Discovering Alternate Routes with Google Maps


If you’re an avid traveler or simply looking for the quickest way to get from point A to point B, Google Maps is often the go-to navigation tool. Did you know that you can find alternative routes on Google Maps as well? This feature is incredibly helpful when dealing with unexpected road closures, traffic jams, or even if you’re looking for a more scenic route. In this article, we’ll discuss how to find alternate routes on Google Maps and make your journey more efficient and enjoyable.

Step 1: Enter Your Starting Point and Destination

To begin, open the Google Maps app on your smartphone or navigate to the website on your computer. Type your starting point and destination into the search bar or use the “Directions” button to input the locations. This will display the fastest route by default.

Step 2: View and Choose Alternate Routes

Once your initial route has been generated, you’ll notice alternative options displayed as gray lines on the map. Tap or click on one of these gray lines to select an alternate route, and it will change color to indicate that it is currently selected. The estimated travel time and distance will also update accordingly in the information panel.

On mobile devices, swipe left or right in the navigation panel at the bottom of the screen to scroll through available alternatives. The travel time difference (faster or slower) will be displayed so you can make an informed decision based on your preferences.

Step 3: Customize Settings

Google Maps offers several tools for customizing your route further. Look for options like “Avoid Highways” or “Avoid Tolls” if you prefer to stay off busy roadways or minimize additional costs during your trip. For those who enjoy scenic drives, use the “Bike & Hike” setting to find routes with less traffic and more picturesque landscapes – perfect for leisurely cruises and eco-friendly commutes.

Additionally, you can add multiple destinations by clicking on the “+” icon (or tapping “Add Stop” on mobile devices). This is useful for planning trips with several pit stops or picking up passengers.

Step 4: Set Departure or Arrival Times

If you want to find the best route based on anticipated traffic flow, use the departure and arrival time feature. You can access this tool by clicking on “Leave Now” located next to the destination input field (website) or tapping the three-dot menu in the upper right corner of the navigation panel (mobile app). This will allow you to see potential traffic patterns at specific times, helping you plan accordingly.


Incorporating alternate routes into your travel plans with Google Maps is a breeze. By taking advantage of these features, you not only avoid roadblocks and traffic headaches, but also explore new areas and make your trips more enjoyable. The next time you need directions, remember that there’s more than one way to reach your destination with Google Maps. Happy travels!