Wyoming Backcountry Discovery Route

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The long awaited Wyoming BDR (WYBDR) is our eleventh route developed for dual-sport and adventure motorcycle travel.

The Wyoming Backcountry Discovery Route is a multi-day off-pavement ride for dual-sport and adventure motorcycles through the most dramatic and rugged landscapes in Wyoming.  Beginning in Baggs, WY, the route traces the mountain ranges to the east through the Sierra Madre and Medicine Bow Ranges, crosses west to the Wind River Range, then goes back east and north through the Bighorn Mountains, eventually ending at a remote Wyoming-Montana border.  Almost every section includes some moderately technical riding, as the remote two-track flows through regions of vast high-desert, short-grass prairies, and alpine climates.  You will experience expansive views from the summit of two different 11,000-foot mountains, cross two major rim escarpments and pass through many other seldom visited areas and historic mining towns.  This is the most remote BDR, so plan ahead and be prepared to have a true backcountry adventure.


The Online Premiere of the WYBDR Expedition Documentary Film is on May 6 at 5:00 pm PST. The film will be available online for streaming starting May 7.

Read more about this route project in the WYBDR Press Release.

WYBDR Film Tour Schedule (Event listings update daily!)

Host a WYBDR Film Screening at your dealership, store or moto club.

Read the WYBDR Article in the January 2022 issue of Upshift Online.

The WYBDR is presented by BMW Motorrad USA and the Wyoming Office of Outdoor Recreation.


The Boyer YL Ranch is located close to the start of the WYBDR in Savery, WY, and is the perfect lodging destination to kick off your WYBDR trip.  The ranch is owned by Jonathan “Jock” Boyer and his wife Kimberly Coats.  The property includes a variety of accommodations, from an historic barn loft and cozy wood cabins, to a 1972 John Wayne Bluebird bus.  Meals are available upon request.  Call for rate, or book directly through AirBNB.

Address:  34 County Road 754, Savery, Wyoming  82332

Phone: 307 383 7778

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Address: 110 North St, Baggs, WY 82321
Phone: (307) 383-7059

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Address: 210 Penland St #490, Baggs, WY 82321
Phone: (307) 383-2200

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Address: 411 1st St, Riverside, WY 82325
Phone: (307) 228-4773

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Address: 107 Riverside Ave, Riverside, WY 82325
Phone: (307) 327-5361

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Address: 205 Riverside Ave, Riverside, WY 82325
Phone: (307) 760-0017

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Address: 508 McCaffrey Ave, Encampment, WY 82325
Phone: (307) 327-5110

Address: 511 Hartvig St, Encampment, WY 82325
Phone: (307) 327-5683

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Address: 313 Shoshone Ave, Encampment, WY 82325
Phone: (307) 327-5753

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Address: 2758 WY-130, Centennial, WY 82055
Phone: (307) 742-6033

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Address: 3519 WY-130, Centennial, WY 82055
Phone: (307) 742-6042

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Address: 2747 WY-130, Centennial, WY 82055
Phone: (307) 742-3588

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Address: 2750 WY-130, Centennial, WY 82055
Phone: (307) 745-5918

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Address: 63 2nd St, Centennial, WY 82055
Phone: (308) 870-2871

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Address: 5651 WY-130, Saratoga, WY 82331
Phone: (307) 326-5928

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Address: 5556 Hwy 130 HC 63 Box, #8A, Saratoga, WY 82331
Phone: (800) 409-5439

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Address: 107 Main St, Elk Mountain, WY 82324
Phone: (307) 348-7778

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Address: 102 E Main St, Elk Mountain, WY 82324
Phone: (307) 348-7774

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Address: 404 Lincoln Hwy, Medicine Bow, WY 82329
Phone: (307) 379-2377

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Our four on-site vacation rentals, The Reef Cottages, feature big windows and big views overlooking Grey Reef. Each of our cottages have a single bedroom that houses two plush queen beds with an extra long twin bunk over one of the queen beds. A fourth guest sleeps on the futon in the living space. A tiled shower, full kitchen, a large patio with a grill and outside dining furniture as well as a flat screen TV culminate in a great vacation rental at the best possible location. Cottage guests are not required to fish at all, but we’d highly recommend it! If you prefer to grill your own steak and arrange your own logistics it doesn’t get any better than the cottages.

