Before You Go Off-Roading, Download the OnX Offroad App

The GPS app is a lifesaver for 4x4s, ATVs, dirt bikes or whatever else you’ve got

Black Jeep off-roading in the Nevada desert
Going off the paved path? Make sure to download OnX Offroad first.
Nicolas Cool/Unsplash
By Alex Lauer / June 24, 2020 7:00 am

Even for seasoned off-roaders, driving a new trail can be a pain, because the actual driving part of the equation is the easy part. Before you even get to the dirt roads and rock crawls, you’ve got to map out your course, consult random forums to get insider info, plot out fueling stations and campsites, make sure there aren’t any obstacles your vehicle of choice won’t be able to handle, and the list goes on.

That’s why we’re glad to introduce you to OnX Offroad, an ingenious GPS app that acts as a user-friendly guide to over 410,000 miles of off-road trails in the U.S. The app has been in development for a while and has crossed our radar before (as has its hunting precursor OnX Hunt), but a new feature in Outside gives us the confidence we need to start using it immediately.

“OnX’s goal is to add first-person guidance to as many miles of those trails as possible, letting users access not just navigation data but up-to-date conditions and difficulty ratings, along with photos that accurately represent both of those challenges, as well as any notable scenic views or other attractions the trails might offer,” wrote Outside columnist Wes Siler. “Combined with the locations of campgrounds and cabins (clicking those icons takes you to the relevant reservation services) and local weather forecasts, you’ll have everything you need to plan your next adventure.”

To get a better sense of the app, as well as how it’s continuing to grow day-by-day, Siler met up with Rory Edwards, OnX app developer, and Chris Cordes, the manager of its Trail Guide program.

In essence, the Trail Guide program is OnX’s way of expanding the app through expert users, but also weeding out the fluff that makes other community built resources untrustworthy, especially when it comes to such a high-stakes activity. Experienced off-roaders can sign up to add trails — and if approved after being vetted — then receive rewards like gear discounts once they do. 

There are plenty of features to dig into, including various versions of maps you can save to your phone for when you’re truly off-grid, and thankfully OnX Offroad offers a free trial before you commit to the $30/year price.

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