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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 New Scout Route feature added in 2022 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 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: https://azoffroading.com/arizona-trails/ https://www.alltrails.com/us/arizona/off-road-driving https://www.jeeptheusa.com/arizona-jeep-trails.html Native Land Digital 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?
We had an awesome time. Pups and us are so exhausted but what an amazing trip!! Link to our photos. Trip photos On the way home Marty was kind enough to follow us for a bit as we were spewing out smoke. Turns out the output shaft seal on the transfer case popped out and sent fluid back over the exhaust. It smoked like crazy and coated the underside and rear tire with oil. Thankfully we didn't catch on fire. So we are fixing that issue too. She sure was a cranky XJ this trip!!
This is the new event post. Trip were postponed from July to August due to national forest closures due to wildfires. Original planning discussion can be found here. Northern AZ Overland Traverse Friday August 20 & Saturday August 21 | Cottonwood to Williams, AZ Primitive Tent Camping | No Facilities Join me for 2 days and 135-ish miles of dirt therapy on this overland-style adventure! We’ll be running a modified version of the Northern Arizona Overland Traverse, which I’ve modified to be shorter, adding in a few side-stops. This route will take us through the chaparral forested Prescott NF and into the higher altitude ponderosa pines of Kaibab NF. We’ll start our trip in the town of Cottonwood, meeting up for a great breakfast before departing. Along the way we’ll take in several different views of Sycamore Canyon as we stop along the rim in several places. The majority of our ride will be easy trails, with a decent stretch of moderate trails with a few small technical sections. We’ll have the option of a short hike to see some pretty amazing cliff dwellings overlooking the red rocks. Camp will be made in the cool pines in Kaibab NF. The following day, we’ll head out to Sycamore Point for some panoramic views, and wind our way north, with our final stop in Williams. While there, we can check out Route 66, grab some lunch (or an early dinner), before parting company and heading home. Meetup for Breakfast We'll grab some breakfast in town at Crema Craft Kitchen, an award-winning brunch joint. We'll hang out, drink coffee, eat some great food, talk about the plan, and head out when we’re ready! When: August 20th @ 7am Where: Crema Craft Kitchen (link) 917 N Main St, Cottonwood, AZ 86326 **Please arrive fueled up and ready** Parking: There are 2 public (and free) lots within 1 block north and south of the restaurant South (closest): 34.74701179140745, -112.02754154260568 North: 34.74805909700933, -112.02644536506874 Trip Itinerary Please note that the itinerary is approximate. Day 1: Friday, August 20th Breakfast meetup (7am) Depart after breakfast Hit the road! Cruise down 89a and through Jerome Turn north into Prescott National Forest Scenic Drive (easy) Break for lunch Optional hike to the dwellings (300ft elevation gain) Back on the road! Scenic drive (easy to moderate) Cross over into Kaibab National Forest Camp Finding (Excess drive may be approx 5-10mi depending on availability of sites) Set up camp! Day 2: Saturday, August 21st Wake up / Pack up / Eat Hit the road, Jack! If needed, we'll stop in Williams for fuel Trail ride to Sycamore Point Take a break, explore, enjoy the views Trail ride ending in downtown Williams on Old Route 66 Get your kicks on Route 66 (Williams, AZ) Grab some lunch locally (tons of options) Check out the sites, enjoy the town Part ways and head home via your favorite highway (if you want!) Odds are, you'll be home by dark on Saturday Trail Difficulty | Exploratory Note that I have NOT run these trails personally, hence the "exploratory" status. Based on research, the majority of our trail time will be easy dirt roads. There will be an approx 4-5mi stint that is moderate, with a few sections requiring 4L. Link to map tracks and waypoints here ***The route is subject to change based upon damage sustained by the Rafael Wildfire Average Weather | Area Weather for the Timeframe of this Trip As we'll be at an altitude of over 6,000ft for the majority of our trip, I'd expect seasonal highs of 78. Our preferred campsite is at 8,000ft and should be around a high of 73* based on seasonal average highs. Sunrise: 5:23am Sunset: 7:46pm Moon Phase: New Moon (perfect for stargazing) Avg High Temp: 78* Avg Low Temp: 52* Williams Altitude: 6,700ft Camping Altitude: 7,000-8,000ft (temperature falls 5* per 1,000ft) Approximate Trip Milage The below are APPROXIMATIONS of speed, and duration. Distance is accurate. Anticipation is we will spend the majority of our time in 2H or 4H, meaning we should be pretty fuel efficient. The passage into Kaibab will require 4L in a few spots. Our furthest distance without a fuel stop will be (101 miles). Based on the above estimates, we should be making camp around 4 to 5pm. However, that is a SWAG (smoking wild-ass guess). If it begins to approach dark quicker than expected, we'll camp at the first suitable spot (sunset isn't until 7:46pm). Requirements A high clearance 4x4 truck or suv with a low range transfer case option, suitable front & rear recovery point, aggressive A/T or M/T tires While not required, aftermarket skid plates, rock rails, and sway-bar disconnects are recommended. Rigs & drivers must meet all the typical state/federal legal requirements for on-highway vehicles (license, insurance, registration, seatbelts, lights, etc.) Vehicle should be mechanically sound and safe to drive Drivers of varying experience should be fine on this trip PRIMITIVE CAMPING Camping stuff (tent, sleeping bag, chair, stove, etc.) Other Important Info Bring 2 lunches, 1 dinner, 1 breakfast, snacks MORE water than you need Camping (PRIMITIVE) We'll camp at high elevation (approx 8,000 feet) where temps are expected to drop to 50 degrees. Please remember appropriate clothing and bedding. This is during summer, high summer, so plan accordingly with appropriate clothing, sunscreen, and MORE water than you think you need. Average seasonal high temp is 82 for the area. Monsoon. Summer brings the monsoon. And while we haven't had a good one in a long time, this just might be our year. Rain is entirely possible. We'll keep an eye on the forecast as we get closer. Radio Comms Primary - GMRS channel 20 (462.675 MHz) Secondary - Ham simplex 146.460 Mhz Recovery gear, first aid kit, fire extinguisher Folding chair, camera Sign-Ups Rig limit: 8 CONFIRMED 1 - @4x4tographer (lead) 2 - @johnpa 3 - @Curly 4 - @mynr1 5 - @shellback91 6 - @Bradywgn71 7 - @We Just Go 8 - @theksmith Standby Squad - -