Established in 1911, the Ochoco National Forest is located in the Ochoco Mountains in north-central Oregon. It spans more than 850,000 acres and has lots to offer an overlander: golden canyons, beautiful rivers, geologic oddities, streams teeming with fish, high deserts dotted with sage grass, and 95,000 breath-taking acres of old-growth forest – just to name a few.
If you’re into the high desert and historic Native American ruins, the 94 easy miles of Beef Basin Road is just the trail for you. Located southwest of Moab and northwest of Monticello, Beef Basin is circled by amazing places to explore in their own right including; The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, Manti-La Sal National Forest, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Nevada is home to more ghost towns than any other state in America and Delamar Ghost Town’s haunted history makes for a great overland journey an hour and a half north of Las Vegas. With endless dirt roads, abandoned mines, and free camping on BLM land, this area is prime for your next adventure.
There isn’t a trip that is more uniquely Northern California than the Lost Coast, a collection of mostly dirt roads that starts at Highway 1 between Westport and Leggett and traverses CA State Land Trust lands and Sinkyone Wilderness State Park which includes a collection of beautiful hikes, beach access, and (paid) camping at Usal Beach.
The Santa Rita Mountains are located in the Coronado National Forest in south central Arizona, just north of the Mexican border. They’re zigzagged with a series of winding, mountainous trails. The trails vary in length and difficulty. None is long enough in and of itself to make a full trip out of. However, you could string together a couple to make for a several-day trip.
The Road to Hana is perhaps the most iconic route in all of Hawaii, made famous (or infamous) in the 70s when long stretches of the cliff-clinging road were unpaved and subject to frequent landslides that flowed down to the Pacific Ocean. While the route is now paved, it remains a ride to remember – especially when driven in a Jeep Willys – overland style.
If you love the Flagstaff / Sedona area as much as we do you inevitably know of Schnebly Hill Road, a phenomenal dirt trail that has arguably the best view of Sedona one can get. If massive red rock buttes and ponderosa pine forests get you pumped, this is the trail for you.
Hole in the Rock Road begins near Escalante, UT and is home to fantastic rock formations, beautiful slot canyons, and quintessential canyon country scenery. Bring plenty of water and come prepared to explore some of the most remote back country in the United States.
Running from Jarbridge, Nevada, just below the Idaho border, up to the Canadian border, the IBDR is 1,233 miles long and broken into eight sections. This is likely more than you can accomplish in a weeklong overland trip. That is, if you want to take your time and enjoy the region’s hikes, scenic views, hot springs, and quaint towns.
If you haven’t explored U.S. Route 395 through California, you have no idea what you’re missing. I can honestly say that from Socal to Norcal it is an adventurer’s paradise with trails, experiences, lakes, camping, and hiking to appease anyone’s wanderlust.
Iconic is an understatement when you set out on an adventure that covers three different deserts, the Colorado Plateau, Grand Canyon and Navajo Nation. Spanning nearly 750 miles of diverse western terrain, the Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route makes for an epic off-road experience for motorcycles and 4WD vehicles alike.
Titus Canyon is the most popular backcountry road in Death Valley National Park – and for good reason, on the Titus Canyon Trail, you’re treated to colorful rock formations, rare plants, rugged mountains, Bighorn Sheep, narrow canyons, ancient petroglyphs, and Rhyolite ghost town!
The Utah Backcountry Discovery Route traverses the eastern side of the state through red-rock deserts, over high-alpine mountain passes, and through some of the most remote and beautiful landscapes in the lower-48. Riders and drivers alike can put their skills to the test in the challenging Lockhart Basin and beginners will find plenty of alternate routes to explore.
The High Water Mark Trail is an often overlooked 140-mile route through the Ozark Mountains of Central Arkansas. Named for the numerous water crossings along the way, this trail is an exciting overland ramble through the Ozarks.
What could be better than switchbacking your way to the top of one of the highest peaks in the southwestern Arizona? Harquahala Mountain is a challenging 4×4 road that climbs 3000 feet over the course of ten miles and offers amazing views and fun driving in the Sonoran Desert.
Stunning geologic formations, vast vistas, and quietude make up Valley of the Gods, a novice off-highway loop that begins just 9 miles from the town of Mexican Hat, UT (where you can stock up on fuel and food supplies before hitting the backcountry.)
One Tank Adventures are all about leaning into your locale and doing something brief but amazing: fill up once, do something awesome, get home before the gas light comes on. I set my sights on the Chiricahua Mountains in Southern Arizona for my latest OTA and the area is incredible for riding, hiking, and exploring.
Originally blazed in 1974 to support the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline, the 414-mile-long Dalton Highway runs between Livengood and Deadhorse on the Prudhoe Bay. There are only three small towns along the highway, which should demonstrate just how remote it is. The world’s northernmost truck stop at Coldfoot is your last stop for fuel and, well, anything else for 240 miles.
The 593-mile Washington Backcountry Discovery Route is a five- to six-day overland route that runs north from the Oregon border across Washington State to the Canadian border.
The Green Country Oklahoma Adventure Tour (GOAT) is a 458-mile backcountry adventure route through the rolling foothills of Northeast Oklahoma. Experience fast gravel roads, twisty asphalt, and plenty of water crossings to keep you cool in the sweltering Oklahoma heat.
Colorado’s scenic Alpine Loop, in the heart of the San Juan Mountains, is a great starter overland trip. It is just five hours southwest of Denver, moderately difficulty. and is supported by a trio of mountain towns.
Just four-and-a-half hours north of Seattle, outside the town of Princeton, British Columbia lies one of North America’s off-road treasures: Whipsaw Trail. This 68-mile track can be traveled in two days. And because of its moderate difficulty and plenty of camping spots, it’s a great trip for overlanding families.
In the heart of Utah’s Canyonlands National Park is the 100-mile White Rim Road. No fires, hammocks, or pets are allowed along the road. But despite those limitations, White Rim Road offers some of the most scenic views in the southwestern US.
For those seeking an easy but incredibly scenic starter overland trip, check out the Magruder Road Corridor. This 101-mile primitive road runs east-west from Idaho into Montana.