Address: 22222 Grey Reef Road, Alcova, WY 82620
Phone: 307.232.9128
Email: info@thereefflyshop.com

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Address: 22258 W, WY-220, Alcova, WY 82620
Phone: (307) 473-5829

Address: 21405 Kortes Rd, Alcova, WY 82620
Phone: (307) 234-2066

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Address: 290 S Pass Rd, Atlantic City, WY 82520
Phone: (307) 332-0248

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Address: 288 Main St, Lander, WY 82520
Phone: (800) 710-6657

Address: 2415 Squaw Creek Rd, Lander, WY 82520
Phone: (307) 332-9655

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Address: 150 E Main St, Lander, WY 82520
Phone: (307) 332-3940

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Address: 1240 Main St, Lander, WY 82520
Phone: (307) 332-5189

Address: 605 W 2 St, Shoshoni, WY 82649
Phone: (307) 876-2273

Camping limit is 14 days.  The upper (east) portion of this area is closed each year from January 1 through May 31. The lower (west) portion is open all year.

Address: Renner, WY
Phone: (307) 527-7125

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Address: 3338 Hwy 16 E, Ten Sleep, WY 82442
Phone: (307) 366-2541

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Address: 4301 US-16, Ten Sleep, WY 82442
Phone: 307) 366-2424

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Address: 4700 US-16, Ten Sleep, WY 82442
Phone: (307) 366-2459

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Address: 4622 US-14, Dayton, WY 82836
Phone: (307) 461-4168

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Address: 3278 US-16, Ten Sleep, WY 82442
Phone: 307-366-2096

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Address: 98 2nd St, Ten Sleep, WY 82442
Phone: 307-366-2250

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Address: 414 2nd St, Ten Sleep, WY 82442
Phone: (307) 366-9911

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The “Base Camp Cabin on Main” offers a great location to access the western slope of the Bighorn Mountains. At the junction of all three BLM and Forest Service access roads (Alkali Road, Cold Springs Road & the Hyattville Logging Road) leading into the Bighorn Mountains the cabin offers a superb central point to begin or end miles and miles of “two-track” mountain roads. Approximately 17 miles north of Tensleep Wyoming on a gravel road you will find our cabin. Situated on main street, it is a short walk to the local watering hole to quinch a dusty thirst after a day on the trail. Please take a look at our listing, Base Camp Cabin on Main, Hyattville, WY on Airbnb or VRBO. We look forward to seeing you in Hyattville, the quiet gem of the Big Horn Basin.

Address: 315 Main Street, Hyattville, WY 82428
Phone: 307-272-7139
email: candcwyoming@yahoo.com

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Address: 6002 US-14, Dayton, WY 82836
Phone: (307) 683-0111

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Address: 5600 US-14 ALT, Dayton, WY 82836
Phone: (307) 752-2444

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Address: 1460 Penland St, Baggs, WY 82321

Phone: (307) 383-6369

Address: 120 Riverside Ave, Riverside, WY 82325

Phone: (307) 327-5277

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Address: 108 Riverside Ave, Riverside, WY 82325

Phone: (307) 327-5117

Address: Mac Farlane Ave, Encampment, WY 82325

Phone: (307) 327-5025

Address: 520 McCaffrey Ave, Encampment, WY 82325

Phone: (307) 327-5064

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Address: 2768 WY-130, Centennial, WY 82055

Phone: (307) 742-2410

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Address: 2758 WY-130, Centennial, WY 82055

Phone: (307) 742-6033

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Address: 2747 WY-130, Centennial, WY 82055

Phone: (307) 223-6007

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Address: 2753 WY-130, Centennial, WY 82055

Phone: (307) 222-6750

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Small, family owned resaurant serving old school cooking, located in the middle of Elk Mountain. The Crossing Cafe only accepts cash to keep food costs down. Currently if you are vaccinated have proof with a vaccine card, or photo with you of your card, you may enter. If you wish not to become vaccinated we serve take-out. Please call ahead of arrival, if possible.

