Great Western Trail

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - West & PNW' started by Countdown, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    I finally finished riding or collecting other's active logs to complete the GWT. The trail is marked in many places but not good enough to follow. In some places the forest service has marked non-motorized trails and they did not take into account that motorized users need gas and some want motel access every night.

    I recorded tracks from Mexico up to Ashton ID where it intersects the CDR. Another option is to cut across to the Tour of Idaho trail to get to Canada.

    The attached filtered file is as big as I can attach on Adv. The actual file has many Adv/DS splits, all motels with phone numbers and out of town single gas stations. You can download the complete 3 meg gdb file from http://www.gpsxchange.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3499

    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. birdcool

    birdcool Been here awhile

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    Amazing work, Jerry.

    Would you say it is ready for a mexico to canada run using the logs provided? How much of the trail is "smaller" dirtbike grade toughness like the Highline trail section I have ridden coming north out of Logan Canyon road?
    How can we deal with the hiker only marked sections?
    #2
  3. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Ready to ride now!

    Have you studied my file on GPSXchange.com? Very little single track, there is a lot of difficult 2-tracks but there is always an Adv bypass. Obviously since I did it on a motorcycle, it is all motorized I made a lot of deviations bypassing hiking only trails and going to gas. Best example was going down Paris cyn thru Paris to Montpelier. The marked trail crosses the highway up at Georgetown where there is no gas.

    Utah and ID both have a bunch of single track I still need to check to add many more options. So many trails yet to ride and so lilttle time left. I am almost 70, not sure how much longer I have.
    #3
  4. birdcool

    birdcool Been here awhile

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    Thanks. I think this track will be one of the top 10 long US rides. Very impressive work. I am hoping it is more rugged track than a BCDR, TAT or CDR.

    I had downloaded and previewed the tracks from GPSxchange, but could not tell how much was singletrack. I suppose if I zoom in enough on basecamp and turned tracks off/on, I would be able to see the map lines underneath and seen if it was double line. Sorry for my laziness in contrast to how much work you have done.

    I am interested in maximizing the singletrack, more like the ToI than the CDR, so that was a good split you included. I am looking for the next adventure challenge, getting hooked by doing the ToI solo. I think of smooth dirt roads as a scenic route to the next singletrack or difficult jeep trail and the ToI is the only long route with that philosophy that I have found. I will study the track in more detail and look for singletrack mods to add.
    #4
  5. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

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    Sounds like the The Grand Rally (4000 miles and growing) might be to your liking. The hitch is it's not GPS navigated. It's rally roadbook navigated (you like challenges, right). And it's not quite ready for release.
    #5
  6. 950katoom

    950katoom Been here awhile

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    If you follow what was originally designated and mapped as the GWT, you will find some singletrack that isn't on these tracks. I haven't had time to look at where this route takes you, but it does take you away from some great single track that is west of Heber City, UT. That single track does dead end at a non-motorized area, but to miss this part of the GWT would be a real shame. From where it ends, you would then duck down into Midway, UT and over east of Heber, to connect with Countdown's route.
    #6
  7. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Top 10?

    There are only 4 border to border dirt trails! From the west: PCQ, Mex2Can, GWT, & CDR. TAT is great trail but only from Colorado to the Pacific and you can't brag about riding border to border.

    PCQ has a lot of easy road, is Adv Bike friendly but couild be developed into a great trail if it was really worked.

    M2C is the ONLY Dual Sport border to border trail that uses only 2-track unless there is no option. It has 2,000 mi of dirt and the only pavement is where there is no option and to get in/out of gas and motels.

    GWT is basically a Dual Sport route that has Adv bypasses where it gets real serious and some (with more to be added) single track.

    CDR is a bicycle route suitable for street bikes with knobbies and doesn't even follow the divide in many places. NOTE I have recorded a true "follow the divide" as close as is possible for New Mexico that is MUCH harder than the bicycle route.
    #7
  8. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Not exactly true.

    First: GWT is not a congerssionally designated trail so there is no "designated" trail. It is just a concept with corridors on the GWT web site. Many but not all forest ranger districts have kiosks showing "their" trail and have signed some sections but it is impossible to follow by just looking for signs. You must have GPS or paper maps showing the route.

    Second: If you go to the GWT web site, it shows two branches in northern Utah. I GPSed the eastern branch which is not shown on forest maps or signed by any forest. The western branch (sounds like what you are talking about) that shows on forest maps and is signed has a lot of single track but also has many miles of highway to get between trails. I did work the western section from Logan Cyn (Hwy 89) down to Hwy 165 south of Logan. Did not ride one single track as I was alone.
    #8
  9. birdcool

    birdcool Been here awhile

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    Yeah, I agree that looks more like Top 3 in the nation even though I have not ridden any of them. Maybe even #1 in my book if I can find more single track loops and end with the ToI. And I am not just including boarder to boarder rides, but any 5+ day survival rides that combine riding challenge and scenery. Sounds like I need to add the Western TAT and the Grand Ralley to my bucket list too.
    #9
  10. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

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    Countdown -

    There is another 'border to border' route.... Trans Eastcoast Trail - otherwise called the TET. It goes from the Canadian border in Maine to the Gulf of Mexico. Difficulty level is similar to the CDR.

