How to Avoid Gravel Roads on Google Maps: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’ve ever been on a road trip and found yourself unexpectedly bumping along a gravel road, you know it can be a frustrating experience. Avoiding gravel roads on Google Maps is actually pretty simple once you know the steps. Here’s how you can do it: you’ll adjust your route settings to prefer paved roads and avoid unpaved ones. This guide will walk you through the steps to ensure a smoother journey.

How to Avoid Gravel Roads on Google Maps

By following these steps, you’ll be able to set Google Maps to avoid gravel roads, ensuring a more comfortable and perhaps faster route to your destination.

Step 1: Open Google Maps

In this step, you need to open the Google Maps app or visit the website.

When you first open Google Maps, you’ll be greeted with a map of your current location. Make sure your GPS is turned on if you’re using a mobile device. This allows Google Maps to provide more accurate directions and options for your route.

Step 2: Enter Your Destination

Type the address or name of your destination in the search bar and hit enter.

Once you’ve entered your destination, Google Maps will show you a few different route options. It’s important to select the route that suits you best.

Step 3: Click on Directions

Click on the ‘Directions’ button to begin planning your route.

This will provide a detailed route from your current location to your destination. You’ll see several route options, typically including the fastest route and possibly some alternatives.

Step 4: Access Route Options

Click on the three dots or the options button to access route settings.

Here, you can customize your route preferences. Look for the option labeled ‘Route options’ or something similar. This is where you’ll be able to adjust your settings to avoid gravel roads.

Step 5: Select "Avoid Unpaved Roads"

Check the box next to ‘Avoid unpaved roads’ to ensure your route stays on paved roads.

By selecting this option, you instruct Google Maps to avoid taking you down any gravel or dirt roads. This feature is particularly useful in rural areas where unpaved roads are more common.

After completing these steps, Google Maps will calculate a route that avoids gravel roads, providing you with a smoother driving experience.

Tips for Avoiding Gravel Roads on Google Maps

  1. Double-Check Your Route: Always review your chosen route to ensure it avoids unpaved roads.
  2. Update Google Maps: Make sure your Google Maps app is up-to-date to access the latest features.
  3. Use Street View: If you’re unsure about a road, use Google Street View to check its condition.
  4. Local Knowledge: If you’re in an unfamiliar area, ask locals about the best paved routes.
  5. Alternative Apps: Consider using other navigation apps that might offer more customizable route options.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell if a road is gravel on Google Maps?

Zoom in on the road and use Street View if available. Gravel roads often look less defined than paved roads.

Can I avoid gravel roads using Google Maps on my computer?

Yes, the steps are similar. Enter your route, go to settings and select ‘avoid unpaved roads’.

Do these steps work in all countries?

Most countries have these options, but availability may vary. Always check the settings available in your country.

Can I save my preferences on Google Maps?

Unfortunately, Google Maps does not currently save these preferences, so you’ll need to set them each time you plan a new route.

What if Google Maps still takes me on a gravel road?

If this occurs, it might be because there are no other feasible routes. Always double-check your route and consider alternative navigation apps.


  1. Open Google Maps.
  2. Enter your destination.
  3. Click on Directions.
  4. Access Route Options.
  5. Select "Avoid Unpaved Roads".


Avoiding gravel roads on Google Maps can make your travels much smoother and more enjoyable. While Google Maps is an incredibly powerful tool for navigation, it’s always good to understand how to tweak its settings to fit your specific needs. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your journey remains on paved roads, minimizing surprises and potential vehicle wear and tear.

Remember, technology is great, but it’s always smart to combine it with a bit of old-fashioned common sense. Double-check your routes, consult local sources, and don’t hesitate to explore other navigation apps that might offer even more route customization options. Safe travels!