Address: 205 Bridge St, Elk Mountain, WY 82324

Phone: (307) 348-7478

Address: 604 Old Casper Medicine Bow Hwy, Medicine Bow, WY 82329

Phone: (307) 379-2547

Address: 24025 Lakeshore Dr, Alcova, WY 82620

Phone: (307) 472-6666

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Address: 21405 Kortes Rd, Alcova, WY 82620

Phone: (307) 234-2066

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Address: 22250 WY-220, Alcova, WY 82620

Phone: (307) 472-3200

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Address: 100 E Main St, Atlantic City, WY 82520

Phone: (307) 332-5143

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Address: 25 N Granier Ave, Atlantic City, WY 82520

Phone: (307) 332-0915

Address: 173 S Main St, Hudson, WY 82515

Phone: (307) 332-4516

Address: 109 S Main St, Hudson, WY 82515

Phone: (307) 332-2211

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Address: 217 S Main St, Hudson, WY 82515

Phone: (307) 332-7999

Address: 148 Main St, Lander, WY 82520

Phone: (307) 332-8227

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Address: 453 Main St, Lander, WY 82520

Phone: (307) 332-9298

Address: 132 S Main St, Hudson, WY 82515

Phone: (307) 240-1816

Address: 1 Golf Course Dr, Lander, WY 82520

Phone: (307) 332-4653

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Address: 126 Main St, Lander, WY 82520

Phone: (307) 332-8228

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Address: 129 Main St, Lander, WY 82520

Phone: (307) 438-4016

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Address: 1350 W Main St, Lander, WY 82520

Phone: (307) 332-6090

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Address: 351 Main St, Lander, WY 82520

Phone: (307) 335-5035

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Address: 170 E Main St, Lander, WY 82520

Phone: (307) 332-0233

Address: 637 Main St, Lander, WY 82520

Phone: (307) 332-3900

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Address: 140 N 7th St, Lander, WY 82520

Phone: (307) 206-1093

Address: 204 E 2 St, Shoshoni, WY 82649

Phone: (307) 876-2722

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Address: 304 2nd St, Ten Sleep, WY 82442

Phone: (307) 366-2161

Address: 109 2nd St, Ten Sleep, WY 82442

Phone: (307) 366-9222

Address: 201 2nd St, Ten Sleep, WY 82442

Phone: (307) 366-9999

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Address: 211 2nd St, Ten Sleep, WY 82442

Phone: (307) 366-2237

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Address: 125 2nd St, Ten Sleep, WY 82442

Phone: (307) 366-2171

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Address: 2549 US-16, Ten Sleep, WY 82442

Phone: (307) 366-2074

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Address: 4622 US-14, Dayton, WY 82836

Phone: (307) 461-4168

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Address: 6002 US-14, Dayton, WY 82836

Phone: (307) 683-0111

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Address: 5600 US-14 ALT, Dayton, WY 82836

Phone: (307) 752-2444

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Address: 1455 Penland St, Baggs, WY 82321

Phone: (307) 383-7700

Address: 303 S 1st St, Baggs, WY 82321

Phone: (307) 326-5638

Address: 210 WY-70, Encampment, WY 82325

Phone: (307) 327-5720

Address: 2758 WY-130, Centennial, WY 82055

Phone: (307) 742-6033

Address: I80 Exit 255, Elk Mountain, WY 82324

Phone: (307) 348-7359

Address: 604 Old Casper Medicine Bow Hwy, Medicine Bow, WY 82329

Phone: (307) 379-2547

Address: 21405 Kortes Rd, Alcova, WY 82620

Phone: (307) 234-2066

Address: 21405 Kortes Rd, Alcova, WY 82620

Phone: (307) 234-2066

Address: 8116 WY-789, Lander, WY 82520

Phone: (307) 332-4402

Address: 195 Main St, Lander, WY 82520

Phone: (307) 332-6216

Address: 135 E Main St, Lander, WY 82520

Phone: (307) 335-8191

Address: 1125 W Main St, Lander, WY 82520

Phone: (307) 332-3636

Address: 730 E Main St, Lander, WY 82520

Phone: (307) 335-5621

Address: 1315 Main St, Lander, WY 82520

Phone: (307) 332-7000

Address: 110 W 2 St, Shoshoni, WY 82649

Phone: (307) 876-2221

Address: 325 2nd St, Ten Sleep, WY 82442

Phone: (307) 366-2634

Address: 6002 US-14, Dayton, WY 82836

Phone: (307) 683-0111



This packing list serves as an example and is not intended to be a complete list for your backcountry riding needs. Feel free to customize this list to work for you.

