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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.

Trek Leg 1 : The Great Southern Mail Stage Route & Diablo Drop-off  

Diablo Drop-off is a twin-tiered steep descent that is historically heavily eroded, requiring good ground clearance and articulation.

The Great Southern Mail Stage Route & Diablo Drop-off

Leaving Sweeney Pass, we headed north through the picturesque Canyon sin Nombre, to exit on and explore the Southern Overland Stage Route along the intact Carrizo-Vallecito corridor as far east as the Carrizo Stage station, and west past Palm Oasis relay station and out towards Vallecito Station. Heading further north we explored two canyons along the earthquake fault, Arroyo Seco del Diablo and Arroyo Tapiado. Both lead to Diablo Drop-off, providing an alternative if you are turned back by one of the common canyon mudslides caused by an earthquake or flash flood. Climbing out of the Arroyo Seco del Diablo to the summit plateau we enjoyed the panoramic views of the Jacumba Mountains to the south and looking north, Fish Creek Canyon, Carrizo Badlands and the Santa Rosa Mountains. Diablo Drop-off is a twin-tiered steep descent that is historically heavily eroded, requiring good ground clearance and articulation. Rating: Leg 2 starts Easy by traveling through Canyon sin Nombre and surviving dirt sections of the Butterfield Overland Stage Route. Trail became more technical as we approach Diablo Drop-off, now a Moderate route after the parks department graded a portion. This was done in 2013, and erosion could soon see it evolve back to a Difficult rating. Drop-off is now one-way, running north.

Trek Leg:
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Click for Leg Preview 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