maps for the west of USA

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Nigel Laverick
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maps for the west of USA

Postby Nigel Laverick » 23 Mar 2015, 9:30pm

Can anyone suggest good maps for the west of America - Arizona , Utah , Idaho , Oregon and the Pacific coast. I've costed the American adventure cycling maps but these seem very expensive. Thanks

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robgul
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Re: maps for the west of USA

Postby robgul » 23 Mar 2015, 9:43pm

Flippant perhaps but in my view there are no "good" maps of the US.

You might look at http://www.adventurecycling.org/ which has some resources to point you in the right direction.

Rob

boblo
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Re: maps for the west of USA

Postby boblo » 23 Mar 2015, 10:07pm

The ACA maps are worth it for all the extraneous (non map) stuff they contain. Are you doing an ACA route or 'just' touring? If the former, you could download the GPX and follow Garmin. If you don't have one, put the map cost towards buying one then just use State maps from petrol stations. If the latter, just buy the State maps. They're not great but there aren't that many roads to choose from like we see in Europe.

AndrewClark
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Re: maps for the west of USA

Postby AndrewClark » 23 Mar 2015, 10:11pm

When I did my last trip to the USA (Nevada, Arizona & Utah) I bought Delorme / Rand McNally road atlases & just cut the sheets I wanted for my trip out with a Stanley knife. This was OK for a road based trip, if you intend to go off road you'd probably need to get stuff locally.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=dp_byline ... evancerank

I used the ACA maps when I did Seattle to San Fran, they are very good if you are just following one of their routes.

Plenty of GPS maps out there as well. I was able to download decent quality stuff to cover my trip & pre plotted my route at home.

Vorpal
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Re: maps for the west of USA

Postby Vorpal » 23 Mar 2015, 10:14pm

http://www.usgs.gov/pubprod/ ?

Or you can just take the free ones form tourist information places? They are usually pretty good, but road atlas quality rather than OS.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Galloper
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Re: maps for the west of USA

Postby Galloper » 24 Mar 2015, 2:03pm

Most state tourist boards have free maps but they are often quite small given the area they cover. In my experience, the AAA (American Automobile Association) maps are about the best for general use. They also, if memory serves, highlight scenic routes in the same way as the Michelin European maps.

J1of1
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Re: maps for the west of USA

Postby J1of1 » 27 Mar 2015, 11:20pm

Write to each state's Department of Transportation which you will be passing through. Most, if not all, have a "bicycle coordinator" who can supply you with maps and bike routes - often for free. For example here is the page for Arizona: http://www.azbikeped.org/contacts.asp

PJ520
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Re: maps for the west of USA

Postby PJ520 » 29 Mar 2015, 12:27am

robgul wrote:Flippant perhaps but in my view there are no "good" maps of the US.

You might look at http://www.adventurecycling.org/ which has some resources to point you in the right direction.

Rob
I've lived here 40 years and second that. The only thing with the detail of OS maps are USGS maps and you would need so many a sag wagon would be required to haul them, if you could figure out which ones you need. There are excellent 1" or so scale maps for the popular hiking areas, these are known as Green Trail maps for off road stuff these would be just dandy but not much use for a road tour, again because you'd need so many of them. Be aware there is no Right to Roam in the US and you can land in trouble wandering across people's land without getting permission.

Spendy as they may appear ACA maps are a great investment for the Pacific Coast or the Sierra Cascades if mountains are your thing. These routes are well thought out and you can make a rod for your back trying to outsmart them. I added about 100 miles to a tour because a pass was snowed in and I detoured round it a few years ago.

