Trail Ratings Explained

Trail Rating Overview

We do our best to explain the​ physical and technical characteristics of the terrain so you can just if your vehicle and driving skills are up to the task at hand.  Given the length of some of our routes (some exceed 1,000 miles), it can be difficult to provide various trail ratings over the length of a given route.  To deal with this, we've opted to provide two separate ratings.

Average Trail Rating
This captures the typical experience on the trail.  In most cases, routes only have small sections of more moderately technical sections.  The average trail rating does not consider these more technical elements unless they make up a sizable portion of the trail.  The average trail ratiging should give you an idea of what 50-75% of the terrain is like, but it may obfuscate more challenging sections on the trail. 

Peak Trail Rating
The Peak Trail Rating is the highest rating achieves over the course of a route, even if it's only for one mile.  You'll want to pay close attention to this, as your vehicle may be suitable for 99% of a route, but a Peak Trail Rating may prevent further travel.  Nearly all routes found on Overland Trail Guides fall within a range of 1-6  (easy - intermediate).  You may find the occasional route rated above 6, but these are typically offered as alternative routes for people with highly modified vehicles built for extreme terrain.    


OnX Off Road Trail Rating System
 

  1. Easy: Dirt or rocky road with gentle grades. Safe for most 4WD and high-clearance 2WD vehicles. Roads are typically two vehicles wide.

  2. Easy: Dirt or rocky road, typically unmaintained after rain or snow. You may encounter shallow water crossings and obstacles under 12” on the trail, including small ledges. Roads are typically one to two vehicles wide.

  3. Easy: Uneven, rutted dirt trail with potential for loose rocks and sandy washes. Water crossings less than a foot deep. Potential for mud holes and trail obstacles up to 12”, including ledges and short, steep grades. Roads are typically one vehicle wide with places to pass.

  4. Intermediate: Uneven, rutted dirt trail with loose rocks, sand, erosion, and washes. Potential water crossings up to a foot deep, mud holes, and obstacles up to 18”, including ledges and short, steep grades. Roads are typically one vehicle wide with places to pass.

  5. Intermediate: Uneven, rutted dirt trail with loose rocks, sand, erosion, and washes. Potential water crossings up to 18” deep, mud holes, and obstacles up to 2 feet, including ledges and short, steep grades.

  6. Intermediate: Very rocky, rutted and off-camber trail with erosion, loose rocks, sand, washes and obstacles up to 3 feet tall, including ledges and short, steep grades. Potential for deep water crossings with strong currents.

  7. Advanced: Off-camber trail with deep holes and large rocks that may exceed axle height. Expect erosion, loose rocks, sand, washes, shelves, and deep mud holes. Obstacles and ledges up to 5 feet, and near-vertical grades 8-10 feet tall. Potential for water crossings with strong currents. Caution: Vehicle damage and roll-overs are possible.

  8. Advanced: Off-camber trail with deep holes and large rocks that may exceed axle height. Expect erosion, loose rocks, sand, washes, shelves, and deep mud holes. Obstacles and ledges up to 6 feet, and near-vertical grades 12-14 feet tall. Potential for deep water crossings with strong currents. Caution: Vehicle damage and roll-overs are very possible.

  9. Extreme: These roads and trails are for the most advanced off-roaders only. Off-camber trail with deep holes and large rocks that may exceed axle height. Expect erosion, loose rocks, sand, washes, shelves, and deep mud holes. Obstacles and ledges up to 8 feet and near-vertical grades 15-18 feet tall. Potential for deep water crossings with strong currents. Caution: Vehicle damage and roll-overs are likely.

  10. Extreme: Extreme caution! Recommended only for very experienced off-roaders with heavily modified vehicles. Severe grades and off-camber terrain. Expect obstacles exceeding 10 feet and near-vertical grades over 18 feet. Caution: Vehicle damage and roll-overs are extremely likely.
     

Disclaimer: The technical ratings listed below provide an idea of what you might encounter on a trail or road. While we made every effort to prepare you for your ride, trail conditions can change quickly and unexpectedly due to weather, closures, new obstacles, and other unforeseen events. Use your best judgment, know what your vehicle can handle and be safe. onX Offroad  and/or Overland Trail Guides are not responsible for trail ratings, trail conditions, your driving ability or your skill level.