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Old 05-25-2011, 09:12 AM   #40
Scott Whitney
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Joined: Nov 2003
Location: SoCal USA
Oddometer: 2,786
Originally Posted by wbbnm View Post
I see there are some discrepancies between the official map and the Benchmarks. One is between 89A and 89. The BM map shows the GWT on roads a few miles east of your tracks. But it is obvious from you maps the GWT is more of a corridor than a single fixed route.
As I was drawing the Utah tracks, I ran into several places where the GWT goes where no motor vehicle could possibly go. I ran smack into straight up cliffs, and straight over mountains too steep for any road, and no visible signs of even a hiking trail. In one long segment the line on the map follows a mountain ridgeline for many miles, yet there is no sign of a road anywhere near there. I also read that there are competing forces in the organizing of the GWT, some pushing for hiking trails and others pushing for dirt roads. Apparently they can't agree on one official route, which is what leads to multiple parallel routes. So it seems there is no such thing as the "official" GWT. It's just a collection of possible North-South routes that can be connected together forming a great adventure.

Just North of Hwy 89 I drew 3 tracks heading North. The one I drew furthest East is the one that matches the map, but it goes up a wash that looks very sketchy for larger bikes. A dirtbike could probably do it just fine, but many others could have problems there. So, I drew the two alternate routes West of there. The middle one is dirt, and also goes up a wash, but it's not as bad as the East wash. The West track takes the highway around that section. So, I suppose I've just added my own personal additions to the GWT. Pick the one that works for you. By far the majority of the tracks I drew in Utah matching the maps are on deluxe dirt and gravel roads.

Originally Posted by wbbnm View Post
A good way to buy Benchmark maps is to order them online. You can search around for the best price and buy a few at a time. IMHO they are a must for trip planning in the west.
I rarely use paper maps. I do everything on GE, which shows things the way they were within the last couple of years. I find roads all the time on GE that are not on any paper maps. But my rides are different than most people do, so my approach may not be so good for them.
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