    Also, there are posted extensions to the TAT that take it to the Atlantic coast... endorsed by Sam. I know - I built it. It's included in the TET-S file here on ADVrider. Savanna to Tellico Plains is around 500 miles and 2-3 days.

    There is also the TCAT - Trans Canada Trail - that is coast to coast... I've ridden parts of V2 and efforts are underway to improve it. Newfoundland to Vancouver Island.

    I have another coast to coast route that has all been ridden, just cleaning it up before releasing it, called the 'Northern Route'. The western end has been released in 2010 - Mazama WA to Eureka MT. In other words, it connects the northern end of the PCQ and CDR. Just made changes to it last month, about to release V2 on both here and GPSFiledepot.com
    #10
  11. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    Thanks Countdown. I am curious about from Mexico to Maybe I-70 for a leg. I just bought a place in Scottsdale to stage from.
    #11
  12. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Thanks, I see TET mentioned but did not know where it was or that it went all the way (B to B). However nothing really worth riding east of the rockys :) Actually it would be nice to just split the west off (less Kalifornia).

    I was out working today and ran into a dad and two sons riding the PCQ. They will e-mail me their active logs. I have been trying to get beter tracks collected for it and post on GPSX. They said it was very hard to follow the current low resolution tracks.
    #12
  13. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Lets get together. I am in Scottsdale every March for a western art auction.
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  14. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    OK we can get together. I'd like that.

    I imported your GWT tracks and studied them on basecamp. Did you actually ride the eleven mile wash section north of Rio Verde to Carefree? I rode that last winter and found it not big bike friendly. I may have sent you my tracks, but I don't remember. Also did you ride the section from Bloody Basin to Verde? I think I'm going to try it next week, but I didn't know if those trails actually go through.

    Thanks,
    Bob
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  15. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I too often wonder if someone I have gotten tracks from actually rode it.

    One pretty good way to tell is to open the track file and see whether it is time-stamped, i.e., you can when and how long each point is.

    You can also get a feeling for the difficulty of a segment by noting the speed between points. This is especially useful if you can see a place that you have ridden and know the difficulty of. That way you can kind of calibrate the riding ability of the poster.

    I believe Jerry has truly ridden nearly all of what he has posted. His files are Active Logs with time stamps.
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  16. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Bob,

    I think these two plus the east section north of I-10, and Globe to Scottsdale are the only ones I did not ride. However I think they are all active logs (with time stamps & MPH) from others.

    Jerry
    #16
  17. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Jerry,

    I am thinking of doing a ride that would include much of the GWT between Cameron and Camp Verde. I got your latest GWT tracks.

    Can you refresh my memory of what your color codes mean. I am kind of guessing green are the primary routes. And I believe red are generally difficult sections. I don't know what maroon and pink are, maybe non GWT alternates.

    Also are there any motels/restaurants in the general area between Cameron and Tusayan. I would like to avoid both of those if possible.

    Thanks
    Bill
    #17
  18. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

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    Bill,

    Be aware Hwy 89 South of Page was closed when I was there in April at this location (36° 40.093'N 111° 37.775'W) and at the bottom due to major slide mid-way down "The Cut". It's been closed on and off for a while. Locals told me it was open, but it wasn't. That's probably beyond where you're going this time, but thought you might like to know.

    The bypass road (Indian Route 20 / Coppermine Rd) is now 100% paved from this point (36° 18.475'N 111° 26.211'W) all the way north to Page.

    I'll PM you the way we go.
    #18
  19. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Bill,

    Track Colors are:
    Dark Green is Fun Dual Sport
    Dark Magenta is Adv Bike bypasses for harder sections
    Red is Difficult Dual Sport

    Very little Pink and are self explanatory special

    Between Cameron and Tusayan is Grand Canyon. There is main village and several places to buy indian jewelry and perhaps indian Tacos out side the park. Cameron is nice but perhaps pricey lots to see and do there. I stayed in RV park across the street. There is at least food/gas at Gray Mt but I think old motel was closed. Can't remember intersection of Park road and Hwy 89 but at least gas and some food.

    Jerry
    #19
  20. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Scott,

    Yeah we are well aware of that closure. It hasn't been a problem except for the extra traffic near Tuba City.

    Next time we will be coming into Cameron from the southeast. I think we will start out doing the last two days of our May ride in reverse and pick up some of the stuff we missed.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=981366

    Jerry,

    Thanks for jogging my memory about the color codes. I have several months to plan this. Don't know if we will do it in the fall or more likely next spring.
    #20