Jump to content
4x4tographer

Online Trip Planning Resources | GPS Maps & GPX Downloads

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

While planning out some future trip ideas I stumbled across some new trail research and trip planning resources in the region and nationally.

 

Then I got to thinking about just consolidating everything into a single thread. So here we go!

 

 

GAIA GPS

www.gaiagps.com

Gaia is one of many pretty popular offroad/overland/hiking-oriented GPS, mapping, and planning apps that are out there. It's pretty intuitive to use, and the shear number of mapping and data layers available to you are pretty dizzying. 

 

We recently held a crash course on Gaia, how to use it to plan your trip, and how to use the mobile companion app. Click here for the full recording of the webinar!

 

 

TRAILS OFFROAD

https://www.trailsoffroad.com

I use Trails Offroad pretty heavily to research trails in the area. They're a fast growing startup, with hundreds of trails being added annually as their team maps them out. I like it because:

 

  • GPX/KMX downloads
  • GaiaGPS integration
  • Nationwide capability, but highly focused on states where there is a lot of public land and opportunities to ride
  • 2 Membership Levels
    • Free - They have free, but limited selection of trails
    • Premium Membership - Unlimited trail access for $25 annually
  • The reviews are highly detailed, include photos, videos, and commentary on difficulty or technical/safety information
  • The trail authors are required to run the trails annually to help keep things current
  • There is a commentary section to allow for crowd-sourced trail updates

 

FUNTREKS

https://funtreks.com

If you own a Well's book (and you should), you'll know all about these guys.

 

  • 1st off, buy their book, it's top notch
  • A lot of time and research goes into the accuracy of their trails and GPX files
  • Website offers
    • Free access (Premium paid access is available for more information)
    • GPX file downloads
    • Maps
    • User Reviews
    • Solid rating system and vehicle types
  • Heavy focus on CA, AZ, UT, CO, 

 

AZ OFFROAD dot NET

https://azoffroad.net

I've been following this kid for about 5 years now and how he's built this site himself, from scratch.

 

  • Free to use
  • GPX/KMX downloads
  • Arizona-focused
  • Has a nice write up on this overlanding rig and overlanding trips
  • The author is local (Litchfield Park) and has grown up running these trails. You can sense the passion behind his reviews and adventures
  • The trail articles are highly detailed, but a little hard to digest
  • You get a history lesson on a lot of the trails, and links to albums of photos
  • It's a great resource for some trails that aren't necessarily "mainstream"
  • Trails aren't updated as often as a big paid site like Trails Offroad - but it's a 20-something running the whole show. I'm thankful he's willing to share the intel

 

 

Overland Trail Guides

https://www.overlandtrailguides.com/

An excellent find by @shellback91

 

Quote

I stumbled across an overland website that is free to join and has a variety of pre-built over-land routes. The routes have a Google map and GPX files available based on what see. Some are free and some you have to pay for. I only looked at a few on a high level and they seem very detailed. This may be something I use in the future in conjunction with other tools. I thought to pass it along should anyone be interested in it.

 

 

 

AZ Backcountry Explorers

https://www.azbackroads.com

I've used AZBCE a few times - they have a TON of routes mapped here in Arizona.

 

  • Free
  • Huge GPS map database
  • GPX file downloads
  • Great blog and articles on land use issues here in Arizona
  • Not the most detailed resource in regards to what to expect on a given trail
  • Website has some issues with dead links and bad RSS feeds

 

 

RIDE BDR

https://ridebdr.com

Ride Backcountry Discovery Routes (Ride BDR) is heavily-focused on motorcycle/dual-sport bike riders who are in to overlanding on 2 wheels.

 

  • Focused on long haul, cross-state drives on as much dirt as possible
  • Focused on motorcycles, and the trails are optimized for that use case. 4x4 vehicles may not be able to pass on all of their routes
    • I'd recommend looking at this as a starting point and then double checking the appropriate MVUM or resource for 4x4 useage
  • Free
  • GPS and Waypoint downloads
  • Routes are well-planned in "segments" designed for 100-150 mile fuel tank ranges for these bikes
    • Fuel stops
    • Camping areas
    • Hotels/towns
  • Many of the route "segments" are rated and include options for more experience or beginner riders
  • Heavy focus on the Southwest, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, and the New England area
    • They're adding new information in California, Montana, and the Southeast
    • Oregon has a separate trail system mapped by another third-party here.

 

 

TRAIL DAMAGE

https://traildamage.com/trails/

Trail Damage is basically just like Trails Offroad

 

  • Monthly membership fee of $1 per month
  • GPX downloads
  • Highly detailed reviews
  • Focused purely on Colorado and Utah

 


State of Nevada OHV Source

https://ohv.nv.gov/trails

I talked a little more in detail about Nevada's resource for OHV trails here.

 

 

Some additional resources worth a mention:

 

 

 

So there you have it! A big list of great resources for discovering new routes and planning out future adventures!

 

Do you have any news ones to add? Any favorites?

