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Old West Routes
 

Use the Route tab to explore options by desired time and pace on the trail.  

Our Scouting Reports & GPS Tracklogs retrace the paths blazed to old west frontiers by early pioneers and prospectors. They left an ideal overland explores playground in their wake; remote pack trails, wagon roads, water routes, ghost towns, boom camp survivors, mine relics, colorful history and a spirit for adventure that inspires. 

 
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North American Overland Journeys
 

Location tabs are the fastest way to find geographic regions of interest and interconnected trails.

All of our Scout Reports and GPS Tracklogs flow continuously from one interesting region to another, state-to-state, province-to-province, nation-to-nation using as little pavement as possible, and when we do, it tends to be byways versus freeways.

 
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Go Deeper: Foot, Bike, Horseback & Watercraft
 

For many, self-reliant vehicle overlanding is the adventure. Others Go Deeper. 

All our Scouting Expeditions provide opportunity to hike, bike and backpack. Many routes also provide equestrian and watercraft journey extensions. We’ve flagged some favorites to inspire you to take your overland adventure to another level.

 
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Explore what fascinates you the most.
 

Every Scouting Expedition is researched to travel through Old West Frontiers rich with interesting trails, tales and relics. 

The roar of the rush has subsided, but imprints linger; ghost towns, abandoned rails turned to trails, surviving boomtowns that retain the charm of yesteryear continue to outfit today’s adventurers with supplies, historical lodging and spirits. Look deeper, and you will find signs of Native America.

 
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Choose Your Pace & Challenge
 

As most of our Scouting Expedition GPS Tracklogs are interlinked, the base route is most often Easy or Moderate, but we explore Difficult options along the way. Some can be overgrown and sometimes barley visible, making them that much more appealing for those looking to build that into thier own adventure. Three broad categories are used but beware, what is Easy today can be Difficult tommorow, due to environmental conditions (see Go Prepared). 

 
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Get Lost in the Journey
 

One of the greatest pleasures associated with 4WD vehicle overlanding is the ability to wander at will, as one trail leads to another in a maze of options. However, advance research can help you explore routes that fascinate you the most and can make the most of your time.

There is nothing wrong with using a map and compass for guidance. In fact, you should always have them with you. But GPS technology and affordable mapping software really empower you to free-flow and always have a sense of where you are, at all times.

 
Devils Chasm Cliff Dwelling built by Salado Natives in 1280-1320, a challenging hike up Arizona Sierra Anchas Mountains.
Explore: Ancient Cliff Dwellings & Native America
Retracing Prehistoric Civilizations, Routes & Conflicts

Frontier Routes got their start long before recorded history, as natives traveled North America for thousands of years. Early frontiersmen were often well received by Indians open to trade and eager to share these footpaths, until greedy treasure seekers and European emigrants dispossessed them of their ancestral lands. Lewis & Clark may have never discovered the Lolo Trail had their Shoshone guide not led the Corp of Discovery Expedition to the Bitterroot Mountain Pass used by the Nez Perce to reach the Great Plains for their annual buffalo hunt. Before Apache Trail became a famous stagecoach road, Yavapais and Apaches used the trail for raids along Salt River from their Superstition Mountain stronghold. Also found in this section, are links to ruins of permanent native settlements that go back 800 years. Stone pueblos and cliff dwellings built under naturally occurring cavities in volcanic rock, requiring steep climbs or ladders provided protection from the elements and invading tribes; hundreds of remotes ruins survive, cultural treasures waiting to be rediscovered.

Trek Legs

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The Great Southern Mail Stage Route & Diablo Drop-off

Retracing surviving sections of the Overland Stage Route in the storied Carrizo-Vallecito corridor along Anza-Borrego’s earthquake valley; Arroyo Seco del Diablo - Arroyo Tapiado loop to Diablo Drop-off, a dramatic gateway to Sandstone Canyon.

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Prehistoric Oasis, Goat Canyon & Great Overland Stage Road

Jacumba Mountains have attracted overlanders for 6000 years; a region thick with sacred native sites, palm tree oasis, serene 4WD roads and adventurist hiking trails, in the most beautiful rugged desert region in Anza Borrego.

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Chiricahua Hoodoo “Hands Pass” Backdoor Trail

Hands Pass, a little known and used historical back door trail from the 27 million year old Chiricahua Hoodoos - dramatic pinnacles, columns, spires and balanced rocks; ideal for exploration.

