This study examined the effects of slope, low-lying vegetation density, and ground surface roughness on travel rates in order to develop a geospatial model for wildland firefighter escape route optimization. It represents a valuable contribution to the existing body of research surrounding the effects of slope on travel rates, and a novel attempt at quantifying the effects of low-lying vegetation density and ground surface roughness. At present, escape routes are designated by firefighting personnel based on the recommendations of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group's Incident Response Pocket Guide, which suggest avoiding steep uphill escape routes, and scouting for loose soils, rocks, and vegetation (National Wildfire Coordinating Group 2014). Although these are important recommendations, the language is inherently subjective (e.g., 'steep', 'loose'), which can result in judgment error. This study introduces a standardized method for quantifying these variables and providing an experimentally derived account of their effects on travel. It also provides a framework for mapping travel rates across large areas, something that has not previously been possible. Provided that there are LiDAR data available within a given area, the resulting geospatial escape route optimization model can be used as a decision support tool, providing fire crew members with objective insight to aid in the identification of efficient escape routes.