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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.

Joshua Tree (above) can be linked with Anza-Borrego Desert, Mojave Desert and Death Valley Desert Expeditions.
Locations: California
For Overlanders California offers a different kind of Disneyland

...Anza-Borrego Desert, Joshua Tree and the Mojave Desert as well as the famed Death Valley, the hottest desert in North America. Our scouting expeditions of these three deserts, when joined, travel over 90% dirt, sand and rock trails. We started just above the Baja Border at Goat Canyon and the Overland Stage Route, weaving our way up and through Anza-Borrego Desert. After a short pavement patch to Palm Springs, we scouted a backdoor to Joshua Tree and the Mohave Desert that links nicely to a journey into Death Valley – which connects ideally to a scouted Nevada expedition that crosses the state on 98% dirt, sand and rock trails. California is also home to the famous and infamous Rubicon Trail, which is featured as part of our Gold Rush Journey.


Three-Nation Nomad Overland Expeditions

Pick and choose from our interlinked scouting expeditions and a series of Marine Ferry options to create your own self-guided expedition that cross the most interesting frontier overland routes in North America.


Anza Borrego Desert Iconic Trails & Oasis Journey

Over 500 miles of 4WD roads and 100 miles of hiking/biking trails provide remote access into the largest desert state park in the US; badlands, sandstone canyons, palm tree oasis, articulation-testing trenches, steep hills and drop-offs.

1849 California Gold Rush Journey


Joshua Tree & Mojave Desert Journey


Death Valley Journey

Once a 100 mile, 600 foot deep lake. Now the hottest, driest, lowest place in North America, only 85 miles from the highest peak in the contiguous US, at 14,505. Diverse, terrain and trails. Avoid summer 120 degree temperatures. 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