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The Ultimate Guide to Overland Events in North America

Your guide to overland rallies and expos is here. Our overland event list will have you dreaming of your next meetup.
Overland Expo West 2023Overland Expo West 2023; (photo/Bryon Dorr)
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While its roots can be traced back to Prescott, Ariz., and the first Overland Expo in 2009, the North American overland events landscape has drastically changed, especially in the last half-decade.

Besides the Overland Expo in Arizona, the early years also saw a handful of Overland Rally events, most backed by Overland International, sprout up across the country. These regional events helped introduce thousands to overland travel and were more community-driven than industry-focused.

While the same ethos exists between the smaller local events and massive Overland Expos today, there is a lot more of all of the above.

Overland Expos

Camel Trophy Skills Area entrance at Overland Expo East 2016
Camel Trophy Skills Area entrance at Overland Expo East 2016, a regular event highlight that is no longer part of the program; (photo/Bryon Dorr)

Overland Expo has expanded to four events each year and become even more gear- and industry-focused. The largest event is still the original in Arizona, now called Overland Expo West. In 2024, it saw upward of 29,500 attendees and 415 vendors.

The Overland Expo event series is now on its third owner, currently Emerald Expositions (a trade-show event company). It continues to veer away from education and community and focus more and more on gear.

While hands-on demonstrations and moving vehicle training have been greatly reduced, vendor spots and advertising opportunities have been maximized.

Happy hours and parties have also greatly gone down, leaving just those who can pay the high fees for ID checks/security, licensed bartenders, and alcohol from approved vendors.

The Overland Expo events are still the place to get a first look at the latest and greatest gear on offer from the industry, as well as the latest vehicle builds. These events are also where you will most likely meet international travelers — even though it seems like fewer attend each year.

Overland Rallies & Rendezvous

NW Overland Rally 2015
NW Overland Rally 2015; (photo/Bryon Dorr)

Many of the early Overland Rally events disappeared, but a few still remain, specifically NW Overland Rally and Mid Atlantic Overland Festival. However, a plethora of small overland rally events sprouted up all over the continent in recent years.

While most of these events fundamentally have the same structure/pieces as the Expos — vendors, seminars, hands-on instruction, communal food and drink, on-site camping — they tend to draw a more localized crowd, and focus less on the gear and more on community building.

There are also a handful of rendezvous-type events, which focus more on communal camping and trail driving. These events are usually put on by local clubs/groups rather than businesses trying to make a profit.

The overland rally and rendezvous events tend to attract a few hundred to a few thousand people. Even the largest of them remains orders of magnitude smaller than any of the four Overland Expo events held each year, which can draw 30,000+ attendees.

Overland Expo West 2024 Best in Show
Overland Expo West 2024; (photo/Bryon Dorr)

Defining an Overland Event

There are so many overland events now that keeping track of them all is very hard. And many events have large overland industry components, but aren’t necessarily focused on overlanding. Also, some argue that car camping festivals and RV meetups are just as “overland” as other similar-style events listed here.

That is to say, this list presents a solid starting point but is in no way comprehensive of every overland event you could attend in North America. I purposefully excluded RV-focused events from this list.

2024/2025 Overland Events Calendar

EventDate Location
Northwest Overland Rally (NWOR)June 20 – 23, 2024Plain, WA
Adventure Van ExpoJune 22-23, 2024Hood River, OR
Touratech Rally WestJune 27-30, 2024Plain, WA
Adventure Van ExpoJune 29-30, 2024Boise, ID
Overland Expo PNW June 28-30, 2024Redmond, OR
British Columbia Overland Rally (BCOR)July 11-14, 2024Kelowna, BC
North West Truck Camper RallyJuly 17-21, 2024Cashmere, WA
Holy ToledoJuly 25-29, 2024Toledo, OR
Adventure Van ExpoJuly 27-28, 2024Evergreen, CO
Adventure Van ExpoAugust 3-4, 2024Topsfield, MA
Mid Atlantic Overland FestivalAugust 10-13, 2024Central, PA
Overland Expo Mountain WestAugust 23-25, 2024Loveland, CO
Descend on BendAugust 30-September 2, 2024Yamhill River, OR
Toyo Tires TrailpassSeptember 6-8, 2024Big Bear, CA
CA Overland Adventure & Power Sports ShowSeptember 14-15, 2024Sonoma, CA
Adventure Van ExpoSeptember 14-15, 2024N. Lake Tahoe, CA
Teton Overland ShowSeptember 13-15, 2024Idaho Falls, ID
Overland of AmericaSeptember 13-15, 2024Jay, OK
VanquinoxSeptember 19-20, 2024Grandjean, ID
Big Iron Overland RallySeptember 27-28, 2024West Mineral, KS
Adventure Van ExpoSeptember 28-29, 2024Bend, OR
The PilgrimageOctober 3-6, 2024South Royalton, VT
Overland Expo EastOctober 4-6, 2024Arrington, VA
Rendezvous in the OzarkOctober 10-12, 2024Ozark, AR
Copperstate OverlandOctober 12-16, 2024AZ
Overlander Project Adventure SummitOctober 25-27, 2024Uwharrie, NC
Adventure Van ExpoOctober 26-27, 2024Ventura, CA
Truck Camper Adventure RallyFebruary 12-16, 2025Quartzite, AZ
American Adventurist Desert RendezvousFebruary 2025Quartzite, AZ
Southeast Adventure Vehicle ExpoFebruary 28-March 2, 2025Starke, FL
CA Overland Adventure & Power Sports ShowMarch 15-16, 2025Pomona, CA
Midwest Overland Offroad Expo  (MOORE)April 25-26, 2025Springfield, MO
Overland Expo WestMay 2025Flagstaff, AZ

Overland Events

All of these events have their place in the industry, but the overland event space has become saturated. In the past 12 years in this industry, I have personally been to over 10 different overland-specific events and north of 34 total events. Event fatigue is real!

For me, overlanding is about self-reliant, vehicle-based adventure travel. While one can define that in various ways and mean very different things to different people, it all comes down to traveling by vehicle — where the travel itself is the goal, not the destination.

Mid Atlantic Overland Rally
Sharing stories around the campfire at the Mid Atlantic Overland Rally; (photo/Bryon Dorr)

Overland events are great places to build community, get travel tips, learn how to use essential gear, find deals on gear, and generally have a great time with like-minded people.

However, in my opinion, attending overland events is not overlanding. Admittedly, my opinion might fall in the minority in today’s North American overland community. The number of people who ask overland companies for free products to support their “expedition” to overland events is laughable. Don’t be that person.

Go Travel!

While I truly cherish many memories I have from these events, along with friendships made and skills learned, the experiences I like to share around a campfire or pint at the pub are those that I made traveling to new places and experiencing local cultures.

Attend some overland events, but remember that it’s likely more valuable to use your limited travel time and budget to actually get out and explore.

Dalton Hwy looking south into the Brooks Range
Dalton Highway looking south into the Brooks Range; (photo/Bryon Dorr)

One final thing to note: I lived on the road, mostly in North America, for nearly 8 years and never ran out of cool places to see and interesting people to meet. You don’t have to travel all that far to enjoy the spirit of overland travel.

With that said, most of my most vivid memories are those created in far-off lands, with people who spoke a different language, and when I was uncomfortable in one way or another. Hopefully, I’ll see you at an overland event soon. Or, better yet, I’ll bump into you on the road less traveled.

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