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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.

Oregon Owyhee Desert Series

Oregon Owyhee Desert Series

ION Three Corners - Where Idaho, Oregon & Nevada come together.




Leg 11 Buckskin Pass to Owyhee Desert



Oregon Owyhee Desert Trek Series 

Leg 1 Owyhee Desert to Rome 

Leg 2 Rome to Owyhee Canyons

Leg 3 Owyhee Canyons to Silver City




Leg 1 Silver City to Oregon Trail  






Full Journey:
Scouting Synopsis



Route follows trails used by natives for 10,000 years before the first white man arrived looking for furs and a passage to the South Seas. Three North West Fur Company employees were killed in 1818 while trapping for beaver. The area was named “Owhyee” in honor of the trappers’ Hawaiian roots. Shortly after gold was discovered in 1863, tribal people fought hard to retain their historical homelands when ranches and ‘Home Stations’ for travelers, freight wagons, and stagecoaches were built from Silver City to Owyhee Crossing. Travel on old wagon roads originally blazed to move ore from the mines and supplies/cattle to mining camps; across a landscape that looks much the way it did 150 years ago.

Trek Series:
Trek Stage:
See Route Slideshows Below
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Trek Leg 1 : Owyhee Desert to Rome  

Shortly after gold was discovered in 1863, tribal people fought hard to retain their historical homelands. Few routes were attacked as fiercely as Idaho Stage Co. Line that follows trails used by natives for 10,000 years

Owyhee Desert to Rome

Route follows the Owyhee River over remote desert trails used by 1860’s prospectors and pioneer stockmen to reach the mines of the Silver City Range and War Eagle Mountain. Some of these trails crossed the river at Three Forks while others carried on to Owhyee Crossing where a ferry service was provided. Route provides option to hike-in to camp or visit the natural Hot Springs at Three Forks before retracing the 150 year old Hill Beachy’s Idaho Stage Co. road, traveling under the landmark ‘Pillars of Rome”, across Owyhee Crossing and up Jordan Valley, passing ruins of ‘Home Stations’ fortified for the 1860’s Indian wars. Rating: Easy but open desert section is very remote. However, “Pillars of Rome” and Owyhee Crossing aren’t remote if open desert section is bypassed.

Click on photo for
Scout Report
Trek Leg 2 : Rome to Owyhee Canyon  

Jean Baptiste Charbonneau son of Sacajawea crossed Owyhee Crossing in May of 1866 on his way to Montana gold fields with two other prospectors. The cold spring waters are thought to have contributed to his Mountain Fever (pneumonia). He was taken to Inskeep Stage Station some 25 miles up-road where he passed away.

Rome to Owyhee Canyon

It is easy to see why natives gravitated to this region for many years before Europeans arrived. The ‘Pillars of Rome’ bluffs have a mystical aura. From Owyhee Crossing, the route travels to another ancient crossing at Three Forks. The cavalry built a fort to protect prospectors traveling to and from mines in Idaho, Nevada and California; but could not hold the native stronghold. The route carries on to where the river meets the Warm Springs Canyon Hot Springs and further upriver to the foreboding deep shadowed canyons that, to this day, see very little of mankind.  Rating: Easy up to Three Forks and Moderate for option to remote deep walled canyons. 

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Scout Report
Trek Leg 3 : Owyhee Canyon to Silver City  

Old West At Its Best: Remote-rugged desert, deep shadowed canyons, towering mountains, colorful old west history & relics to explore

Owyhee Canyon to Silver City

Attention was first drawn to the area when gold was discovered in 1863 followed by silver several years later. A five hundred pound silver and ruby nugget displayed at the Paris Exposition drew world attention. Wagon roads and pack trails crisscross Florida Mountain, South Mountain and the near 10,000-foot War Eagle, leaving a tremendous network of wilderness trails. At the heart is Silver City, an outstanding Old West Town survivor; stabilized and protected by enthusiasts, in many cases descendents of the original owners. Thirty-five structures survive including the 1866 Idaho Hotel; still a purveyor of authentic lodging, meals and spirits. Rating: Easy except for Moderate option to remote deep walled canyons.

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Scout Report
           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

In the meantime follow our expeditions on Facebook