How do I get in to offroad exploring?
April 11, 2005 1:25 PM   Subscribe

I live in California and would like to learn about how to responsibly explore the more difficult to visit parts of the west coast. How do I get into offroad exploring?

I enjoy technical challenges, photography, and almost anything that is unusual. I would like to visit and photograph places that are infrequently seen and somewhat exotic.

A few hundred dollars will get my on an airplane to just about anywhere in the world within half a day or so, so international travel is not really exotic anymore. I suspect that eastern Oregon and Washington are full of interesting and infrequently visited terrain. At the moment, I live in southern california, so I would like to get started here, and then check out some of the more difficult spots once I know more about how to safely (and responsibly) explore.
posted by b1tr0t to Travel & Transportation around California (6 answers total)
Try the Sierra Club. Start by finding a chapter near you. Then go on an outing:
Local chapter and group outings are open to members and non-members alike. A few outings may require membership, but most do not. No fees are charged either, except for incidental expenses like park entry costs. Outings leaders are Sierra Club volunteers, and the range of outings is as diverse as our volunteers' interests. Depending on where you are, choose from day hikes, peak scrambles, bicycling, cross-country skiing, bird-watching, conservation-oriented walks, or forays into the remaining natural areas of our major cities.
If such outings are too easy for you and you're dying to spoil some unspoiled wilderness (joke!) (partially), you are still likely to meet people who can help you by starting with the Sierra Club or similar organizations.
posted by pracowity at 1:37 PM on April 11, 2005

Visit some of California's many wilderness areas. California has over 14 million acres of Federal Wilderness, places 'where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.'
posted by driveler at 1:43 PM on April 11, 2005

You should think about becoming a geocacher. Searching for difficult (terrain) caches will bring you to some of the most remote and challening areas you can find.

Using the zip code given on your page and the powers vested in being a Premiun member, I've found these difficult terrain geocaches near you:
RSM Heights - 15.4 miles from your location.
Oak Leaf Cluster - 17.4 miles from your location
DJ White Walls - 19.1 miles.

Geocaching encourages responsible adventuring, photography, and travel. Seems like a good fit.

If those aren't hard enough for you...
posted by unixrat at 2:05 PM on April 11, 2005

Rather than the high desert of eastern oregon and washington, i would suggest you check out The Lost Coast of California. It's pretty much deserted, totally spectacular, and you can get there (sorta) by car.
posted by dersins at 2:20 PM on April 11, 2005

1) Don't do this in an off-road vehicle.
2) Don't go to the bathroom near streams and lakes (yes, the animals do it, but they're not eating pesticide and hormone-riddled foods grown in other regions).

My $.02
posted by scarabic at 2:45 PM on April 11, 2005

Learn to hike. A great example is here in Los Angeles, the car capital of the world, Angeles Crest Highway is like a freeway on the weekends. Park your car and hike just a half a mile on one of the many hiking trails and chances of seeing other people are slim. No one walks. Everyone wants to drive.
posted by snowjoe at 3:50 PM on April 11, 2005

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