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Venture2Roam – 900+ Miles Through Nevada’s Backcountry Discovery Route

Nevada's Backcountry Discovery Route

In today’s video, Venture2Roam, aka Will, Kate, and family, tackle Nevada’s Back Country Discovery Route. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy almost two hours of overlanding through some of Nevada’s most breath-taking landscapes.

Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDR) is a non-profit that creates off-highway routes primarily for dual-sport and adventure motorcycle travel. However, many of these trails are also suitable for 4WD vehicles. The Nevada BDR stretches 893 miles from Oatman, Arizona, to Jarbridge, Nevada (although Venture2Roam completed it in reverse) and primarily follows dirt roads through expansive desert, sagebrush valleys, and numerous mountain ranges. Along the way, travelers will enjoy natural wonders and a wealth of historical points of interest, many of which stem from the region’s rich mining history. The route ordinarily requires seven to nine days to complete, but Venture2Roam only had six.

The couple decided to drive two rigs instead of one for safety reasons, and it didn’t take long for this to prove vital. Will would be driving his modified Jeep Wrangler 392, and Kate would be behind the wheel of their new Jeep Gladiator Mojave. The latter was almost bone stock, which is both a testament to the Gladiator and a reminder that we don’t need to invest a fortune into vehicles to explore. The route starts smooth with fast roads and stunning vistas but quickly transforms into overgrown trails and rutted sections that leave the duo questioning whether they’ve gone off track. Despite the slow-going, progress is steady until Will crosses an unassuming drainage ditch and becomes completely bogged. Digging and MaxTrax prove unproductive so they decide to use kinetic rope and the Gladiator to get the Wrangler free. This situation demonstrates the value of a second vehicle, as without it, recovery would’ve been extremely challenging. Soon after, disaster strikes again as remnants of sage bush ignite under the Wrangler. These types of fires are common in hot climates with dry vegetation, so be sure to check the underside of your vehicle regularly, especially in spots where shrubbery can become trapped (skid plates, for example), and ensure you always have a fire extinguisher close to hand. The next day they explore the Ruby Mountains and join part of the iconic Pony Express route. Technical sections that day highlight the limitations of the stock Gladiator, but Will and Kate take it in their stride with excellent spotting and communication. The camera work and aerial videography throughout are very impressive and do a wonderful job of capturing Nevada’s ever-changing landscapes. In addition, the film documents various points of interest along the BDR, which include stops in Austin (NV), Stokes Castle, Tonopah, Rhyolite (ghost town and art installation), and more. The final day sees the family tackle more washouts (a common theme throughout due to heavy rains earlier in the season) with a final big push to Oatman. Nevada's Backcountry Discovery Route.

As someone based in Europe, I found myself longing for Nevada’s huge expanses of wilderness after watching this episode. It also showcases how legitimate the Wrangler and Gladiator are for rugged backcountry adventures, even from the factory. If you’d like to keep up to date with Venture2Roam’s trips, check out their Youtube and Instagram.

Nevada's Backcountry Discovery Route

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No money in the bank, but gas in the tank. Our resident Bikepacking Editor Jack Mac is an exploration photographer and writer living full-time in his 1986 Vanagon Syncro but spends most days at the garage pondering why he didn’t buy a Land Cruiser Troopy. If he’s not watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, he can be found mountaineering for Berghaus, sea kayaking for Prijon, or bikepacking for Surly Bikes. Jack most recently spent two years on various assignments in the Arctic Circle but is now back in the UK preparing for his upcoming expeditions—looking at Land Cruisers. Find him on his website, Instagram, or on Facebook under Bicycle Touring Apocalypse.