjoy using your SxS in your home state, LLCTLC is here to get your SxS street legal in no time. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can best serve you!



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