Best Overlanding Routes in The United States
Many of our Four Wheel Camper families are involved or interested in overlanding. The term ‘overlanding’ refers to ‘the act of traveling to remote and desolate locations, which can last for days, weeks, or years, with self-reliant tools and equipment.’
We are lucky to live in one of the most diverse countries in the world, with a plethora of overlanding, camping, and adventuring routes to choose from coast to coast. If you ask anyone who is part of the FWC family, they’ll likely share an exciting story or two that took place down a dusty two-track, bumpy forest service road, or beyond.
If you’ve just picked up your slide-in truck camper or pop-up truck topper, or are considering overlanding in the future, we’ve brought you our best overlanding routes in the United States.
The Maze District Adventure Route, Utah
Length: 246 miles
This overlanding route takes adventurers to some of the most remote dirt roads in the country, so be sure all the proper gear is packed before taking off, including an emergency GPS beacon. The entire route is 246 miles and takes the average group 5-8 days to complete. You will need a backcountry permit from Canyonlands National Park. At least 10 gallons of extra fuel are recommended. For more information, Overland Trail Guides has a great report on this route.
The Alpine Loop, Colorado
Length: 63 miles
Perhaps one of the most scenic drives in America, The Alpine Loop in Colorado reaches heights of over 12,000ft. The road is only accessible with 4×4 campers & vehicles, which allows adventurers to experience the Rocky Mountains without crowds. There are numerous places to hike, camp, and bike along this route, making it perfect for overlanders to camp out for a few days in their Four Wheel truck camper. This is rated a medium because there are certain sections with cliff exposure.
Sedona Backcountry Trail, Arizona
Length: 250 miles
Open May-November, this trail typically takes 4-7 days for the average group to complete. This is a great midrange trail that takes place both a graded forest service roads, but also have occasional rocky sections to add an extra element of adventure. The difficulty comes in the length of 250 miles, which requires a lot of preparation and gear.
Trans-Wisconsin Overland Trail, Wisconsin
Length: 600 miles
Running North-South across the entire state of Wisconsin, this is an excellent overlanding adventure in the midwest, especially during peak fall colors. The roads are easy to traverse, with the route offering a mix of paved roads, gravel roads, and sanded forest roads. Although long, the road is never too remote, making it easy to escape if needed.
Kirwin Ghost Town, Wyoming
Length: 27.1 miles
If you are looking for a fantastic day-trip overlanding adventure that includes the whole family, Kirwin ghost town, just outside of Meeteesee, Wyoming, is one of the country’s coolest and most unique areas. Kirwin is the site where Amelia Earhart was building her retirement cabin to move to after her trip around the world. In the early 1900s, the town was abandoned for good after a series of avalanches. The road requires a few river crossings, which are safest to cross between July-September.
Corolla Beach, North Carolina
This 10-mile stretch of ‘road’ is actually a beach! Known as Carova Beach on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the region welcomes overlanding vehicles to drive next to the ocean on the beach for over 10 miles. The easy route includes no significant obstacles and allows for the perfect ‘overlanding beach day’ along the Atlantic ocean. It is very popular during peak times, and it’s easy to follow the tracks of other vehicles if needed.
Cedar Mesa Heritage Trail, Utah
Spanning 264 miles across the Utah desert, this overlanding route features stunning rock formations, historic cave dwellings, and more. Because of its remoteness, traveling with at least one other vehicle is recommended for safety. Extra fuel and water are essential on this trek, and the route requires a wide range of terrain to navigate, including cliff edges, tight jeep tracks, rocks, and more.
North Rim Grand Traverse, Arizona
Length: 547 miles
If looking to see the Grand Canyon in a way 99% of visitors don’t, the North Rim Grand Traverse is it. It comes in at a whopping 547 miles in length, although the terrain is mostly made up of maintained gravel roads and an occasional jeep trail section. Once you depart and begin the journey from the last fuel stop in Fredonia, it is nearly 400 miles before the next fuel source, so plan accordingly!
The Georgia Traverse, Georgia
Length: 360 miles
Crossing north Georgia, The Georgia Traverse is a fantastic overlanding destination in the south. The 360 miles of road include 266 miles of gravel and 164 miles of pavement. Although not challenging in terms of terrain, this is a great way to check off multiple states while exploring off-the-beaten-path. The trail begins along the South Carolina/Georgia border and visits North Carolina & Tennessee before ending on the Georgia/Alabama border. That’s five states of overlanding in one route!
White Rim Road, Utah
Length: 100 miles
Circling the entire main butte of Canyonlands National Park, White Rim Road is often a bucket list destination for any overlander. It is one of the best ways to experience a national park, and the road often takes travelers around 4-5 days to complete. White Rim Road includes numerous exposed sections and rock sections. Combining that with the distance brings this overlanding trail between medium and difficult terrain. Keep watch on the weather before you decide to embark on the trail, as floods can make certain sections impassable.
Morrison Jeep Trail, Wyoming
Length: 22 miles.
Located just north of Cody, Wyoming, the Morrison Jeep Trail is a great detour for those traveling to Yellowstone National Park. The trail begins in the Clark’s Fork Canyon, where the paved road suddenly stops, and the Morrison Jeep Trail winds rough, rocky terrain in a narrow mountain valley. In the beginning, the trail is flat and offers and scenic view of some of Wyoming’s wild country (bring your bear spray!). Eventually, the trail leads up to the infamous 27 switchbacks, where the grade is as steep as 25 degrees in some locations alongside a narrow cliff. Most opt to stop their overland camper here and only take ATVs or Dirtbikes further up.
Brown Mountain UHV Trail, North Carolina
Length: 11.9 Miles
Located in Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina, the Brown Mountain UHV trail meanders through the Appalachian Mountains. It is an out-and-back trail deep in the forest, so it is rarely crowded. There is a $5 permit fee that overlanders must obtain at the nearest gas station before heading out on the route.
Overlanding with Truck Campers by Four Wheel Campers
Here at FWC, we know a thing or two about overlanding. After all, our brand is built on getting out, exploring, and sleeping beneath the stars. Our biggest compliment is hearing the stories of overlanding and camping from those who have our slide in campers, flatbed campers, or pop up truck toppers. If you have your own overlanding story or would like to share a trail that should be on the list, leave us a comment!
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