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Devils Chasm: Ancient Salado Remote Cliff Dwelling

Cherry Creek Road passes through Salt River Canyon Wilderness to reach Devils Chasm, an incredibly well preserved remote ruin. Further down Cheery Creek, trail becomes more rugged, as it travels on ledge roads of deep canyons.

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Ancient Cliff Dwellings & Moki Dugway

TREK LEG ROUTE SLIDESHOW and GPS/GPX Maps are ACTIVE.

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Cochise Stronghold Canyon

Cochise Stronghold Canyon provides a fantastic array of secluded and sheltered dispersed camp areas. The Apache used these mountains to evade the US Cavalry until Cochise signed a treaty in 1872, on these very grounds, where he was born and buried in a secret location.

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Sedona Red Rock Cliff Dwellings

TREK LEG ROUTE SLIDESHOW and GPS/GPX Maps are ACTIVE.

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Montezuma & Ancient Pueblo Ruins

TREK LEG ROUTE SLIDESHOW and GPS/GPX Maps are ACTIVE.

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Moab Sandstone Arches & Monuments

TREK LEG ROUTE SLIDESHOW and GPS/GPX Maps are ACTIVE.

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Besh-Ba-Gowa Pueblo, Globe & Miame Ghost Town

Byway loosely travels ancient trade route to Mexico, passing Bésh Baa Gową ruins, a prehistoric 400 room trade Pueblo, later spawned the 1875 mine camp of Globe and nearby Miami. Many turn-of-the century structures survive in the near ghost town.

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Apache Trail & Superstitions

Trek Legs make it easy to dip in and out for a day and/or a night of dispersed camping on the way to Overland Expo or spend days on four different mining region trails leading to the heart of an 800 year old civilization and a true desert oasis along Grand Canyon.

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Apache Sacred Lands

While there’s an Easy route into this wonderful region, those seeking more challenge will find the Difficult options rewarding. It is easy to see why Apache held sacred ceremonies in this volcanic-rock boulder studded land, now a magnate to 4WD enthusiasts, hikers, birders and rock climbers.

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Havasupai Point on Grand Canyon South Rim.

Havasupai Point is a rare opportunity for a road less traveled to Grand Canyon, for dispersed camping and sightseeing, away from the masses that flock to the South Rim.

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Route 66 & Havasupai Falls

Nothing compares in Arizona to the extraordinary beauty we found in the ancient land of the Havasupai – the blue-green water people. This stunning desert oasis requires a 10-mile backpack or horseback ride, making the destination all that much more rewarding.

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Shoup to Ft. Fizzel

Route retraces Lewis & Clark’s aborted trip up the Salmon River and on to “Lost Trail Pass” where the Discovery Corp lost their way while traveling over the Continental Divide. Trek finishes at “Lolo Trail” a Nez Perce path used for their annual buffalo hunt.

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Bonanza to Bayhorse Mine

Starting in ghost town of Bonanza, route retraces toll wagon/stage road past intact Yankee Forks Gold Dredge, Custer ghost town, over 8,800’ pass to Challis and to outstanding Bayhorse Ghost Town and white-knuckle ledge road to Skylark Mine.

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Owyhee Canyon to Silver City

Travel from the deep-shadowed and remote canyons of the Owyhee River, through the Indian War stronghold of Three Forks to the heart of the second richest silver strike of the old west, War Eagle Mountain. Relive Silver City, a tremendous valley boomtown survivor where you can refresh your party at the 1866 Idaho Hotel.

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Owyhee Desert to Rome

Route travels across open desert historical trails used to reach the War Eagle Mines via Owyhee Crossing. Follow the river to Rome, past a series of column-like bluffs on Hill Beachy’s Stage Road and ‘Home Stations’ fortified during 1860’s Indian wars.

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Rome to Owyhee Canyon

Follow the route traveled by Chief Buffalo Horn, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau son of Sacajawea and the Silver City to Virginia City Stage passing the mystical ‘Pillars of Rome’ and on to the other ancient crossing of the Owyhee River at Three Forks and the remote deep shadowed canyons upriver.

OverlandFrontier.com Must Come To An End

It is with a heavy heart that we must advise our supporters that we are forced to close the Overland Frontier website. While the site was only open for one year, we started development many years earlier. Since that time the importance of a mobile friendly website has increased. We hope we can be back one day, with a new and improved resource for overland routes. We have so many more Treks, Journeys and Expeditions that we did not have time to showcase. We are anxious to find a new mobile-friendly channel to share these routes with other enthusiasts and we are open to ideas and partners; contact rogermercier@me.com

In the meantime follow our expeditions on Facebook