How To Research Your Off Road Trip


This can be one of the best parts of the trip!  You will want to pore over maps and Google sites, read about events, and learn about great places to visit in Arizona and the Southwest.  Sonoran Trails is happy to help you along the way and answer any questions you have, but check out some of the tools we use that make our planning details much easier!

There are some simple things to know – If you plan to head to the Grand Canyon in January you need to know it’s cold up there and to plan/pack accordingly.  If you will be on land requiring a special permit, you need to obtain the appropriate permits.  If it looks like rain is in your forecast, plan/pack accordingly.  It may seem like a no-brainer, but I have removed quite a bit of brand-new, excess clothing that clients left behind; after they purchased it not realizing the temperatures were going to be a bit chillier than they expected.

Here are a few tips:

  • Check the weather and pack accordingly!  Sonoran Trails uses the app, wunderground.com.  Weather Underground’s worldwide personal weather station network consists of weather enthusiasts who report live weather data to them from weather stations located on their houses or in their backyards.  It is a very accurate tool!
  • Consider your route.  Many clients want to explore the great sites in and around Arizona.  Often they plan on taking forest service roads; however these routes are generally much slower causing them to miss these great areas.  Sonoran Trails advises clients to see the places you would like to see via hard-surface roads, first, and then consider the slower, easygoing forest roads as you return.  A few epic ideas in no certain order…we love them all – Grand Canyon, Sedona, Flagstaff, Jerome, Winslow, Tucson, Lake Powell, Crown King, Wickenburg, Bisbee, Monument Valley, Cottonwood, Tucson, Tombstone, and Globe.
  • A GPS is nice but a trip planning tool we use is Trimble Outdoors.  It’s easy to map out your trip and can be emailed and changed with a host of other features.
  • Here are a few websites we use:

http://www.recreation.gov/ – Discover the best American experiences, learn about epic camping spots, national monument tours, hiking through pristine national parks and forests, renting a cabin on federal lands and so much more.

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/index.htm – Whether you’re a first time visitor to the Grand Canyon South Rim or a veteran, this informative website has a lot of info!

http://www.navajonationparks.org/htm/monumentvalley.htm – The Official website of the Navajo Nation Monument Valley Tribal Park.

http://navajonationparks.org/ – This site offers information on the Upper and Lower sections of Antelope Canyon.  Keep in mind that tribal lands are their own entity.  Please respect the people and their lands.

https://freecampsites.net/ – A really cool site where you can find free camping.

In a nutshell you now have the tools we use to help clients plan an incredible adventure!  Give them a try; the only thing I ask is that you share your experience with Sonoran Trails!  Post your epic adventures on our FaceBook page at, https://www.facebook.com/sonorantrails/.