Many Google Maps users complained about the app often directing them to dirt roads instead of paved roads or major roads.
That’s really annoying, especially if Maps takes you on back roads that are unmaintained.
If you’re wondering if there are some kind of settings to force the app to stay on paved roads, keep on reading this guide to learn the answer.
Can I Avoid Dirt Roads When Using Google Maps?
Currently, there’s no bullet-proof way to avoid dirt roads when using Google’s GPS and navigation app.
Google Maps does not have a built-in option to avoid dirt roads, the same way you can avoid toll roads, for example. There are only three criteria you can use when filtering routes: highways, tolls, and ferries.
Use Street View
If you want to make sure you’re not going down a back road, you can use the Street View feature.
Keep in mind that in some areas, only the paved roads are covered by Street View. If the Street View option is not available for certain roads, this could be a good indication the respective road is not paved.
Or you can simply enable this option to have a quick look and see if the road you’re planning to take is indeed paved or not.
By the way, if Google Maps is not showing Street View and this is only a purely technical problem, check out this troubleshooting guide.
Use a Printed Road Map
Use a really good detailed printed road map. Paper maps are more reliable than many navigation apps, especially when it comes to long road trips.
Following your GPS blindly may take to you unmaintained dirt roads which may unfold unpleasant surprises. If you’re not a local and you’re not familiar with the local roads and their condition, it’s always best to stay on major roads.
Unless your destination is a dirt road, don’t drive down one when you see it in front of you. Stick to paved roads. Google Maps should quickly recalculate your route. Always make safe choices when driving.
Ask Google To Add This Feature
Meanwhile, you can submit your feedback about Maps to Google and let them know why such a feature would be really helpful to users.
I am in a car club and trying to map out a run. We like the country roads but not the dirt roads. It would be great to be able to exclude the dirt roads. Wazes has the feature but the content in inaccurate.
Google map directed us again to dirty, unsaved road . Please fix it .
In the last few months Google Maps has taken me down hilly unpaved roads, and once an unmaintained road. This is both unsafe and a major time waste.
Please fix this feature or offer an opt out, or I’ll need to find alternative apps.
Con Katopodis says
I’m currently exploring country side places , most important for m is to know the unsealed country roads because they aren’t safe for me and for riding a motorcycle on them
I am getting very frustrated with 9oogle maps taking down back roads travelling between Victoria and south Australia. Seriously disappointing
Connie Bryant says
I ended up on path that was not maintained. It was not plowed during the winter. It was not safe! This should not happen, when a paved road is available
Sadly it’s just lately Google maps has been sending me on bad gravel roads, so I do know and avoid but at times when I’m lost I take a chance and regret it I drive a performance car so I’m low to the ground and this year’s there’s a lot of county road construction which puts me on gravel opposed to pavement we need more driving option to avoid this nuisance
Lorelle M says
PLEASE provide a setting to avoid unsealed roads, we use Google Maps all the time but on this trip we have been sent on so many dirt tracks it’s very disappointing co sidering we aren’t in a 4×4.
Becky Deyling says
Please add dirt roads to your roads to avoid list. Driving those roads is not just an inconvenience, it’s not safe. Also add truck routes as we use back roads but are often times hauling a fifth wheel or boat.
Carl Lester says
I don’t have a 4*4 Google things I do so please add unpaved roads thanks
Tom Maughan says
Provision is now made for accessing roads for 4×4 or off road type vehicles. Why cannot this be expanded to cover roads that ONLY can be safely accessed by 4×4 vehicles.? In this way, Motor Homes can be guided to avoid such roads BUT also, by default it will indicate access to unmade roads that CAN be used by Motor Homes and Caravans.
Jessica Hernandez says
I do deliveries and its not so much the paved or unpaved roads for me… I live in lasVegas and we have wash trails where there is no way to go thru them..there is no access to the other side..yey google maps tries to navigate me to them even when re routing and it only delays my deliveries making me late..
Steve Harper says
No I hate when Google map takes you around back roads I like to stay on the main roads
Ron Phillips says
Two things, show in colors? difference between paved and unpaved roads. Add a feature for sightseeing (scenic routes) along a planned trip just like you do avoiding highways, tolls and ferries. Other than that we use Google maps for off roading (we save the area offline and then access) traveling by car, truck and bike.
Guess what happened today: I drove through a dirt road on a rainy day. This means one hour of washing. The filter for dirt road will be so helpful. thank you!
Mr Kevin Phillips says
I find if the direction given is not followed by a road name ie B654 then don’t take it.
Cary on the road your traveling until the next turning has a number.
Trend to avoid narrow country lanes this way.
We drive around Australia often in our small RV where we don’t have paper maps, our NavMan is outdated so we rely on Google Maps. But today’s trek down a very damp, dirt road was no joke when there was a perfectly good alternative sealed road nearby which locals told us about later. We have no confidence in using Google Maps again. Such a shame!
Steve Pinder says
I live and work in Cornwall and there are so many narrow roads that on paper look good but aren’t. If you’re driving a wider vehicle some are totally un navigable. G maps has a habit of following these roads instead of using the much quicker A and B roads. Frightening when you can’t turn back!
I drove from Tarwin Lower to Outtrim. One way was 1 min slower (who cares right?) yet it directed me the 1 minute slower not realising it was 20 minutes of dirt road! Ok, it was a well maintained road and lucky my Subaru enjoys dirt, but the point is I could have gone bitumen 🤦♀️ My navigation tells me if there are unmade roads but it’s out of date and this particular address was unavailable plus I use google maps as a back up. Please make it an added feature. I love and trusted Google maps until today 😭 ….
Please add something on Google Maps which will indicate whether a road is paved or unpaved and the option to avoid unpaved roads.
I live in an area with as many unpaved roads as paved roads and don’t want to drive on unpaved roads unless my destination is there.
Bernie Summers says
I’m on a motorcycle, visiting Tasmania’s West Coast & would like to know which roads are dirt & which ones are not.
Bernie Summers says
I’m on a motorcycle & would like to know which roads are dirt & which roads are not.
I have a motorhome with vehicle towed on the back. Often google takes me on random roads I would rather not use for the sake of a couple of minutes.
Riana Otto says
Hi I travel a lot specially in rural areas and and find myself using Google maps more often than and people usually do and I don’t know all of them and I keep on forgetting which road to take so I use it very often to have a setting on the map that says and tar roads only would really be helpful. I love you application and this would make a huge Difference in lot of people’s Use of your app