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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.

 
Never before has an 18-month venture captured the imagination of people worldwide; 150 years later we retrace the Pony Express.
Explore: Iconic Historical Trails
Retracing Paths of Early Frontiersman & Trade Routes of The Old West

The Old Spanish Trail, considered one of the most arduous of all trade routes ever established in America was blazed by Spanish explorers, trappers and traders with the aid of Ute tribes in the early 1500’s. Later natives also guided French and British trappers to prehistoric foot paths that, in many cases, became the foundation for early frontier and emigrant routes; Alexander MacKenzie of the Northwest Company following the Nuxalk-Carrier Grease Trail from the Fraser River to Bella Coola, BC was the first European to cross North America in 1793, The John C Frémont Expedition, Lewis & Clark Corp of Discovery Expedition, Santa Fe Trail, Apache Trail, Oregon Trail, Cherokee Trail, Dewdney Trail, Cariboo Wagon Trail, Chilkoot Pass, Pony Express, Butterfield Stage Route, to name a few. We jump in an out of many of these iconic routes as we Zig Zag our way from one interesting Old West hot spot to another.

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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Retallack-Cody Over-the-top Trail

A region so thick with relics, it was coined the “Valley of the Ghosts”. Off-road vehicles can retrace the exhilarating over-the-top Retallack to Cody Wagon Road past interesting mines and jaw dropping mountain views. Retrace the 1891 discovery route of 'Silvery Slocan'.

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Gleeson Pearce Ghost Town Road & The Dragoon Mountains

We followed the High Lonesome Road to the tip of the Dragon Mountains. Cochise County coined the route the Pearce Ghost Town Road, to stimulate interest in the relic-rich region. Weaving between the old road and abandoned bed of the Arizona & Colorado Railway added interest.

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Berlin, side-door to Pony Express and Ft. Churchill

Berlin ghost town has been stabilized and protected, so there is much to see. Up the hill, we explored a ancient Ichthyosaur dinosaur bed. Our route makes a stop at the intact Poinsettia Mine camp before traveling north past Rawhide where we join the Pony Express to Fort Churchill.

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Lowell, The Shady Dell & The High Lonesome Road

During my research for interesting trails running north from the Mexican-SE Arizona, I came across a road called “The High Lonesome”. It was just so Hollywood romantic; I had to try it out. The abandoned road is a blast, but it was discovering the combined Bisbee-Lowell urban frontier, that was so magical.

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Great Divide Overland Trail Lander Cutoff

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

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Nevada City, Virginia City & Alder Gulch

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

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Rubicon Trail Day 3

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

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1869 South Pass City & Carissa Mine

Under construction but TREK LEG SLIDESHOWS are ACTIVE.

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South Pass Oregon, Mormon & Pony Express Trail

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

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Rubicon Trail Day 1 & 2

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

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Nelson & Techatticup Mines

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

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Bannack, 1864 Capital of Montana Territory

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

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Old Woman Mountains & Mojave Wilderness

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

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Overland Stage, Virginia Dale & Encampment

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

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YaHaTinda & Outpost at Warden Rock

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

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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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Route 66 Byway (Oatman to Flagstaff)

Did you know the roots of iconic Route 66 date back to a prehistoric trade route that was broadened to a wagon road by the Army Camel Corps?

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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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Moss Wash to Gold King

Moss Wash back door to Gold King Mine provides a challenging trail link to Route 66 and the spectacular Havasu Falls or Grand Canyon Havasupai Point.

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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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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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Black Rock to B.R. Range

The route across Black Rock Desert provides the longest intact segments of the historic emigrant trails to California and Oregon in the western US and a wilderness landscape largely unchanged since first explored by The Frémont Expedition in 1843

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Pyramid Lake to Black Rock

Route leaves sandy beaches of Pyramid Lake to travel across remote desert open range trails to the infamous Black Rock Desert playa, a route first explored by The 1843 Frémont Expedition, before it was incorporated into the California Trail.

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Virginia City to NV Baja

Wallow in the old west glory of Virginia City, take a historical toll road and carry on wagon roads past Lousetown and Washington Mine to Pyramid Lake where you can drive along sandy Baja-like beaches until you find an ideal spot to camp.

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Ft. Churchill to Virginia City

Depart the ruins of the Union Army Fort and follow the Pony Express to Virginia City, one of North Americas’ best-preserved 1860’s old west boomtowns, home to the incredible Comstock Silver Lode and terminus to Virginia & Truckee RR, now reopened.

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