There is consensus that offroading (4×4) is on-topic.

How about driving on roads? Some roads are very remote and driving such roads may require preparation for survival-like situations. Although I prefer to explore nature using muscle force helped only by a bit of modern technology, many people explore nature by car, either by preference or by necessity. But as for hiking or cycling, driving can also be in landscapes formed more by humans than by nature.

Is on-road driving on-topic, off-topic, or conditionally on-topic?

  • It has to depend on the road. Driving on an interstate -- off topic. Driving on a remote rutted dirt road with many large boulders that crosses non-trivial streams .....on topic.
    – ab2
    Commented May 18, 2017 at 3:52
  • 2
    Agree with @ab2. Driving on an interstate or even instructions on getting from town to town would make zero sense. Precautions to be taken on a remote route, including the possible wildlife encounters and weather conditions, mostly on-topic. Commented May 18, 2017 at 6:33
  • 2
    There's a huge spectrum between the extreme's of ab2's comment. Driving on the 25mph street my house is on, or any city street- off topic. Driving on a narrow but well-maintained dirt road to get to a trailhead- marginal. Driving on remote but paved roads in the Adirondak's high peaks during fall colors- marginal. It's these marginal cases we really need to discuss.
    – cobaltduck
    Commented May 18, 2017 at 14:47
  • gerrit, are you planning to post an answer? I'd like to know your thinking on this subject. Commented May 21, 2017 at 19:45
  • @ab2 and others, I'm deleting the bridge question. I've left a note on outdoors.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/980/…... You're all awesome and I'll keep trying to work to figure this out, either in these discussions, chat, or both. Thank you all for understanding. Commented May 24, 2017 at 1:31

2 Answers 2


Mostly 'on-road driving' would be off topic. It is a man made item that is located in the outdoors. Just like a building...

While there may be questions about the outdoors that include roads in the question, that are on topic. Questions that are primarily about roads, driving on roads, traffic, etc. are off topic.

In the question Details on closure of Rte 120 into Yosemite? (Not normal snow closure.) it was allowed because a major event, effecting a major national park, it has current and historical significance. A road is signficant part of the question, but the underly point is about access to a major national park.


It would be conditionally on-topic according to the situation.

Valid on road driving questions should not be an invitation to basic trivia style questions (Which covered bridges can we drive across in Maine, United States?) or question involving simply numbers (How many trees are there in California you can drive through?) These type of questions, in general, do not add any real quality to our site and could be an open invitation to some generally watered down questions about The Great Outdoors.

Valid questions about on road driving in The Great Outdoors must refrain from any sightseeing at a distance. In other words sightseeing while driving on any major highway (such as a Freeways, Interstate Highways, Motorways and so on) which in general should be looked at as simply high volume access routes for vehicles. It is just too open a subject for this site. Exceptions to this may arise, but will have to be handled on an individual basis.

Good on road driving questions must limited to a particular area or region and should not include large portions of any country such as the entire state of California and must be limited in someway to the thrill of being outdoors and enjoying nature as in more remote areas and smaller states such as Maine possibly. Road driving questions involving (local) routes that are very remote should be on topic, especially when maps or GPS are unavailable for some reason.

Some examples of possible good on road driving questions:

•What high (above the tree line) mountain roads are publicly accessible in Troms, Norway?

•Are there any good areas near Prince George, BC, where one could get an occasion to enjoy watching mountain sheep while driving to the Yukon?

•Are there any parks where one needs a permit to drive through for sightseeing purposes?

•Do any general driving only sightseeing parks exist near Paris, France?

•What areas in Banff Nation Park are you not permitted to get out of your vehicle due to dangerous wildlife being present (such as bears)? (Not a real question.)

In conclusion, on road driving questions should be on topic, but must not be too general in nature or simply too trivial, even when used as a disability option.

  • I'm still trying to clarify more of your thinking, not saying the community, or even I, agree. So, by your criteria, Thinking about a road trip out West would be off-topic, right? It's asking for things to see during a "road trip" across 5 states. It includes camping and hiking, which are on-topic, but it's still very general. Commented May 21, 2017 at 0:01
  • I think "trivial" is a bit of a different issue, and more open to interpretation. It might be worth a different meta question, except I think there already is one. I'll see if I can find it! Commented May 21, 2017 at 0:03
  • I agree with only the first and last examples that you have provided. The rest are not related to thrill of being outdoors at all! I would stick to the point that for a driving question to be on-topic, it should involve issues that concern the outdoors. Camping, safety outside vehicles, geographical risks of the route, wildlife encounters possible et al could act as outdoor influences and would be a good candidate for our site. Commented May 22, 2017 at 6:55
  • @Ricketyship I respectfully disagree. Thrill means, among other things, a sudden feeling of excitement or pleasure. I love the outdoors, probably more than many people. If I got to see a herd of Mountain Sheep, even from a distance in a car, I'd be thrilled! I literally cried watching the majesty of the Wild Ponies in Virginia, and you can't get anywhere near them. You have to stay on the road, and hope to catch a glimpse. Commented May 23, 2017 at 1:15

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