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Maps that include dirt?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by trasko, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. trasko

    trasko Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    283
    Location:
    Bay area, CA
    Are there maps that include the innumerable dirt roads in the US (specifically CA)? How are you getting from one place to another on dirt?

    I've seen some "tracks" for GPS units of routes people have already taken... I don't have a GPS and I'm cheap and I'd rather come up w/ my own route; but is there some good all-inclusive source that I am missing or is everyone cobbling their routes together from whatever maps/data/heresay they can get their hands on? A good source for inexpensive maps, perhaps?

    Should I just suck it up, spring for a GPS unit and go exploring roads relying on the GPS to get me back out?

    Perhaps I'm over-analyzing this :huh
    #1
  2. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    out and about
    County maps will show the dirt roads.
    BLM and USFS maps show the dirt roads, even some trails.
    DeLorme Gazetter/Atlas shows dirt.
    Benchmark Map books show dirt.

    Visit an outdoor outfitter type of store. They have to carry maps, otherwise all their customers would get lost and die....
    #2
  3. Dirtnadvil

    Dirtnadvil Long timer

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    I feel that the Benchmark maps are easier to use compared to De Lormie. Dirt roads are marked differently than trails are. However the Benchmark maps show a larger area per map so the detail isn't as great. For 99% of the riding that I have done in Ca. the Benchmark was better. I used the D L maps for years till I was turned on to the Benchmark Maps by a guy from Austria.
    #3
  4. byways

    byways byways

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    Benchmark (state) Road and Recreation Atlases are the best in the atlas genre, if they produce one for the state you're interested in. DeLorme's seemed good when they first came out, but are really a great idea that was poorly executed. Benchmark has become, well, the benchmark for the genre. They're outstanding. DeLorme's make it very difficult to discern what is a dirt road, or a hiking trail, etc.

    www.backcountrybyways.com
    #4
  5. Santa

    Santa Focused on the Future

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    I like the CSAA paper maps.Easy to carry, disposable and free if you are a member. They have area maps that show all the fireroads you could want. Choose the ones like Yosemite area of Tahoe area. You will find a lot of great dirt just waiting to be ridden.
    #5
  6. byways

    byways byways

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    The Automobile Club of Southern California's (AAA) maps are outstanding for us. Free to members. They often depict even 4x4 trails, and their accuracy is verified by their staff road warriors who are in fact out there driving and checking each road (I've encountered them). ACSC's "Indian Country" is one of the most amazing maps of its kind.

    www.backcountrybyways.com
    #6
  7. lizabee

    lizabee Adventurer

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    Mar 19, 2006
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    SF Bay Area
    Thanks everyone, I have ordered the Benchmark map for CA; should have it w/in the week. If I'm lucky I'll get to test it out next weekend. I hope it isn't anything like internet directions -- I've had too many bad experiences.

    ~trasko
    #7
  8. jamesdemien

    jamesdemien Been here awhile

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    Sep 10, 2007
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    St. Louis
    #8
  9. rpav

    rpav Adventurer

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    Jun 12, 2007
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    Disco Bay
    I agree the DeLorme "Northern California Atlas & Gazetteeer" is an excellent map book. I also bought the Southern Calif one both from an Outdoors store in Livermore, Dom's? I'm sure an REI would have them or Amazon.com.

    Would highly recommend the Garmin 550, it has all the National Forest roads loaded across the US. The unit comes complete with mounts for bike and car. Built tough, water proof and designed to be used with gloves.
    If you try to save $ and buy a cheap one, you will spend more $$ in the long run. The 550 comes complete with all cords, mounts, and software.
    Bob
    #9