Great Western Trail Tracks Wanted bits and pieces OK!!!!

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - West & PNW' started by Buddy_Holly, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,089
    Location:
    Carson City/Ridgecrest
    OK I updated GWT file on GPSXchange.com with the Active Log from AZ and Big Dog's trip. I tried to post here but note said I had too much posted. GPSXchange seems to be by far the easiest plact to post tracks.

    Please let me know if you have any corrections!
    #21
  2. floundermike2010

    floundermike2010 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    Sin City, Las Vegas Nv.
    Thanks for the information and the link
    #22
  3. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,460
    Location:
    Abq NM
    We rode a section of the GWT from north of Flagstaff down to just north of Jerome last week. It was a great ride. The portion north of I-40 was mainly wide gravel roads. Things got a little more primitive and fun south of I-40. The only slightly difficult spot was coming down the mountain into the Verde River valley. The trip down and up the valley was spectacular. We chose to go into Jerome rather than turn west and stay on the GWT.

    Our original plan was to go around the mountain at Flagstaff and pick up the GWT farther north, but the road we started on was closed due to Fire Recovery.

    The trail was well-marked with carsonite signes with the round GWT logo.

    We had planned to get on a dirt road south out of Jerome and go over to Camp Verde, but the road was closed.

    I managed to attach the gpx file of the GWT portion of the ride.

    This was part of a week long mostly dirt loop from Albuquerque to the GWT and back.

    I posted the full route on both GpxXChange (West, "Great Western Trail Info") and on DualSportMaps ("New Mexico Arizona Great Western Trail")

    The green line is the GWT. Red lines are part of the ride getting there and out. Cyan line is our intended track.

    Attached Files:

    #23
  4. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,089
    Location:
    Carson City/Ridgecrest
    What was you source of the route?

    Attached is what I have collected. The numbered tracks are Big Dog's saved tracks, don't remember where I got the Active Log.

    Attached Files:

    #24
  5. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,798
    Location:
    SoCal USA
    The "Navajo Lookouts" recorded track along the Eastern edge of the Grand Canyon is from Crawdaddy. I don't think that's an official part of GWT, but definitely a MUST SEE area!
    #25
  6. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,460
    Location:
    Abq NM
    I got my info from the Benchmark maps book on Arizona. If you look really close you can see little "GWT" annotations in green in several places. Since these are pretty sparse, you then have to make an educated guess as to where the trail really is. I think the fact that the roads we took were GWT-marked for all of our trip that I can remember means were on one of the correct routes.

    Here is a map of the GWT and one of our entire trip and a picture of what was probably the hardest spot. It was harder than it looks in the picture but not really all that hard and I would not hesitate to go up it the other direction.

    GWT map
    [​IMG]

    Full trip Map

    [​IMG]


    "Hard" spot coming down to Verde River

    [​IMG]
    #26
  7. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,798
    Location:
    SoCal USA
    I just took a look at Arizona. This map from greatwesterntrail.org shows various trail paths. I took that map image and overlaid it on Google Earth along with the GPS track files from both Jerry and wbb. In some places the tracks from Jerry and wbb are exactly on the map path, and other places they divert from the map path, sometimes by a large distance. And Crawaddy's tracks in Jerry's file match a few short portions of the GWT. Even my own tracks north of Flagstaff accidently went on GWT for about 5 miles. I remember seeing some sort of official trail sign at one particular point along the way (35°43'4.35"N 111°49'19.89"W), but I didn't stop and study it.

    If you like the maps from greatwesterntrail.org, it's pretty easy to use the Google Earth image overlay tool and the semi-transparent feature to show them in Google Earth. Once you have them in there, lined up correctly, it's also pretty easy to draw a GE path following the lines on the maps, then convert the GE paths into a GPS file. The whole thing could be done in one day.
    #27
  8. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,460
    Location:
    Abq NM
    I did the pretty much the same thing using "this map". I too found that there were siginificant differences between that map and what my Benchmark maps showed especially where it crossed 89 alt east of Prescott.

    I didn't know about the picture map overlay feature in Google Earth. I will try it out.

    BTW has anybody had any trouble riding Crawdaddys route along the eastern rim of the Grand Canyon? I think the fact that is on Navajo land is reason it is not in the GWT.

