Good Starter Book with Trail Rating / Descriptions? | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Good Starter Book with Trail Rating / Descriptions?

  • Hi Guest, you may choose a LIGHT or DARK theme that works best for you with the "Style Chooser" button at the bottom left on this page!
  • HTML tutorial

Nickel

Rank III
Member
Adventure

Enthusiast III

646
San Diego, CA, USA
First Name
Steve
Last Name
Jones
Member #

28940

Hi All,

New member here from San Diego area. I am very new to offroading, live a fairly busy lifestyle, and am looking for a way to find easy, beginner trails that I can do solo. I know that isn't the smartest thing so I stress the "easy" part. I have a Tacoma DCLB Offroad 4x4, stock except for the rock sliders.

Was looking at a guide book today for the 100 best offroading trails in California. Even the easy trails had in the description things like "Gets a little steep and rocky at mile 6.0, 4x4 and high clearance recommended". To a newbie I don't know how to interpret "high clearance" recommended on an easy trail. Is a stock Tacoma consider high clearance? I also know with a DCLB, my breakover angle is a concern.

Does the forum have any good/solid starter books to use as a resource when looking for trails? How does one interpret the "high clearance" disclaimers even on an easy trail?
 
  • Like
Reactions: EBasil and KAIONE

M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Benefactor
Member
Expedition

Advocate III

5,584
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
KJ7MFV
Service Branch
US ARMY Retired
Hi All,

New member here from San Diego area. I am very new to offroading, live a fairly busy lifestyle, and am looking for a way to find easy, beginner trails that I can do solo. I know that isn't the smartest thing so I stress the "easy" part. I have a Tacoma DCLB Offroad 4x4, stock except for the rock sliders.

Was looking at a guide book today for the 100 best offroading trails in California. Even the easy trails had in the description things like "Gets a little steep and rocky at mile 6.0, 4x4 and high clearance recommended". To a newbie I don't know how to interpret "high clearance" recommended on an easy trail. Is a stock Tacoma consider high clearance? I also know with a DCLB, my breakover angle is a concern.

Does the forum have any good/solid starter books to use as a resource when looking for trails? How does one interpret the "high clearance" disclaimers even on an easy trail?
Start off on forest service and BLM roads. As you get comfortable with the main roads, start exploring the lesser used roads… as you gain experience, you will know what your rig can and can’t do… but the biggest tip I can give… Find Someone willing to take you on a trip.

For reading… grab a Peterson’s 4 Wheel Drive and Off-road Magazine (or any of the other many off road mags) and read the trip articles. The stock Tocoma is very capable… I take our stock 2004 4Runner over quite a few trails labels as “4wheel Drive High Clearance” roads. These are typically to keep passenger cars from bottoming out.
 

KAIONE

Rank V
Member
Adventure

Advocate III

1,416
Vancouver, WA, USA
First Name
Camas
Last Name
KanakAttack
Member #

31476

Great question @Nickel, I just started and have a new 4Runner stock with sliders too. Lol. I’m in SW Washington.

@M Rose great answer, thank you as well. Will look into that book as well!

Anyone else out there?

Thanks again you two, much appreciated.
 

bubbadangelo

Rank III
Member
Adventure

Enthusiast I

498
Agawam, Massachusetts, United States
First Name
Richard
Last Name
DAngelo
Member #

28952

Great question @Nickel, I just started and have a new 4Runner stock with sliders too. Lol. I’m in SW Washington.

@M Rose great answer, thank you as well. Will look into that book as well!

Anyone else out there?

Thanks again you two, much appreciated.
Hey there! I am in SW Washington also. I am new to the area. Do you have any trails that you would recommend possibly with some spots for camping?
 

KAIONE

Rank V
Member
Adventure

Advocate III

1,416
Vancouver, WA, USA
First Name
Camas
Last Name
KanakAttack
Member #

31476

Great question @Nickel, I just started and have a new 4Runner stock with sliders too. Lol. I’m in SW Washington.

@M Rose great answer, thank you as well. Will look into that book as well!

Anyone else out there?

Thanks again you two, much appreciated.
Hey there! I am in SW Washington also. I am new to the area. Do you have any trails that you would recommend possibly with some spots for camping?
Hey @bubbadangelo, I haven’t camped at anything around SW Wash, mostly central OR. I have been venturing out into the Washougal area mostly. Dugan Falls has a nice camp ground and there’s a few other spots above & along the Washougal River that I’ve seen. Also some nice ones heading in Skamania county by Stevenson, Willard heading N towards Packwood and the Gifford Pinchot NF. If you’d like to get together or head out on a trail for a day let me know! I just had a great ride with our Portland group as well. Lots of great info there. Let me know
 

M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Benefactor
Member
Expedition

Advocate III

5,584
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
KJ7MFV
Service Branch
US ARMY Retired
Hey there! I am in SW Washington also. I am new to the area. Do you have any trails that you would recommend possibly with some spots for camping?
Get in touch with @jcgraves3 he is probably your closest member representative. John has a monthly meetup in Portland area, and takes the guys out on trips at least once a month.
 

