Summer Overlanding: The Best Off-road trips in 2022

The Rubicon Trail

Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, The Rubicon Trail is a popular overland train found in El Dorado National Forest. It is a perfect location for experienced overland campers that requires a modified Overlanding off-road vehicle. The trail measures 22 miles which include obstacles and challenging terrains because of its rocky routes. There are times that you need to maneuver to pass through large boulders.

Overlanding on The Rubicon Trail may take 1-2 days. However, overlanders will be rewarded with the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe in the end. It may be one of the most dangerous Overlanding trails but it is a one-of-a-kind experience for all overlanders.

The Smoky Mountain Road

Located in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, this trail is a one-way road where you may start in the town of Big Water drive to Escalante or drive it the other way. It has a very rough and rocky trail measuring 78 miles. As you drive along the remote area, you will be passing through the Escalante National Monument where you can experience a pristine and natural environment. Rock arts, dessert views, Scenic Byway 12, and Highway 89 are some of the reasons why Overlanding in this location is a great drive to make.

Before you start your Overlanding journey on Smokey Mountain Road, make sure your 4×4 vehicle is conditioned to finish the trail without having any stops for 5-6 hours. There are no other services within the trail so it is not recommended to do Overlanding on The Smoky Mountain Road alone. Gas stations are only available at the start and entry points, and signal coverage for mobile phones is only available at the south end and near Escalante.

White Rim Trail

One of the scenic routes for Overlanding, this 98.9-mile trail takes 2 days and is packed with rugged terrain, steep hills, and campgrounds. While driving, you will see some of Utah’s legendary rock formations and views of Colorado and the Green Rivers. The White Rim Trail is a classic Overlanding route that passes through Canyonlands National Park.

Like on the other trails, driving on White Rim Trail also requires a high-clearance 4×4 vehicle. There are also no gas stations within the trail. It is recommended to bring extra gallons aside from getting your vehicle fully tanked before you start driving. It is also necessary to obtain a permit to be assigned to a camping site since no camping grounds are available within the road.

During summer, extreme temperatures might be risky for some so bringing water more than what you anticipated needing is recommended.

Mojave Road

Located in Mojave National Park, the road was first used by Native Americans starting from Beale’s Crossing to Fork In The Road. It may take 2 days to finish the overland trail and it became famous as a camping destination for overlanders. With 2 routes to choose from to reach Fort Piute, most overlanders choose to take the more remote road than the other one. It has a rocky road and desert track that falls on the moderate difficulty of Overlanding. As the Overlanding trail ends, you will have to cross the sand washes and 2 rivers. It is important not to cross with too much speed to avoid a hydro-locked motor.

It is quite away from the city so you must bring extra food and water as well as equipment and tools in case your vehicle needs quick repairs. Tire inspection should also be done before driving on Mojave Road. Aside from tough sections, the spines of Teddybear Cholla may puncture your tires which means you need to bring at least one spare tire, a compressor, and a tire repair kit.

Black Bear Pass

The Black Bear Pass has an elevation of 12,840 feet. It goes one way that starts at Red Mountain Pass summit. Though most of the parts of the trail are moderate in difficulty, some of the sections are very difficult, and only experienced drivers are required to complete these sections. Its steep descents and switchbacks near the Bridal Veil Falls are not for the faint-hearted. It is considered to be one of the most dangerous roads since almost every year, accidents are happening.

The steps, sharp corners, a sheer cliff drop, and hard jagged rock edges require a 4×4 low-range vehicle with good tires, brakes, and articulation. It should also have a functional emergency brake for the dangerous switchbacks. Its breathtaking views serve as the reward for conquering the terrain challenges of Black Bear Pass.

Best Overlanding Locations and Trails in the Summer

Overlanding became popular as a recreation activity for outdoor enthusiasts and campers. People who are hungry for adventure do Overlanding by driving and camping on an off-road vehicle on terrain, trails, and roads, usually in a remote area. It is different from camping using an RV since it goes on an off-road trail without having amenities in the wilderness.

Anyone can do Overlanding. However, specific vehicle types and equipment are needed to bring you closer to a remote area. Essential gears are also important to be in a survival mode as well as possible vehicle repairs. It can be mentally and physically challenging but Overlanding will let you experience survival, resilience, and nature.

Aside from gear, equipment, and proper vehicle, the Overlanding location should also be considered a factor when you decide to do camping through Overlanding. One of the easiest ways to find an Overlanding location is to look it up online. Asking the locals may also get you to secret locations. These locations and trails have different terrains and difficulties, so we listed out the best Overlanding locations and trails in the summer.

Conclusion

Overlanding requires a fully-conditioned vehicle to surpass some of the difficult terrains. It should also have an ample amount of space to keep equipment as well as food and water if you are driving on long trails that take days to complete. Exploring remote areas is one of the best experiences Overlanding can offer to adventure enthusiasts.

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