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22 Best Overlanding Trails And Routes In The United States
What Is Overlanding?
If camping and off-roading had a baby, it would be overlanding.
The term "overlanding" was first used when farmers traveled long distances by land to move cattle during season changes.
Overlanding is now a form of recreation. It's an independent journey across the land, on road or off-road.
Overlanding is usually done with trucks and other off-road vehicles that can handle dirt roads and rugged terrain.
The expedition typically lasts long, where travelers camp and basically live in vehicles.
Overlanders either set up a tent on the ground or have a rooftop tent attached to the roof rack.
Just like in life, the goal of overlanding is the journey itself, not the destination.
According to outdoor enthusiasts, the top five states for overlanding are Utah, California, Arizona, Colorado, and Oregon.
Here Are The Best Overlanding Trails And Routes In The United States That You Need To Add To Your Bucket List:
Overlanding Trails And Routes In Utah
With its stunning rock formations and breathtaking scenery, Utah offers the best overlanding trails and routes in the United States.
- Gemini Bridges Moab
- Valley of the Gods Road
- White Rim Road
- The Smoky Mountain Road, Escalante (extremely remote, so have your essentials ready in your car roof rack)
Overlanding Trails And Routes In California
From spectacular desert landscape to lush mountains and flowing rivers, California has something to offer to every kind of off-road traveler.
- The Mojave Road
- Rubicon Trail, Sierra Nevada
- California Backcountry Discovery Trail
- Mendocino National Forest
- Lassen National Forest
- Six Rivers National Forest
Overlanding Trails And Routes In Colorado
Watch in awe the enchanting landscapes and mesas of Colorado from the highest summit and enjoy driving surrounded by the snow-capped mountains and vivid colored trees.
- Black Bear Pass
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Alpine Loop Trail begins near Silverton
- The Enchanted Rockies Trail Queen
Overlanding Trails And Routes In Arizona
Arizona is famous for its subtropical desert and the saguaro cactus that can grow up to 40 feet. The high and low desert and diverse terrains make Arizona's beauty unforgettable.
- El Camino Del Diablo Overland Trail
- North Rim
- Lake Havasu City
- Grand Arizona traverse
Overlanding Trails And Routes In Oregon
Visit enchanting Oregon to see the deepest lake in the United States (Crater Lake) and the vast ethereal open space perfect for driving in the morning and stargazing at night.
- Crater Lake National Park
- Alvord Desert
- Owyhee Canyonlands
- McGrew Trail
Other Trails And Routes In The United States Worth Visiting:
- The Dalton Highway, Alaska
- The Pan-American Highway Deadhorse
- Trans-American Trail
- The Georgia Traverse
- Trans-Wisconsin Adventure Trail
Before setting out to any of the trails and routes on this list, research the terrain's difficulty. Be conscious of what to expect and what to bring. Know when is the best time to visit.
Valley of the Gods is an easy trail and best for beginners, while Alpine Loop Trail is moderately complex.
The Black Bear Pass is famous for its scenic view from the state's highest peaks, but it's tough and challenging terrain.
For this reason, they are closed most of the year, but you can visit from the last week of July through around the early weeks of September.
Some places like Crater Lake National Park are closed during the late fall and winter due to heavy rainfall. North Rim is also closed from mid-October to mid-May. White Rim in Utah is impassable when rainy.
Join overlanding communities to learn from their experiences.
Plan ahead if you want to cover as many routes as possible. Plot the trails and start with the one nearest you. If it's your first time, start small. Go for one weekend at a nearby course.
Be prepared for the journey because overlanding lasts for days. List down and pack all of the essential items for your trip. Make sure your vehicle is in the best condition, the roof rack stable, and the engine ready for anything on and off the road.
Life is short. Go out there and visit the best overlanding routes and trails in the United States. Bon, voyage!