So Cal deserts & mountains

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - West & PNW' started by myerss, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. myerss

    myerss Adventurer

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    I just installed a Nuvi 550, I've already decided to get E32 maps for baja, Going down for a week in July.

    I'd also like something similar for the San Bernardino forest area and/or pretty much all of the Mojave desert area.

    I'd really like something that shows the actual dirt roads..... topo lines don't do anything for me, It's the roads I'm really interested in seeing.

    Any body have any suggestions?
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  2. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    The problem in the Mojave is that the BLM just did route designation and will start signing all of it soon. I don't think any of the map companies have published accurate maps of what is now legal. Actually the same problem exists in the forests.

    Bottom line City Nav is ok but Roads & Rec is much better in the desert but then you must follow open/closed signs.

    If you got a Nuvi, I assume it is not on a off road bike so City Nav should be ok.
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  3. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I have a Garmin 60 and don't know much about Nuvi's. I have a vague impression that a 550 is a good unit. I think it is what a few of the guys I ride with have.

    Anyway as to roads. I switch back and forth between Garmin Topos and City Navigator. They tend to show every road I would consider taking.

    The problem with them is they don't show land ownership except for crude and not very accurate National Forest boundaries. And as Countdown said, they do not show closed areas. If you are planning on primitive roads you better stay on public land.

    I use Benchmark paper maps to glean ownership information. These also show wilderness area.

    There are quite a few Wilderness closures in the Mojave especially in hilly areas.

    As to the Travel Managment Plan I suspect you would be best off getting out there quick before the signs go up. Chances are in that case if you get caught on a closed road, you will only get a warning.
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  4. myerss

    myerss Adventurer

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    My Nuvi is on a motorcycle, 640 adventure,It has a motorcycle icon and it's waterproof. Is this unit not adequate for offroad bikes? Is there something I should know?

    I do know about the current BLM plans, unfortunately these type of things have been affecting the offroad community for quite a long time.

    I wouldn't think the "map makers" would hesitate to list a road that they know exists. I would guess it to be the responsibility of the end user to determine whether a particular road was off limits.

    You can't ride a quad down the freeway but they still list the freeways right?

    Anyhow thanks for the info, I think I'll pick up a Garmin map and see how that does.
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  5. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    You have not said what you want to do with a GPS? Which Garmnin Map set?
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  6. myerss

    myerss Adventurer

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    As I said, I'd really like something that shows the actual dirt roads..... topo lines don't do anything for me, It's the roads I'm really interested in seeing.

    I think I'll try Garmin Topos as wbbnm suggested.

    I was just hoping some people out there with basemaps like wbbnm, could tell me how good a particular map is in advance since you can't really preview them and at roughly a hundred bucks a pop I'd rather not just buy maps up front and wait to see if they have good trail definition.

    I know everybody trades routes and what not and that's great, If I was planning to do a specific section I could see that being a wonderful resource.

    But, if you had the trails, roads, etc. already on a basemap you could navigate roughly, the same way off road as you do on the city streets. You could tell were the next fork in the road goes.
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  7. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Very few people use Topo, especially on small screen hand helds. Just too many lines. I would go with the standard, City Nav or much better old Roads & Rec if you can find a copy.

    With the small screen you really can't tell where a road goes. Especially in the desert where there are intersections every 0.2 miles. Same is true or worse at Mammoth. You really need planned routes using Tracks or just follow Tracks that are posted like on GPSXchange.com
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  8. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I can attest that both Topo and City Nav are worth the money. If you can only buy one, buy City Nav. It shows about 99% of the same roads as Topo.

    With City Nav you load an entire state at a time instead of lots and lots of small rectangles as with Topo.

    I flip-flop between using City Nav and Topo while riding. On our last trip I went almost purely Topo.
    This was because City Nav shows major dirt roads as a nearly invisible dashed line on my 60. I almost always have a track drawn so it is generally not a problem.

    But sometimes when we have to wing it, Topo, which shows most dirt roads in red, can be better.

    Sometimes I just like to see the topo lines especially in alluvial fans.

    For trip planniing I use each one 50/50. The big advantage of Topo is that it will tell you if the route you are going on goes up to 10k ft which is something you do not want to do in the spring or fall.
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  9. myerss

    myerss Adventurer

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    Thanks again for the info. I just tackled the E32 maps download yesterday, took me a good 3 hours to get it squared away.

    City Nav is next.

    Thanks
    #9