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Dean

Good resources for anyone heading to CO, UT, AZ, NV, and CA

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Two of the biggest resources i used when planning my 2016 trip out west were the Backcountry Discovery Routes and the TrailDamage.com web-site.

 

Backcountry Discovery Routes (aka "BDR") - The BDR's are a series of overland routes that feature some of the best back roads of a given state.  They usually run from border to border and take multiple days to complete.  They are primarily set up for dual-sport motorcyles but since they run on "roads" (paved and mostly unpaved) there is nothing from stopping 4x4's from doing them.  A word of caution though, what's easy on a motorcycle can be nearly impossible in a full-size four-wheel-drive vehicle, and visa-versa.  Always a good idea to digital pre-run the route (web-wheel, research, youtube videos, etc) to see what people have to say about the route.  Also check the BDR site for updates, road closures, re-routes, and forest fires.

 

TrailDamage.com - The trail damage site has information on 4x4 trails in Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.  Pick a trail, any trail, and if you've heard of it chances are they have information on it.  Each trail page will have a breakdown of the trail, ratings for things like rocks, mud, water, scenic, etc, a narrative of the trail, videos, and GPX files for the routes, landmarks, and other noteworthy locations (like campsites, gates, and latrines).  Great way to digital pre-run some trails and get a rundown of a trail before running it yourself.  That said, it's all relative because what is easy for one guy might be sphincter-pucker-enducecing for someone else.

 

These are just two resources among many that are out there.  The BDR's are a great route and rumor has it they are working on a Mid-Atlantic BDR to be released within a year or so (hopefully in 2017 but maybe not till 2018).  Till then, they are a great resource.  While the GPX files are nice, I highly suggest the paper maps.  Well worth the money.

For anyone heading to Moab, make sure to hit up their visitor's center for some maps.  There are some great trail maps worth picking up.  My copies are currently on loan, but once I get them back I'll snap some pics.

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