Do you love overlanding but need more off road trails to explore? Whether you are looking for off road trails in Colorado, off road trails in Arizona, off road trails in Texas, California, or any other state there are many ways to locate awesome trails while planning your overland adventure. This is an important step to planning your overland adventure.
Here is my process to find the best off road trails near me:
Locate public land in your area
The first step in finding awesome off road trails in your area is to locate where you are on a GPS app. You can start with Google Maps, but I use the GPS app Gaia for planning almost all of my adventures.
Once as you locate your location you can look around for nearby public land on the map. Even Google Maps highlights National Forests which you can identify fairly easily. However, it can be hard to identify other types of public land such as land administered by the Bureau of Land Management. To find those you’ll need a GPS app like Gaia or OnX Offroad. If you do not have a outdoor GPS app you can search up the BLM website for public land in your state.
Once as you locate the public land you can start looking for trails.
A good starting point would be to search up off road trails in that specific area of land. If it there are designated OHV areas, they should show up in search. Additionally, National Forests often have Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs) on their websites that you can use to identify trails.
If nothing comes up in a search you can locate trails on your GPS. GPS apps like Gaia will show you gravel roads and trials, and designates which ones are more challenging than others. Even Google maps can help you identify some more heavily trafficked trials and gravel roads which can be a good starting point. Switching to satellite overlay in Google Maps will also help you get a better idea of the terrain and composition of the trail.
Not all public land is meant for OHV use so if you notice that the public land does not have any trails go back to the first step and find land that does.
Plan your route
While looking through available trails and roads, find a route that fits your style. For me it is often longer, intermediate trails that have cool sights and spots to camp at. Others may look for intense rock crawling trails. Whatever you are looking for you can often see how difficult the trail is through the map legend or by researching the spot on the internet.
Make sure to look up ahead of time to see if the trail is closed off or inaccessible as some maps can be outdated. Not all trail closures are noted on the internet, so always have a contingency plan in case you get there and find out that the trail is closed off.
Do not go off on trails not marked on official maps or try to make your own as that is a good way to damage the land and potentially get more trails shut down. Be a responsible off roader!
Check out our Checklist Before Hitting the Trail for more information to prep for your next adventure.
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