Enhanced Mapping Directory
Our online directory features trails, obstacles, routes, and businesses. Members can go to a trail area and download the printable and GPS map files. After the ride, members can also review the listing, add pictures, share videos and post comments.
Wrangler Rider Trail & Sign Standards
Wrangler Riders’ international Road-Legal 4WD tail sign standards were developed to improve wayfinding marking requirements. Wrangler Riders uses a simplistic 5 scale system that identifies obstacles and terrain. Our waymarking standards use actual obstacle measurements over perceived difficulty for a better understanding of what risks a potential area possess. While our data at the time of measurement is accurate, trail conditions continually change and as such, be sure to check the data in the directory as to when the measurement was taken. The older the data is, the less-reliable it can become.
RL4WD Trail Levels
We determine trail levels by the most difficult unpassable obstacles within a given trail. Levels are determined by height, angle, radius and depth of obstacles/trails. It is very important to know your vehicles mechanical capabilities and driver abilities before heading out on the trails. We strongly recommend taking safety classes and workshops to further skills and education before trail riding. While we assign an overall trail value, we also will identify more difficult trail sections and whether or not they contain a bypass trail.
Our goal in presenting this waymarking standard is to increase safety, awareness, and prevent vehicle damage. Remember, these are only guides and it is ultimately the responsibility of the driver to determine how and if to proceed on a trail.
Trail vs. Obstacle Levels
An overall trail level is determined by the criteria of the highest-rated impassable obstacle. Obstacles or Challenge Areas that are optional may have higher level ratings than the entire trail system they are on. We design many trails so that more vehicles can ride on them and then we present obstacles as optional areas. This way, stock RL4WD’s can group up with more capable machines and drivers when possible.
Scenic overlooks or educational points of interest will also be displayed in our directory. Wrangler Riders are passionate about sharing the rich history our trail areas have.
Confidence Marker Levels
Confidence level markets will have a level number in them based on the current trail overall rating.
Trail surfaces are indicated on the maps with the following symbols:
Paved Surface - Indicated with a P. Trail is a solid green line on the map with a P at the beginning and end of that section of trail/route.
Gravel - Indicated with a G. Trail is a solid gray line on the map with a G at the beginning and end of the trail section. Gravel trails do not have vegetation growth in the middle and are usually graded.
Dirt - Dirt (or mud) trails are indicated with a D and are usually solid brown lines on the map with a D at the beginning and end of the trail section. Dirt trails may have vegetation growth on them but are not graded. If a Dirt trail is graded, please use the Gravel indicator.
Sand - Sand trails are indicated with an S. They are solid tan lines on the map with an S at the beginning and end of the trail section.
Rock - Rock trails are indicated with an R. They are solid black lines on the map with an R at the beginning and end of the trail section. A rock section of the trail must be the full width of the trail, otherwise, it is defined as an obstacle or waypoint.
Obstacle heights are measured from the average base of the trail to the top of the obstacle. Know your vehicle ground clearance capabilities before attempting to traverse any terrain. Pay special attention as to whether the obstacles are anchored, loose, smooth, sharp, etc. Be mindful of obstacle approach and departure angles as signage will not depict these items. Low-level obstacles may not be mapped. Levels are in 10-inch increments to make this easy to remember. Measurements may be rounded up or down based on the surveying terrain Soft, sandy trail obstacles that sink, may have a lower rating than the same obstacle on the hard-packed ground. As with any trail item, things move, shift, rise and fall. The directory will indicate when the trail was last surveyed by one of our approved cartographers.
Level 1 Obstacles are up to 10in (20cm) in diameter or above ground if anchored.
Level 2 Obstacles are up to 20in (50cm) in diameter or above ground if anchored.
Level 3 Obstacles are up to 30in (76cm) in diameter or above ground if anchored.
Level 4 Obstacles are up to 40in (101cm) in diameter or above ground if anchored.
Level 5 Obstacles 50in+ (127cm+) in diameter or above ground if anchored.
