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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.

 
Explore: Lost Treasures & Geocache Trails
Retrace Legendary Quests of the Old West & Caches Overland Frontier Left Nearby

The American West is full of wonder, legends and quests. The earliest fabled quests, started in what was then Northern Mexico, now Arizona; The Conquistador search in 1520 for the Aztec “Montezuma Sunken Garden”, The Francisco Vasquez de Coronado’s 1540 expedition for the “Seven Golden Cities of Cibola”, The 1840 Perelta’s Lost Spanish Mine that ultimately evolved to the most famous Old West legend, the Lost Dutchman Mine. An early find by emigrants traveling the Oregon Trail led many prospectors into Idaho, that, while not finding the Lost Blue Bucket Mine, did discover major bonanzas. Others followed; Lost Breyfogle Mine, Lost Spanish Mound, Lost Cody Ledge, Lost Hardin Mine, Lost Lemon Mine, to name a few. Most lost treasure legends, albeit embellished over time, are based on some historical facts and, as a result, find their way into our Scouting Reports. To celebrate these legends and other scenic treasures, we have hidden small containers for the millions of GPS Geocache enthusiasts. Take and leave a something from our cache and include a journal entry about your treasure quest experience.

Trek Legs

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Cochrane Coke Ovens, Martinez Mine & Box Canyon

Trail leaves wide-open section of Cochran Wagon Road, entering rugged Martinez Canyon and on to the steep-walled, narrow Box Canyon Trail. Optional, challenging side trip to Martinez Mine.

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White Mountain Wilderness to Battleaxe-Gila River Trail

Drop in-out of White Mountains for dispersed camping or carry on for incredible array of eye-pleasing geography, Gila-Battle Axe Trail, Cochran Coke Ovens Stage Route and Martinez Canyon.

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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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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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Pass Canyon to Oatman

Diverse range of remote trails and craggy canyons of the Black Mountain, first blazed in 1860’s, now populated only by curious mountain sheep and wild burros.

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Perry Back Rd to Rossland

Perry Back Road follows the slow flowing part of the Slocan River, ideally suited to paddlers, floaters and swimmers. Bikers/hikers can take advantage of the extensive Rail-to-trail network on their way to the exciting gold rush city of Rossland.

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Ft. Fizzel to Wallace

Wallace is a gem worth spending some time in; resupply, dine and refresh your party at the Art-Deco Ryan Hotel before driving/biking through 14 cavernous tunnels and 9 high trestles of The Route of The Hiawatha nearby.

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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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Bayhorse to Shoup Byway

As with all our routes, we avoid paved roads as much as possible in favor of less traveled backroads that go deeper into wilderness regions. In doing so in this series, we miss the nicest section of one of America’s most scenic two-lane paved byways.

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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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Idaho City to Grimes Pass

Boise Basin Gold Rush was one of the earliest in Washington Territory and was, in large part, responsible for Idaho becoming a state a year after the 1862 discovery. The area is peppered with relics and old mining wagon roads into pristine wilderness.

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Atlanta to Idaho City

Route starts in Atlanta, just south of the Sawtooth Range and travels along four separate scenic river canyons to Idaho City, the most prosperous of all of the Boise Basin Gold Rush Camps; a survivor that continues to serve today’s overlanders.

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Oregon Trail to Atlanta

Perpetuate the accomplishments of 400,000 original ‘Overlanders’ that crossed America on the Oregon Trial by retracing Three Island Crossing to Bonneville Point before carrying on to the outstanding Sawtooth Mountain ghost town of Atlanta.

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Silver City to Oregon Trail

Legendary Lost Blue Bucket Mine of 1845 discovered by an Oregon Trail party captivated many to seek the site, leading to the 1863 gold strike made below War Eagle Mountain and the incredible silver bonanza in the surrounding mountains.

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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.

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B.R. Range to Buckskin Pass

Trail leaves awe-inspiring views afforded by the Black Rock Range Highlands, drops down into lush pastures, travels through desert rangeland and climbs back up to 7,389’ Buckskin Pass gateway, site of legendary 1859 Lost Buckskin Mine.

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Buckskin Pass to Owhyee Desert

Route carries on from picturesque Windy Gap switchbacks, past mines lured to the region by the legendary 1859 Lost Buckskin Mine, before reaching the summit and a ledge road that drops down lush rangelands to Owyhee Desert.

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Belmont to Berlin via 10,000' Ophir Pass

You may find it difficult to leave the charismatic ghost town of Belmont, but the 10,000’ Ophir Canyon Pass awaits - up a rugged road, over, and down a breathtaking ledge road before dropping into Ione Canyon to the ghost towns of Ione and Berlin.

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Gold Point to Tonopah

Route travels from the fantastic ghost town of Gold Point with over 50 relics to explore, through sparse Joshua tree forest, extensive mine relics and boomtown survivors of Goldfield and Tonopah.

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Sandon & Trails of Idaho Peak

Explore the eclectic collection of ghost town relics in Sandon before you drive to Idaho Peak trailhead for an easy hike that provides breathtaking views of the entire Slocan Valley and puts you eye-to-eye with Kokanee Park and Vahalla Glaciers.

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Retallack to Sandon and the Kaslo & Slocan Rail Trail

Mountains flush with trails to explore; old wagon roads, abandoned rail beds and pack trails that lead to interesting mines, ghost towns, incredible mountain top views, alpine meadows and wilderness camps.

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Sasquatch Lake to Kaslo

Old mining wagon roads fan out from Ainsworth Hot Springs and Kalso providing access to the mountain wilderness above and Kokanee Glacier Park adventures. Historical Sternwheeler landings and marinas continue to launch watercraft of all kinds.

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Ft. Steele to Crawford Bay

Refresh your party at the 1873 St. Eugene Mission, turned resort. Choose the paved byway via Creston or take the gravel-dirt Grey Creek Pass over the top of the Selkirk range, down steep switchbacks to the West Kootenay and Crawford Bay.

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US Border to Fort Steele

This Leg leaves the Idaho-Montana Journey to travel through ‘The Sunny Side of the Rockies’ to the restored boomtown and North West Mounted Police Post; Ft. Steele supply center to Wild Horse Gold Rush of 1863.

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Tonopah to Belmont & Austin

WWII ghost hangers, boomtown survivors, extensive mining relics, ghost towns, hot springs you can bath in, prehistoric cave pictographs and an extensive network of stagecoach/wagon roads, serine desert and Toiyabe Forest trails to explore.

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