  • Helmet
  • Boots
  • Goggles
  • Gloves (2 sets)
  • Protective gear (pressure suit, Leatt brace, knee braces)
  • Jacket
  • Pants
  • Balaclava or neck gaitor
  • Water bladder or bottle
  • Hydration pack
  • Ear plugs


Below are answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions about the Wyoming Backcountry Discovery Route.

The Wyoming Backcountry Discovery Route is the eleventh route developed by the BDR organization for dual-sport and adventure motorcycle travel. Riders will test their endurance and skills on this epic 950-mile backcountry tour of Wyoming from Colorado to Montana. The tracks wind through five mountain ranges and explore vast high desert regions on dirt roads and epic double-track. Expect scenic views, endless forest roads under a canopy of trees, blissful double-track, rocky expert-only sections, and elevations that sometimes range between 9,000 and 11,000 feet. This route will throw many challenges at you so don’t try this route if you are new to adventure motorcycling.

The route consists of 8 sections and can be ridden in 7-8 days.

The best time to ride the WYBDR is mid-July to mid-September. We do not recommend riding the route before July 1st due to seasonal road closures in the national forest, and the impassible roads at higher elevations prior to July.
The WYBDR uses forest roads and backroads that typically open sometime in July depending on the size of the lingering snowpack. Depending on the autumn snowfall, the route can become unrideable sometime in September. The highest points are at the top of Bridger Peak and Kennaday Peak (both optional) which are around 11,000 feet tall and can only be reachable in the middle part of the riding season (e.g. August and a little before and after). The Snowy Range can also hold snow well into summer, but Highway 130 is typically cleared so you can get through.
Absolutely no riding the Beaver Rim section until after July 1st in order to allow the Greater Sage Grouse birds to hatch their chicks and minimize lasting impacts on them. Riders doing the WYBDR before July 1st will omit the Beaver Rim by riding the highway the whole way. That means connecting Alcova and Atlantic City using Highways 220 and 287 (riding Hudson-Atlantic City road is ok).

BDRs are generally designed for the average adventure rider on a fully-loaded adventure or dual-sport motorcycle. The WYBDR is suitable for riders with intermediate and above skill level.  You can expect to cover sections with deep ruts, loose rocks, sand, rocky hill climbs/descents and other challenges. There are some roads on the main route that are tough even for average riders especially on the Beaver Rim, in the Red Desert, and in the Bighorns.  Road conditions change from day to day in the Rocky Mountains, and Wyoming is no exception. If there has been an afternoon rainstorm, the roads in high desert regions will be impassible. The clay roads become slippery and the clay clings to tires creating dangerous conditions. Don’t “press on” if it starts raining. Turn back to better roads or stay put until the roads dry out. Always carry gear to wait out inclement weather should you be riding when the storms hit.  There also may be some deep puddles and water-crossings especially early in the season.

The expert sections on the WYBDR are quite difficult so do not attempt them if you are not a very experienced and competent rider. 

The Rocky Mountains are notorious for severe thunderstorms that seem to appear out of nowhere. Watch weather forecasts and even monitor weather radar maps, when possible, to see where rain might occur. If the high desert roads get wet, the clay surfaces will become unrideable. They become very slippery and will gum up your tires so bad that they will not roll. Do not attempt wet roads as your chances of getting stranded are high. Always carry a satellite tracking & communication device as cell phone reception is poor throughout the Wyoming backcountry. Be sure to check the interactive map at the top of this page for current conditions and use a reliable weather app on your phone during your ride. 

Yes. As with all the BDR routes, the WYBDR was designed for riding South to North, but it can absolutely be done North to South. The route ends at a remote place on the Montana border which is done as an out-and-back. Please be prepared for two-way traffic everywhere on this route and always remember to Ride Right to avoid head-on collisions around blind corners.

Most riders average 150 miles a day on a backcountry motorcycle trip. Give yourself 6-7 days to complete the entire route depending on your personal riding style. Keep in mind that you will face challenges along a route of this length – so work in at least one bumper day or even a rest day. Allow time to get back to your starting point after completing the route at the remote Montana state border.

There are no special permits or passes needed for normal groups of riders. On BLM lands like the Beaver Rim, permits are required for commercial activities like paid tours and for organized groups larger than 25 people. In the state-operated Renner Wildlife Management Area you can ride through without a pass, but camping and fires are not permitted. A small fee is charged to enter the historic part of South Pass City (which we highly recommend).