    We rode some dirt roads on the res in wester NM and eastern AZ on our trip last week, and nobody bothered us. But they were marked as county roads on all my maps.
    #28
  9. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,798
    Location:
    SoCal USA
    We didn't follow Cradaddy's tracks, but we did ride in that same Eastern Grand Canyon area without problems. We ran into LOTS of locked gates near Page, which really screwed up that trip. But it looks like GWT goes East from Lees Ferry, bypassing the Page area and all those locked gates. If you go into some places, like the Havasupai indian areas (Western Grand Canyon), they can be super uptight about you "passing through".
    #29
  10. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,089
    Location:
    Carson City/Ridgecrest
    Scott, This sounds like something only a rocket scientist could do. Can you create a file with just the basic (low resolution) GWT.org path and the Benchmark map path?
    Like I said, I have is Big Dog's very crude Saved tracks, and someone elses hand drawn tracks.
    #30
  11. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,798
    Location:
    SoCal USA
    I don't have any Benchmark maps, so unless you can provide a link to a scanned one online, I can't do anything with that. I need a scanned JPEG or GIF. And it has to be to perfect scale so everything lines up correctly when overlaid in GE.

    What I will do today is post a Google Earth file that will have overlays of each state map from GWT.org, plus the tracks you posted, plus the tracks wbb posted.

    I'd rather teach a man to fish than give him a fish, so it will be up to you to to draw the tracks (paths) in GE yourself. It's no more difficult than in Mapsource, except GE doesn't have a join tracks or break track tool. Once you have a series of GE paths drawn, even a caveman can save them and convert them into a GDB or GPX file using THIS tool.
    #31
  12. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,460
    Location:
    Abq NM
    "But it looks like GWT goes East from Lees Ferry, bypassing the Page area"

    I assume you meant West and not East. In the GPS file I have been creating with waypoints taken from either the "official" map or Benchmark maps I show it following 89A up into the mountains and then north on forest road 278 up to Winter Road. Last year we saw a big GWT sign at the intersection of Winter rd and House Rock Creek rd.

    I show it crossing 89 about 6 miles east of Johnson Canyon road on Seamon Canyon road. But none of my GPS maps show a road going thru as it continues north.

    I do not believe it goes up Smokey Mountain Rd from Big Water to Escalante as I think Jerry shows on his map.
    #32
  13. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,798
    Location:
    SoCal USA
    Sorry, yes West, not East.

    Ok Jerry, here's my mega Google Earth file for the Great Western Trail:
    http://www.HogWildRacing.com/other/GreatWesternTrail-HogWild-22May2011.kmz
    Right-click the link, and "Save Target As...", then open it with GE.
    This has all the map overlays from gwt.org, all aligned to their proper location.

    I set the transparency for each map such that you can sort of see the lines marking the trail, yet still see through the map image to the GE roads and terrain below it. You should not enable more than one of the overlay maps at a time, or things start getting pretty hard to see. To turn them on or off, ckeck or unckech the box beside the map name in the "Places" window on the left side in GE. Also, when trying to draw a path in GE, I find it helpful to adjust the transparency level to highlight either the overlay map, or the GE imagery below. To adjust the transparency level, RIGHT-Click on the overlay map name in the GE "Places" window, select "Properties", then adjust the slider bar to make the overlay more or less transparent. With these fine instructions, even a caveman could do it!

    Also included in the GE file are the two GPX files you guys posted earlier. You can see right away which GPS tracks follow the paths on the maps, and which ones don't It appears the paths drawn on the maps from gwt.org are somewhat rough, in that they don't always exactly match existing roads, but rather were drawn sort of as smooth flowing lines in the approximiate locations of the roads.

    It turns out I've accidently ridden a bit more of the GWT than I thought. The section between Tuba City and Bitter Springs lines up with what I rode earlier this year. I included my tracks for that section in the GE file. I also had drawn tracks that match well with the section between Cameron and Tuba City, though I didn't actually ride that section. It think parts of that section are not heavily traveled, if at all, and may not be passable by larger adventure bikes these days. Somebody hurry up and ride that before the road is completely taken back my Mother Nature!

    I included the gas stations I'm aware of in the Northern Arizona section.

    It appears the Big Dog tracks don't follow these GWT maps except in a couple of areas.

    Though my tracks between Tuba City and Bitter Springs are where the GWT line goes, I highly recommend going along the edge of the Grand Canyon as Crawdaddy did in his "Navajo Overlooks" track instead. The views along the edge of the Grand Canyon are WAY better than what you'll see East of there.

