New off-road route established in Wyoming

WYOMING – A new endeavor to promote outdoor recreation in Wyoming is ready for rollout after years of development.

Backcountry Discovery Routes debuted the Wyoming Backcountry Discovery Route – its 11th route – on Feb. 1 in partnership with Wyoming’s Office of Outdoor Recreation.

The BDR is a renowned nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to preserving and creating off-highway riding opportunities for dual-sport and adventure motorcyclists. These cross a multitude of public-use highways and routes.

An economic impact report completed by Backcountry Discovery Routes in 2017 showed annual out-of-state BDR riding party expenditures totaled $17.3 million across seven states. Based solely upon that study, Wyoming BDR is expected to bring in over $2.5 million annually from out-of-state visitors – comprised of an average 1,500 riders and 5,250 nights of paid lodging in addition to campground use.

The influx of tourism dollars is expected to make significant impacts in local communities. Backcountry Discovery Routes and Wyoming Outdoor Recreation collaborated with local enthusiasm between Baggs, Wyo., and Burgess Junction, Mont. Local enthusiasm helped the trail stretch over 950 miles.

This route is part of a broader effort by Wyoming’s Office of Outdoor Recreation to diversify Wyoming’s economy.

This is separate from the currently pitched Southwest Wyoming Off-road Trails initiative, which has been presented to all town councils in Sublette County. Big Piney and Marbleton councils have approved support for the endeavor to join numerous communities in Southwest Wyoming to use off-highway trails, like those on BLM lands, for connected trail use. Pinedale Town Council members heard the presentation and said they would consider it but haven’t revisited yet.