Designated public campgrounds can be found in the national forests and other places along this route. A few of the public campgrounds are identified on the WYBDR map as a small tent icon and are listed on the www.RideBDR.com/WYBDR page. Dispersed camping is also available throughout the route but be aware that each forest and land manager has their own guidelines so it’s advisable to check their websites. Camping is not allowed on state trust lands except where there’s a designated campground. See our map above to see the brown shaded areas where the state doesn’t allow camping or fires or off-route vehicular travel.

In the national forest campgrounds campfires are allowed, but check with local Ranger Stations to determine if campfires are allowed before you build one. In most cases, campfires are only allowed in fire rings. State trust lands near Hyattville do not allow fires or dispersed camping. See our map above to see where the many state trust lands are located (brown shaded areas). If you are dispersed camping, we don’t suggest building fires. Instead, bring a camp stove for cooking and boiling water to avoid the risk of fires in Wyoming’s arid landscapes. Be sure to fully extinguish fires so they are DEAD-OUT. Use water to ensure a fire is fully extinguished and the ground is left cool and wet.

On Wyoming state trust lands (see the brown areas on our map above) there is no camping, no open fires, and no vehicular travel off-established routes and roads. Note that the state can issue fines of up to $750 for travelers who break these rules. A good example of state trust lands would be some of the areas surrounding and in the vicinity of Renner WMA. In general, it’s safest for dispersed camping inside National Forests (consult their websites for limitations). Wyoming has so many state land properties along the WYBDR and it’s difficult to know when you are on them, on BLM land, or on private land. So outside of national forests we suggest only camping in designated campgrounds to avoid accidentally camping on state land. This page on the Wyoming state website has the rules & regulations, recreational use restrictions, and even a map viewer to find the state properties you’ll be passing through.

Never pass fuel. It’s one of the golden rules of adventure riding. The longest distance between gas stops on the WYBDR is between Alcova and Atlantic City (ask Wild Bill at Miner’s Delight for a gallon to get you to Lander if necessary). Wyoming is a vast remote state and the towns are very spaced out so top off the tank every time you can. Even if your bike’s range is way beyond the fuel stop distances, we recommend carrying extra fuel. 

The WYBDR is one of the most remote states in the union. Because of this fact, lodging opportunities are slim but there are some along the way. The WYBDR page lists many of the hotels, motels and lodges that you’ll pass by. We highly recommend that you plan properly and make reservations when possible. Carrying a minimum of “emergency” camping gear is important in Wyoming as lodging can be unavailable and you can also get stuck at any time due to wet backroads from afternoon rain squalls.

We highly recommend that to plan your adventure on the WYBDR, you use online lodging/travel aggregators in addition to the listing of lodging options on the WYBDR page and the WYBDR Butler Map.

This route cannot be ridden without the use of GPS tracks.  Be prepared and bring the WYBDR Butler Map AND your navigation device with the latest WYBDR GPS tracks loaded. Free GPS tracks are available for download on this site. The route can also be navigated using a smartphone GPS navigational app like Gaia, Rever and others. The WYBDR expedition documentary film is a great source of information about the route and is available via on-demand video platforms like Vimeo. 

Any GPS unit capable of handling 15 track logs with a minimum of 1500 points each is suitable for use on the WYBDR. Garmin models that work best for this application are: Zumo 590/595/395/396, Montana, and 276Cx. Many other GPS units are compatible with the GPX file format, check the owner’s manual of your device for more information.  You can also import the tracks into a GPS navigational app, like Gaia GPS, but make sure you have the premium version of the app, so you can navigate via offline maps.

Cell phone service is very limited on this route so a satellite communication or tracking device is recommended for emergency situations. 

Any bike that has a license plate, can run knobby tires, has adequate suspension, can carry the gear you will need, and has enough fuel range. Most adventure or dual-sport motorcycles will be suitable for the trip.  However, if you are planning on doing the Expert sections, we recommend a mid-sized bike for this route unless you are very comfortable on a big bore bike in rough technical terrain.  Even very experienced riders on our team reported being challenged on larger bikes by some of the technical sections of the route during the filming expedition. Choose the bike that you are the most comfortable riding in challenging terrain and that you are not afraid to drop a few times.

