How to Find Dirt Roads on Google Maps: A Step-by-Step Guide

Finding dirt roads on Google Maps is not as hard as you might think. It’s actually pretty simple once you know the steps. After this quick read, you’ll be ready to hit the trails and explore the unbeaten path.

Step by Step Tutorial: Finding Dirt Roads on Google Maps

Before we dive into the steps, let’s talk about what we’re trying to achieve. We want to find those less traveled roads, the ones that might not be paved, but offer a whole lot of adventure. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Open Google Maps

Open the Google Maps app or website on your device.

When you open Google Maps, you’ll be greeted with a typical view of the area around you, or the last place you searched. Make sure your location services are on if you want to explore dirt roads nearby.

Step 2: Switch to Satellite View

Switch the map view to ‘Satellite’ to get a better view of the terrain.

In the bottom left corner of the screen, you’ll see a square that says “Map” or “Satellite.” Click or tap on it to switch to Satellite View. This will let you see the actual ground, which can help you spot those dirt roads.

Step 3: Explore the Area

Zoom in and out, and pan around the area where you suspect there are dirt roads.

You might need to zoom in pretty close to spot dirt roads, as they can easily blend in with the surroundings. Use your fingers on a touchscreen, or the + and – buttons on the website, to get a closer look.

Step 4: Look for Unpaved Paths

Look for lines or paths that appear to be unpaved or less defined than the main roads.

Dirt roads often look like thin lines, and they might not be as straight or well-defined as paved roads. They often go through forests, fields, and other natural areas, so keep an eye out for those kinds of terrain.

Step 5: Verify the Road

Use Google Maps’ ‘Street View’ feature, if available, to confirm that the path is indeed a dirt road.

Drag the little yellow person icon onto the map where you suspect there is a dirt road. If Street View is available, you’ll be able to see what the road looks like from the ground. This can help you confirm that it’s a dirt road.

After completing these steps, you’ll have found your dirt roads and you’ll be ready to plan your next adventure. Whether you’re looking for a new hiking trail, a challenging bike path, or just a scenic drive, Google Maps can help you find the perfect spot.

Tips on Finding Dirt Roads on Google Maps

  • Pay attention to the color and texture of the roads in Satellite View; dirt roads often appear lighter and less uniform than paved roads.
  • Use the ‘Terrain’ layer to see elevation changes that might indicate less-traveled roads.
  • Look for areas that are away from urban centers, as dirt roads are more common in rural areas.
  • Check out online forums or groups for off-road enthusiasts, as they often share coordinates for dirt roads.
  • Remember to respect private property and check if the dirt roads are open to the public before exploring.

Frequently Asked Questions

How reliable is Google Maps in finding dirt roads?

Google Maps is fairly reliable in finding dirt roads, but it’s always a good idea to double-check with other sources or locals to ensure the roads are accessible and safe.

Can I find dirt roads in any country using Google Maps?

Yes, Google Maps covers most countries, but the availability of Satellite View and Street View might vary.

Is it legal to drive on all dirt roads found on Google Maps?

Not necessarily. Some dirt roads may be private or have restrictions, so it’s important to do your research before heading out.

How often does Google Maps update their Satellite View?

Google Maps updates their imagery regularly, but it can sometimes take a few years for updates in certain areas.

What should I do if I encounter a road that’s not passable?

It’s best to turn back and find an alternative route. Always prioritize safety and be prepared with supplies and a plan when exploring remote areas.


  1. Open Google Maps
  2. Switch to Satellite View
  3. Explore the Area
  4. Look for Unpaved Paths
  5. Verify the Road


Embarking on an adventure to find dirt roads can be an exciting and rewarding experience, and Google Maps is a fantastic tool to help you discover these hidden gems. By switching to Satellite View and knowing what to look for, you can uncover paths less traveled right from your device. Always remember to verify the accessibility and legality of the roads you find, and to respect the natural environment you’re exploring. With the tips and steps provided in this article, you’re well-equipped to start your off-the-beaten-path journey. So why not open up Google Maps and see what dirt roads await you?