    Other than the short sections around Tuba City I didn't add any further tracks, but with this GE file it shouldn't be too hard to do that for the whole length.
    #33
  14. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,089
    Location:
    Carson City/Ridgecrest
    I can open it and see it all out of focus. How do I get a .gpx file of it?
    #34
  15. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,798
    Location:
    SoCal USA
    Something's not working with your Google Earth if it's blurry. Did you give it a minute to download the imagery before deciding it was blurry? If you're internet connection is slow, it could take a bit longer to get the clear imagery. You should be able to see even a bush 3 feet wide in most areas. I can usually see single track trails if they are not under tree cover. Given what you do on a daily basis, you REALLY need to get GE working properly, and spend a little time learning a few of its basic features, like tilting the view to see 3D perspectives of the mountains and terrain. You could save yourself so much time by taking a peek with GE before you head out looking for stuff like that Pony Express stopover. Remember you had been looking for it for a long time, and I found it on GE in about 15 minutes!

    There's not much to see if I convert my GE file into a GPX. It's all the same stuff you guys posted, plus just two new tracks I added into and out of Tuba City. The real value is looking at that stuff overlaid with the gwt.org maps. It gives a completely new perspective of the whole thing.

    In the time since I posted that GE file, I've been drawing tracks in GE over the top of the map overlays. In about two hours I've probably got over 300 miles of new tracks for the GWT that are not in either of your files. This approach of having the maps overlaid on GE, and being able to see the actual roads on the GE satellite imagery directly below the GWT lines on the overlaid maps makes it so easy to draw tracks it's laughable!

    I've also been able to see which of the GWT paths go places motorcycles could not go. There are clearly sections that are for hiking only. You could spend a lot of days and a lot of gas running into dead ends of you tried to ride that stuff without seeing some of the details in GE.

    If you want my help getting up to speed on GE, let me know and we'll spend some time on the phone walking through it. And I'll walk you through the simple process of converting a GE file into a GPX file too!
    #35
  16. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,798
    Location:
    SoCal USA
    #36
  17. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,089
    Location:
    Carson City/Ridgecrest
    Problem is not just learning but then remembering!

    What was your source of the route in Utah?

    Going to Prescott for big art show this weekend. I will pick up an AZ Benchmark (had most other western states) there and check out what shows.

    After a while I did see GE clearly but what is the colored highlights? Could not exactly find your tracks?
    #37
  18. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,798
    Location:
    SoCal USA
    You can buy a few gigabytes of good flash memory for pretty cheap these days.

    I used the Utah map from gwt.org overlaid on GE, and drew the tracks on the roads that best aligned with the GWT lines on that map.

    I think you're still not quite understanding what I'm doing, but you're getting closer. Hang in there a bit more with GE and a whole new world will open up in front of you! Soon enough you too will be able to draw 750 miles of great tracks in just a couple of hours. And while you're drawing them, you're also pre-running them in a sort of virtual way. In GE you can't tell a locked gate from an unlocked gate, but you can tell the differences between a well maintained dirt road, a somewhat overgrown road, and a single track trail. And you can tell how steep things are when you get into mountains. And you can see the scenery along the route so you'll know what's the "cool" way vs the "boring" way, and the "hard" way vs the "easy" way.

    The tracks I drew near Tuba City are orange lines and pink lines. The tracks I just made for Utah are not in that GE file. The tracks from your file and wbb's file show up as blue lines. The gwt.org map overlays are set to be semi-transparent, so if you zoom way way out you can sort of pick up various tints defining national parks, indian reservations, and things like that. To see the GPS tracks or map overlays, they must be "turned on" in GE. To turn things on or off, find the item in the "Places" window on the left side of the GE window, and check or uncheck the box next to that item. If you don't see the "Places" window (along with "Search" and "Layers" windows), goto the main GE menu, select "View", then check "Sidebar", or just hit Ctrl+Alt+B.
    #38
  19. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,460
    Location:
    Abq NM
    Scott,

    Thanks for creating the Utah tracks. I will plan on using them on a future ride.

    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.

    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 copy the relevant pages and mark the route and bring them with me on trips. Then I save the copies and reuse them on other trips.
    #39
  20. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,798
    Location:
    SoCal USA
    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 gwt.org 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 gwt.org maps are on deluxe dirt and gravel roads.

    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.
    #40