Why ride the BDRs?

During our travels we get all sorts of questions. Most recently we were asked, “Why ride BDRs (Backcountry Discovery Routes)? Why ride someone else’s ride?” Well, I’d like to take the opportunity to share what the BDRs are all about and why we want to ride them. To start, there is a multitude of ways to get out and ride, and one person’s dream ride may be different than yours’. Steph and I had been touring North America for about 5 months and had ridden 14,000 miles – we rode parts of Alaska, Yukon, B.C., Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Maine, Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida to mention a few. After a while we started craving more dirt and real backcountry riding. So we got to thinking about the BDRs and how they are already scouted, mapped, and put into tracks for the GPS. The routes run through 5 entire states: Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, and Washington. Since we hadn’t toured through those states as of yet and we wanted more backcountry riding – Perfect! We had never traveled these routes before and what a great way to venture through the backcountry of these incredibly scenic states than to follow very well researched and laid out routes? We didn’t have the experience or want to spend the time to route something out ourselves. By the way, these routes are not heavily traveled, so it’s very much an adventure when you are out there for a day or two and you come across very few if any other people.


The non-profit organization Backcountry Discovery Routes spent an enormous amount of time scouting, routing, planning, mapping, filming, and researching the history of the areas and I for one am very thankful for their efforts. As someone new to adventure riding I think it’s great that I can set out on any of these routes and have somewhat of an idea of what I’m getting into. However, I do highly recommend that if you do want to venture out on any of these routes that you take off-road training courses before hand. Both Steph and I have taken a 4-day off-road training class through PSSOR and have had other training as well before we decided to do such a ride.   The BDRs are awesome especially for those people who only have a week or two to get out and be adventurous and don’t have the time, knowledge, or resources to plan an epic off-road trip. For those who do have more time, the BDRs are a great way to get into the backcountry and then explore off the BDRs. There are thousands of miles of dirt roads to explore right off the BDRs. Steph and I have done this several times and found ourselves wanting to return to explore even more. In my opinion the BDRs are the perfect way to enjoy the backcountry.

I’d like to encourage anyone who does set out on a BDR adventure, that they consider becoming a member of Backcountry Discovery Routes and help support the non-profit organization so that they can continue with their goal of establishing more routes through more states. In fact, these routes have contributed to the economy of small towns that were on the verge of closing down. It’s an inexpensive way to explore the backcountry and your support would be put to good use to help preserve access to the backcountry for generations to come.

For more information on the efforts of the Backcountry Discovery Routes.




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