Edited by 4x4tographer
  • Like 4
  • Love 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great list Ryan, thanks for posting. For what it's worth I use Trails Offroad and FunTreks(the book & website)  when researching.  Their breakdowns and write ups are pretty thorough. I really like the Gaia GPS integration that TrailsOffroad has. AZOffRoad is a also a great reference. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found another great resource for long term planning around the weather (of all things) to help answer a lot of common questions. How hot will it be where you're going? Is it the rainy season? Will I need cold weather gear?

 

https://weatherspark.com

 

Super useful for if you're trying to plan a trip several months out, or are looking for an ideal time of year for an ideal type of weather. :) 

 

sMtDBo0.png

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great list Ryan...and just a note that we ran a trail in Moab just a few weeks ago, and our leader used trailsoffroad.com....Worked wonderfully well....It was not a heavily used trail, and I had not downloaded from GAIA, so his phone with this app worked great.

smiles, ladybug

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So for those of you who are Trails Offroad fans and are also Apple users, they just released a stand alone app for iOS (link). It ties in to your existing subscription. 

 

My favorite feature is the ability to download an entire state with a single button click, giving you access to descriptions, way points, etc.

They make a note that it is NOT intended to supplant Gaia GPS. They still offer the 1-click Gaia import of any trails on their website.

 

Here's an excerpt from the email I received from them this morning regarding the release:

 

We were the first to create such an all-encompassing off-road trail guide made free to the public. We did that by being the first to work with enthusiasts all around the country to develop the best trail guides ever. Our writers are like family to me. We were the first to create an Advanced Rating System to better explain the trail’s difficulty. Those videos that go along with each trail guide, we were the first to do that too. We also were the first to start building a national database of trails with a uniform format.

Our app is different; it is not meant to replace GAIA GPS or any of your favorite map and navigation apps. The push to GAIA functionality that we all love will continue. Our app is simple, and it allows you to take our excellent trail guides with you, in offline mode even, and follow the trail Waypoint by Waypoint. I personally love the experience of the app on an iPad. We have a long list of enhancements planned for the apps. This is only the beginning for us. 

Give the app a try. We certainly would appreciate your five-star reviews on the IOS store of our first public edition. Your positive reviews will help us to create even better technology. You may not know this, but when you send in your product suggestions through our feedback system, we respond to all and figure out the best and fastest way to implement your great ideas, so please keep your feedback coming! You can give us private feedback right here that goes right to the guys coding the technology and me.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am starting to get interested in over-landing and want to head down that path in the next year or so. To say I am clueless is an accurate statement, but hey everyone has to start somewhere, right? 😀

 

I am interested in 2-3 day trips to start but need to do a few mods(Extra Fuel carrier to start) and whatnot.  I stumbled across an overland website that is free to join and has a variety of pre-built over-land routes. The routes have a Google map and GPX files available based on what see. Some are free and some you have to pay for. I only looked at a few on a high level and they seem very detailed. This may be something I use in the future in conjunction with other tools. I thought to pass it along should anyone be interested in it.

 

https://www.overlandtrailguides.com/

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, shellback91 said:

I am starting to get interested in over-landing and want to head down that path in the next year or so. To say I am clueless is an accurate statement, but hey everyone has to start somewhere, right? 😀

 

I am interested in 2-3 day trips to start but need to do a few mods(Extra Fuel carrier to start) and whatnot.  I stumbled across an overland website that is free to join and has a variety of pre-built over-land routes. The routes have a Google map and GPX files available based on what see. Some are free and some you have to pay for. I only looked at a few on a high level and they seem very detailed. This may be something I use in the future in conjunction with other tools. I thought to pass it along should anyone be interested in it.

 

https://www.overlandtrailguides.com/

 

Baller find man! I'll add this to the main post to keep thing tidy. I'm really digging that site! Here's their AZ only plans.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, shellback91 said:

I am starting to get interested in over-landing and want to head down that path in the next year or so. To say I am clueless is an accurate statement, but hey everyone has to start somewhere, right? 😀

 

I am interested in 2-3 day trips to start but need to do a few mods(Extra Fuel carrier to start) and whatnot.  I stumbled across an overland website that is free to join and has a variety of pre-built over-land routes. The routes have a Google map and GPX files available based on what see. Some are free and some you have to pay for. I only looked at a few on a high level and they seem very detailed. This may be something I use in the future in conjunction with other tools. I thought to pass it along should anyone be interested in it.

 

https://www.overlandtrailguides.com/

Start putting in the O.T., lol. We got serious about it a little over a year ago...and...we're broke, again, but look at all the cool toys!. Just remember, it's called camping not suffering. Be happy to share any knowledge we've gained.

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Stacey and Scott said:

Just remember, it's called camping not suffering.

 

QotD right there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Stacey and Scott said:

Start putting in the O.T., lol. We got serious about it a little over a year ago...and...we're broke, again, but look at all the cool toys!. Just remember, it's called camping not suffering. Be happy to share any knowledge we've gained.

I follow the method described in the classic Johnny Cash song "One Piece At A Time".  Easier on the wallet and less questions from my better half AKA My CFO. 🤣

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...