OTH Overland

Rank VI
Benefactor
Member

Influencer I

4,131
Camano Island, Camano, WA, USA
First Name
Dave
Last Name
Ballard
Member #

20527

Ham Callsign
N7XQP
Lots of great forest service roads to explore, sadly more and more are getting gated off due to illegal dumping and damage. You can get a motor vehicle use map (MVUM) from your local ranger station or download a pdf online. This will let you know which forest service roads are open and legal for travel. Not usually too hard to find a clearing or other place to camp. DNR lands are also a great place for dispersed camping. Online mapping apps such as Gaia give you access to digital maps for forest service, DNR, state and public lands as well as many others and help with route planning and knowing which roads and trails are open for travel.
 
  • Like
Reactions: KAIONE and RCOKER

socal66

Rank IV
Member

Enthusiast III

1,116
Covina, CA, USA
First Name
Carl
Last Name
Sampson
Member #

24109

That book and similar are good resources for identifying potential trails to run but many of those books were written in the 90’s and don’t necessarily have updates to reflect how those trails have changed since. On-line resources such as www.trailsoffroad.com would provide a more up to date view as to trail conditions and difficulty. Both trailsoffroad and notarubicon provide some good YouTube videos on most of the popular trails in Southern California and will show you exactly what to expect on those trails.
 

Nickel

Rank III
Member
Adventure

Enthusiast III

646
San Diego, CA, USA
First Name
Steve
Last Name
Jones
Member #

28940

That book and similar are good resources for identifying potential trails to run but many of those books were written in the 90’s and don’t necessarily have updates to reflect how those trails have changed since. On-line resources such as www.trailsoffroad.com would provide a more up to date view as to trail conditions and difficulty. Both trailsoffroad and notarubicon provide some good YouTube videos on most of the popular trails in Southern California and will show you exactly what to expect on those trails.
I did my first "easy" offroading last weekend in Big Bear and used a free account of trailsoffroad.com as the main resource for my research before slecting my route. It was accurate and I am considering upgrading to the full version.
 

Nickel

Rank III
Member
Adventure

Enthusiast III

646
San Diego, CA, USA
First Name
Steve
Last Name
Jones
Member #

28940

@socal66 FYI your suggestion turned out to be the best answer here "for me". I did upgrade to the paid version off trailsoffroad.com and have found the descriptions of the couple of the trails I have done to be very accurate. The reviews are helpful as most reviewers include details about their vehicles, mods, lift, etc.

Great advice, thank you.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: socal66

WagoneerWayne

Rank II
Member
Adventure

Enthusiast I

404
First Name
Wayne
Last Name
Hixson
Member #

41275

I was about to write asking the same question about finding trails, this was a big help. I have subscribed to Trails Off-road now. It’s also neat that you can upload trails to Gaia Off-road for integrated planning.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EBasil and Nickel

Ron W.

Rank VI
Member

Influencer I

3,278
Herriman, UT, USA
First Name
Ron
Last Name
Wilkinson
Member #

4990

Service Branch
US Navy
Hi All,

New member here from San Diego area. I am very new to offroading, live a fairly busy lifestyle, and am looking for a way to find easy, beginner trails that I can do solo. I know that isn't the smartest thing so I stress the "easy" part. I have a Tacoma DCLB Offroad 4x4, stock except for the rock sliders.

Was looking at a guide book today for the 100 best offroading trails in California. Even the easy trails had in the description things like "Gets a little steep and rocky at mile 6.0, 4x4 and high clearance recommended". To a newbie I don't know how to interpret "high clearance" recommended on an easy trail. Is a stock Tacoma consider high clearance? I also know with a DCLB, my breakover angle is a concern.

Does the forum have any good/solid starter books to use as a resource when looking for trails? How does one interpret the "high clearance" disclaimers even on an easy trail?
Look up Peter Massey. He wrote several books on offroad trails in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and covers California too. You can go to 4WDbooks.com.
 

1Louder

Rank VI
Member

Member II

4,187
AZ
First Name
Chris
Last Name
K
Member #

1437

Ham Callsign
K1LDR
Books are outdated before they are even printed. If there is a Funtreks book for your area they are a good reference if you insist on having a book.

My vote along with others is TrailsOffroad.com and their app if you don't use something else. Print what you want. Trails are updated constantly along with reviews from those who have used the trail. The annual subscription is not expensive for the vast amount of trails your can explore.

As for high clearance - Something greater than stock. Meaning your stock "Jeep/4Runner...." may not have enough clearance without having a lift and larger tires.
 

Dave Purvis

Rank VI
Member

Steward I

4,703
Elizabeth, Colorado, United States
First Name
Dave
Last Name
Purvis
Member #

2020

+1 for TrailsOffroad.com, worth every penny to subscribe. Funtreks is limited in the regions they cover, but are good trail guides as well.

Gaia GPS is worthwhile too as you can get the MVUM overlay maps, which will show what is accessible and it always is current. You can also look at publicly shared tracks, and download tracks from TrailsOffroad.

Also, get the OB One app for Overland Bound. As Expedition was just released, there will be more and more tracks and trails posted and reviewed as it grows with crowd sourced info!

YouTube is also a valued resource for trail guides. Find a region you want to wheel around in and search it with “4x4” or “offroad” and you’ll likely find plenty of aspiring overland influencers with videos about trails in that region.

Good luck and happy wheeling!