DOT approved knobby tires are strongly recommended.  Riding this route without a least a 60/40 tire (60% dirt, 40% road) could be dangerous.

Segments of this route can be ridden two-up for those experienced in riding off-highway with a passenger and luggage. However, we strongly advise against riding the technical sections of this route two-up.

Please don’t go off the route anywhere where its gated or signed for seasonal or permanent closures, don’t venture onto private property, and don’t veer off the Beaver Rim track (in section 4) except right at the rim to see the views.

Yes. There may be gates and/or barricades along the route. When you encounter gates, leave them as you found them. If they were open, leave them open and if they were closed, close them again after you pass through. If you pass by ranches, be courteous and ride respectfully. In spring and early summer there may be temporary closures when crews are repairing washouts, downed trees, and other road hazards. If roads are closed due to wildfires, do not ride around the signs as that can put you or fire crews in danger and can get you a hefty fine. Check the BDR website for route updates before you go.

Please abide by posted road closure signs. Ignoring these signs is a sure-fire way of getting a road closed for good. That said, sometimes locals will post unofficial “road closed” signs on public roads for their own personal reasons. Additionally, land managers may not have removed a “closed” sign from a seasonal road – even though the sign right next to it clearly displays the open/closed dates. In these cases, use your best judgment – if in doubt navigate around the closed road and report it to BDR. And please remember never to engage in arguments with local land owners.

We do our best to post the most up-to-date information about the route on ridebdr.com/WYBDR.  We depend on the BDR community to inform us about route and road conditions, so if you encounter any road closures or sever conditions that are worth reporting, please contact us with the information.

There is also a dedicated WYBDR Facebook group page.  We recommend that you join the group prior to your trip to read trip reports and comments from other riders about their experience on the route. Search for: Wyoming Backcountry Discover Route (WYBDR).

Wyoming is a habitat for many animals like deer, antelope, moose and bear as well as smaller animals like coyote, porcupines, and snakes — all of which make their way to the road at some point. Be alert everywhere you go as animals can and will cross your path along the route – especially at dusk.

Antelope are known for wanting to race motorcycles, but don’t encourage them. Slow down as soon as you see animals as, for some reason, they like to cross in front of bikes instead of running away from them. Look out for wild horses when you are in open range land.  Appropriate food practices while camping is an absolute must for your safety and the animal’s safety. 

Yield to all animals whether wild, domestic, or livestock by slowing down or stopping. Many locals in rural areas keep their dogs off-leash on their property and dogs love to chase motorcycles – be cautious and considerate.

All of the roads used on the WYBDR are open to vehicles. If you do decide to drive this route you will want a 4×4 with high clearance as the route has deep puddles, large rocks, huge ruts and steep loose grades. Always stay to the right and go slow around blind corners to avoid head-on accidents with others using the roads. We recommend traveling south to north to minimize head-on traffic.

When we filmed the WYBDR documentary our support vehicle remained on major roads as much as possible. 

It is absolutely essential that you Ride Respectfully and follow the tips outlined in our Ride Respectfully campaign.  Remember, it’s up to all of you to preserve our access – we can easily lose access to many of these roads if we don’t practice proper etiquette. Always represent BDR and the ADV community in the best light.

Rating the Routes by Difficulty

We often get requests to provide the difficulty ratings of the BDR. We do not officially rate roads or routes because the difficulty can change from day to day depending on weather, changes in road conditions, and road damage caused by a variety of forces including wind, storms, flooding, snow, logging, forest fires and more.

The difficulty experienced by an individual also depends on their off-road skills, level of fitness, stamina, bike size and amount of weight carried on the bike. For these reasons we can’t provide a rating system like a ski resort or OHV park.

We can help you a bit by ranking the existing Backcountry Discovery Routes from most difficult to least difficult. Here is the list: CABDR-South, NEBDR, AZBDR, WYBDR, UTBDR, COBDR, NVBDR, WABDR, NMBDR, IDBDR, MABDR.

So CABDR-South is the most difficult especially if you ride the expert sections and MABDR is the easiest in general terms. Although MABDR is the easiest there are still a few challenging rocky sections and the several water crossings that can get very difficult if the water is high.

Be sure to also review the FAQ’s for each route and our General FAQs prior to embarking on your trip.

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