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ADV RidesRiding SeasonAutumn/Fall RideArizona Backcountry Discovery Route Is Now Complete

Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route Is Now Complete

A 750-mile self-guided tour through the rugged deserts of Arizona

Published on 01.14.2014

The Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route (AZBDR) is the newest addition in the growing list of State Backcountry Discovery Routes. The AZBDR is a 750-mile scenic ride on remote dirt roads across the state of Arizona. The route begins at the Mexico border of Southern Arizona and finishes in Utah. It can be ridden in either direction, passing through some of the most iconic locations Arizona has to offer.

The AZBDR was mapped out by the Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDR) non-profit organization, which has a mission to establish and preserve off-highway routes for dual-sport and adventure motorcycle travel.  They also provide maps, free GPS tracks, trip planning advice, photo and video archives of their backcountry routes.

The BDR has already completed routes for Colorado, Washington and Utah and plans to create a new route every year. Future Backcountry Discovery Route’s are in the making for California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Wyoming.


The Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route is the best way for Adventure Riders to tour Arizona’s greatest treasures.  The BDR organization makes planning your trip easy, directing you to historic ghost towns, remote desert vistas, pine-covered mountains, and beautiful canyons.
Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route Highlights:

Through the BDR Website, you can use their interactive map to get trip notes for each section of the AZBDR.  You will find all the information you need for a self-guided tour including hotels, camp sites, gas stops and various points of interest.  The AZBDR FAQ also answers questions you might have about trail conditions, weather patterns and trip planning. GPS tracks of the AZBDR can be downloaded for the entire route, including gas stop waypoints, in gpx format.

Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route Documentary
The BDR organization has produced a documentary film of the first official ride along the AZBDR. The film follows a group of adventure bike and dual sport motorcycle riders as they tackle the rugged Arizona desert. The group includes riders from Touratech, Butler Maps, RoadRunner Magazine, Trail Master ADV Gear and special guest Austin Vince of Mondo Enduro. The film vividly displays the stunning landscapes you will view when you ride the Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route.  The AZBDR documentary is available on DVD through Touratech.

Before you begin planning your trip, you will want to get paper maps of the region.  Butler Maps offers a water-proof tear resistant map of the AZBDR that will be helpful in planning and navigating your journey.

Arizona Backcountry Discovery Map

Bringing along a paper map is always a good precaution, even if you have GPS.  Paper maps give you a more detailed perspective of the landscape and help you see the bigger picture of where you are traveling.  A small GPS digital display is difficult to navigate by if your plans suddenly change due to an injury or breakdown. The AZBDR map from Butler Maps includes elevation profiles, GPS waypoints, and other valuable planning information for your tour.

After you complete the AZBDR, you will want to show off your accomplishment with an Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route sticker for your panniers. Not ready to stop? You can connect up with the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route which will take you another 871 miles to the Idaho border.

Other Backcountry Discovery Routes:

Utah Backcountry Discovery Route

Washington Backcountry Discovery Route

Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route

Photos from the Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route:

Camping on the Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route (AZBDR) Mountain Trails on the Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route (AZBDR) Rocky Path on the Arizona Backcountry Discovery Rout (AZBDR)

Austin Vince on the Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route Adventure Riders on the Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route (AZBDR) Wild Horses on the Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route (AZBDR)

Watercooled R1200GS on the Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route (AZBDR) Scenic Views on the AZBDR Visiting a Ranche on the Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route (AZBDR)

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney

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New AZBDR Trail System - Reporting From the Field » ADV Pulse
June 17, 2014 12:28 am

[…] adventure motorcycle travel. They also provide maps, free GPS tracks and trip planning advice. The AZBDR is the newest addition in the growing list of State Backcountry Discovery Routes. The AZBDR trail system runs 750 miles […]


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