OpenRoad explores the beauty and folklore of the American West — from Alaska to Mexico and the Rockies to Hawaii.

Journalist, environmentalist and fourth-generation Westerner Doug McConnell embarks on a host of exciting adventures, including cohabiting with wild Alaskan brown bears at the McNeil River Preserve and sightseeing in the iconic Monument Valley.

Through McConnell's journeys of discovery, viewers come to know and appreciate the West's grand landscapes, fascinating cities and poignant historic sites like true insiders. Each episode begins with an extended survey of a travel destination before delving into "The Best of the West" segment, which highlights the most intriguing road trips, beaches, roadside attractions, small towns and more. After presenting fun facts about the West and dropping clues for the geography quiz segment, McConnell visits an artist, scientist or actor considered a "Legend of the West."

Distributed by: American Public Television (APT)
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Show Schedule
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Exploring The West

Episode #101 · Alaska Wild - Doug gets up-close and personal with Alaska Brown Bears in the remote McNeil River Preserve and kayaks in Glacier Bay Alaska with humpback whales and calving glaciers.Best of the West - Road trips - Tioga Pass in California, the Zion to Moab loop in Utah and Arizona and the Dalton Highway to the Arctic Ocean in Alaska.Legend of the West - Car artist, Harold Blank.

Hawaii Volcanoes and Midway

Episode #102 · Hawaiian Heat- After a lava gathering expedition on the long-active Kilauea volcano, Doug ventures out to the distant island of Midway in search of wildlife and World War II history.Best of the West - Top 10 Hawaiian beaches.Legend of the West - Keith Fraser, the Lord of the Sea.

Half Dome and Evergreen Lodge

Episode #103 · Yosemite on Stone - This show hits the iconic Half Dome as well as the lesser-know attractions of the northwest side of the park.Best of the West - Wildlife - Bears at Pack Creek in southeast Alaska, critters of the sea in underwater Hawaii and winter migrations of wildfowl and native Tule Elk in California's Central Valley.Legend of the West - Recycling artist, Patrick Amiot.

Alcatraz and Chinatown

Episode #104 · Chinatown and the Rock - Explore San Francisco's Chinatown with consummate guide and expert Martin Yan and visit Alcatraz at night.Best of the West - Adventures! Rafting the Colorado River in Utah, kayaking, hiking, zip-lining and cliff diving on Kauai and mountain biking in northern Sierra Nevada.Legend of the West - Wavy Gravy.


Episode #105 · Catalina Escape - Learn about the history, nature and potential for adventure on Southern California's Catalina Island.Best of the West - Roadside attractions - Litto's Hubcap Ranch in Napa County, Forestiere Underground Gardens and the memorial to 19th century botanist, David Douglas, in Hawaii.Legend of the West - Artist, Lu Huan.


Episode #106 · Zion Canyoneering - Explore the slot canyons of Utah's Zion National Park and uncover the history of Hoover Dam as Doug travels deep inside the massive monument.Best of the West - Western towns - Bodie along the eastern Sierra front, Coloma in California's gold country and Drawbridge in San Francisco Bay.Legend of the West - San Francisco cabbie, Buzz Brooks.


Episode #107 · Northwest Nature - 5,000 Bald Eagles accompany Doug on his British Columbian rafting trip, and rangers and residents recount the tragic explosion of Washington's Mt. St. Helens.Best of the West - Castles - Hearst Castle near Big Sur, Scotty's Castle in Death Valley and Vikingsholm on the edge of Lake Tahoe.Legend of the West - Bernie Krause, Bioacoustician.

Dalton Highway

Episode #108 · Arctic Road Trip - Beginning in a village in Alaska's Brooks Range, Doug visits various small towns as he travels all the way to the Arctic Ocean along the Dalton Highway.Best of the West - Best Underground Adventures - Empire Mine, Lehman Caves and Black Diamond Mines.Legend of the West - Cruising the Strip with Las Vegas' official Elvis impersonator.

Manta Ray Drive

Episode #109 · Ancient Hawaii - Dive with Manta Rays and Holua sled into nature and history on the grassy slopes of Hawaii's Parker Ranch.Best of the West - Views - Fly around Mt. Shasta in California, climb to a 12,000 foot summit high above Death Valley, gaze at otherworldly astronomical observatories atop the nearly 14,000-foot peak of Mauna Kea and fly onto a glacier on the shoulder of Denali, Mt. McKinley.Legend of the West - Grateful Dead drummer, Mickey Hart.

California Coast

Episode #110 · California's Colorful Coast - Start with Big Sur's dramatic mountain summits, travel down to the spectacular shoreline and dive deeper as Doug scuba dives Big Sur's many aquatic delights.Best of the West - Outdoor adventures - Kayak in Kauai and climb the largest volcano on earth.Legend of the West - Scientist and collector, Ray Bandar.

Surprising California

Episode #111 · Surprising California - Unexpected pleasures and high-flying adventures abound as Doug surveys beautiful Clear Lake and the surrounding wine country from a historic biplane. Also visit the hot to the touch and still under construction, Lassen Volcanic National Park.Best of the West - Romance of the Rails - various railways including White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad.Legend of the West - Artist, Ernie Fosselius.