This study concentrates on obtaining profiles of rough terrain suitable for vehicle dynamics simulations in a cost-effective manner. Commercially available inertial profilometers are unable to profile the terrains of interest due to their severe roughness. A mechanical profilometer is developed and evaluated by profiling obstacles with known profiles, as well as rough 3–D test track profiles. A good correlation between the profiled and actual terrains is achieved. Realistic three–dimensional (3–D) terrain models are generated from the terrain profiles. The Displacement Spectral Densities (DSDs) of the profiled terrains are found to contain discrete peaks; a straight line fit would not be an accurate estimation for the specific rough terrains. Comparisons between the terrains defined in the International Roughness Index (IRI) and the present study indicate that the roughness index of the terrains profiled with the mechanical profilometer is significantly higher than the terrains normally profiled by inertial profilometers.