Below Trail Plane (BTP)
Trails that have features that fall below the trail plane are measured by the depth that can change the course of a vehicle to determine their level. Measurements must start at the trails perceived plane or average flat area height. BTP features are likely to change or fill in most often. We use the word Plane instead of Plain (both mean flat area of land) because we're dealing with measurements.
Level 1 BTP’s are up to 10in (20cm) below the trail plane.
Level 2 BTP’s are up to 20in (50cm) below the trail plane.
Level 3 BTP’s are up to 30in (76cm) below the trail plane.
Level 4 BTP’s are up to 40in (101cm) below the trail plane.
Level 5 BTP’s are 50in+ (127cm+) below the trail plane.
Trail Grade Slope
Trail grade is measured in degrees of slope. Many modern trail vehicles now come with Inclinometers which measure pitch and roll/degrees of a grade. Similarly measured on a 10 scale, grade slope (pitch or roll) is leveled for ease of remembering.
Level 1 Trail Grades are up to 10° past plain.
Level 2 Trail Grades are up to 20° past plain.
Level 3 Trail Grades are up to 30° past plain.
Level 4 Trail Grades are up to 40° past plain.
Level 5 Trail Grades are 50° or more past plain.
Trail Width and Radius
Trail width is measured to give us an indication as to how narrow the trail is. Narrow trails with lots of brush can scratch paint and possibly cause vehicle damage. While it's not possible to keep up with trail brush during a survey, it is possible to have members rate the trail brush thickness in real time. This gives trail crews a good idea of which trails need grooming. A trail rating for encroachment will indicate if the trail brush touches the vehicle.
The radius of a turn will indicate if a RL4WD will successfully navigate through a said turn without backing up. Tight turns may require a RL4WD to make multiple attempts to safely make the turn. Determining the official radius of a turn on a trail can be difficult but directional markers will be marked.
Switchback - A trail that turns back on itself to almost a 90-degree bend is called a switchback. If a switchback is narrow and tight, it should be indicated on the map.
Halfback - a trail that turns over halfway back on itself more than 45 degrees.
Our signage must conform to DOT standards as many of our trails and routes will incorporate private land, private roads, public roads and public lands all in the same trail system. Details for approved signage are being developed right now.
Specific Information Signs (SIS)
Tourist Oriented Directional Signs (TODS)
Standard (not enhanced) National Trail Rating System
TRAIL RATINGS 1-5+
Wrangler Riders use the national trail rating system for all our maps and riding areas.
From parks to back road trails, our mapping system is designed to give people a really good idea of the type of trails they’ll be experiencing. Trails do change over time and while our patrollers and chapters do our best to keep the enhanced mapping system up to date, please know things can change without notice. Pay special attention to possible closings of trails during the winter months and always contact your local chapter before heading to a location.
Below is the general trail rating guide. Our maps will indicate an overall trail rating as well as intense use areas. Expect trails to be more difficult when wet, icy or snow covered.
Rated Trail level 1 - Passable by stock and 2WD vehicles. Trail is improved, dirt, gravel etc.
Rated Trail level 2 - Scenic, touring trail ride; four-wheel drive required occasionally, some mud holes or rocks that would stop most other vehicles are traveled easily in 4WD.
Rated Trail level 3 - For novice and experienced drivers alike, the most fun four wheeling you can expect to have in a stock Road Legal 4WD; low range may be required often; vehicle damage is a possibility.
Rated Trail level 4 to 4+ - Not advisable for novice drivers; potentially dangerous situations; maximum ground clearance, lowest gears, and minimum tire size of 33 inches required; lockers, limited slips, winches, and jacks advised due to moderate to large rocks and obstacles, vehicle damage is likely.
Rated Trail level 5 to 5+ - For the hardcore experienced driver; extremely dangerous situations; maximum ground clearance, lowest gears, minimum tire size of 33 inches, two lockers, and winch are required. Jacks and winches indispensable due to large boulders, steep inclines; vehicle damage assured.