This thread is an index of the information sources I've come across for route planning and point of interest to explore the back country wonders the US has to offer. It focuses on areas off the beaten path which normally require traveling unpaved roads to access.
National Scenic Byways
: DOT program to recognizes certain roads based on their archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and/or scenic qualities.
: Guide to reaching and historical information on the "corners" were three states or more meet in the US. Many require remote travel to reach.
Expo Adventure Reports
: Huge collection of US and beyond trip reports on the Expedition Portal Forum.
National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Maps
: List of existing MVUM by state and NF. These maps show which roads / trails can be legally traveled.
Backcountry Discovery Routes
: Sites focus is routes for off-highway adventure motorcycle travel, although most routes are suitable for four wheeled vehicle travel. Currently AZ, CO, ID, OR, UT & WA have routes
Wander The West
: Has a well organized, nice drill down map approach with a forum and trip reports.
: Guides for AZ, CA, CO & Moab, UT covering easy backroads to difficult Jeep trails.
: Expedition inspiration, Scout reports and GPS maps, includes some for Baja & Canada.
has varying levels of pictures / info on Ghost Towns, Mining Camps and Historical Sites across the West.
In Search of History
: Research and trip reports from exploring abandoned mines, ghost towns, abandoned railways, fire lookouts, historical and scenic sites of interest.
NW Waterfall Survey
: Primary online guide I us for OR & WA waterfalls research
: Pacific Northwest Backroad Adventures forum.
Gitout Adventure Reports
: Some good camping / exploring trip reports mainly OR & WA. They also have a Trail Report section which is mainly 4WD outings.
: Site loaded with photos showing ghost towns, waterfalls, caves, plane crashes, mines, old barns and more. From the perspective of showing you interesting, out of the way place to photograph in Oregon.
Oregon Byways Guide Book by Art Bernstein: I have & use it, covers highlights and route difficulty info for 75 backcountry drives. Many stock AWD safe routes.
: Online guide I check for waterfalls in areas I'll be visiting to see which might be worth checking out.
: Resource I regularly use to research hikes and cool stuff to see at backcountry places I plan on visiting.
: I have a collection of William Sullivan's Oregon 100 Hikes books that I regularly use.
: Blog by Paul Gerald with hiking info on waterfalls, abandon railways and more within a few hours of Portland
: Forum focused on overland type trekking / exploring in Utah
Nine Mile Canyon Back Country Byway
: A journey into the history of prehistoric cultures that has the greatest concentration of rock art in the US.
Ghost Towns of Washington
: Comprehensive guide to ghost towns, historic mining sites, and other site of historic importance.
NWJeepn Trail Info
: Has some good "easy" interesting routes, of particular interest to me is the Cle Elum Valley area. Also has pages for OR, ID and UT, but not much info.
Aaron's Waterfall World
: Focuses on NW Washington waterfalls