State maps are worth having in addition to ACA maps. With ACA maps you end up with a sort of tunnel vision, when I did the TransAm it was only by looking at a state map I realized I was only 15 miles from a big city, Wichita Kansas. But in general if a route on a state map looks better than the ACA version it isn't, like the time I took the quick (hah) way from near Boggle Hole to Whitby: horrendous climbs and Brands Hatch roads. You get the same sort of thing over here.
You only live once, which is enough if you do it right. - Mae West

Nigel Laverick
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Re: maps for the west of USA

Postby Nigel Laverick » 29 Mar 2015, 12:01pm

Thanks for all the advice. I like the idea of cutting pages out of road atlases , I've done that for cycling in Europe. The problem with the ACA maps is as one person put it they give 'tunnel vision' but they do have a lot of useful advice on them.
Is there a cheap source in the UK for USA road atleses ? I buy my Europe road atlases from amazon and got some really good deals on out of date ones .

Ta NL

tatanab
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Re: maps for the west of USA

Postby tatanab » 29 Mar 2015, 1:08pm

Nigel Laverick wrote:Is there a cheap source in the UK for USA road atleses ? I buy my Europe road atlases from amazon and got some really good deals on out of date ones .
You need individual state road atlases. If you look for Randy McNally in Amazon all you get is the whole country road atlas which would be an absolutely hopeless scale. The individual maps show up if you search for Delorme (which is in conjunction with McNally). http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keyw ... rmrsv6qh_b

I used these maps for a couple of driving trips from end to end of the country, but when I lived there I used local maps bought in book shops or supermarkets. I also used AAA (American Automobile Assoc) maps. These were all things that we would think of a street maps, of various scales, but some of the AAA ones were pretty good. As noted by Peter Jack, you can get OS standard maps for few square miles in the mountains, but maps of scale and detail we are used to for cycling in Europe simply do not seem to exist.

Vorpal
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Re: maps for the west of USA

Postby Vorpal » 29 Mar 2015, 1:39pm

tatanab wrote: As noted by Peter Jack, you can get OS standard maps for few square miles in the mountains, but maps of scale and detail we are used to for cycling in Europe simply do not seem to exist.

Vorpal wrote:http://www.usgs.gov/pubprod/


Is the equivalent of OS, and you can order custom maps from them.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

PJ520
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Re: maps for the west of USA

Postby PJ520 » 29 Mar 2015, 3:40pm

Vorpal wrote:
Vorpal wrote:http://www.usgs.gov/pubprod/


Is the equivalent of OS, and you can order custom maps from them.
Hummm. This looks very good and is news to me. In the past I've bought paper USGS maps that were quite a large scale; good for hiking but not much use for roads. Presumably the USGS gets up to date, eventually. I think I'll ask on the ACA forum if anybody has experience of using them. The problem I can see is in picking the maps you need because the areas involved are so big and the divisions are along lines of lat & long and, except in Kansas perhaps, the roads aren't.To give you an idea of the size of things, the area of the state I live in Washington is 70,368 sq m. the area of England is 50,346 sq m..
You only live once, which is enough if you do it right. - Mae West

Vorpal
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Re: maps for the west of USA

Postby Vorpal » 29 Mar 2015, 3:59pm

I have to admit that I've only used USGS maps for hiking. I haven't ordered a custom map, but my brother uses them.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

PJ520
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Re: maps for the west of USA

Postby PJ520 » 29 Mar 2015, 4:12pm

Vorpal wrote:I have to admit that I've only used USGS maps for hiking. I haven't ordered a custom map, but my brother uses them.
I have had one reply on the ACA site to my query about USGS maps It doesn't seem too promising, perhaps Vorpal you could ask your brother about his experiences?
You only live once, which is enough if you do it right. - Mae West

dandru
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Re: maps for the west of USA

Postby dandru » 29 Mar 2015, 10:41pm

I'm planning to ride the Northern Tier and would like the ACA, Gps data, but it's going to cost a fortune to get it because if you live outside America, you pay a premium for the membership. There is lots of stuff on the web and thats what I'll use, where do you plan to ride because I'll be riding the Great Basin of Utah via the backroads at some stage but will use the Topo scans on RideWithGps and topo maps in my primary Nav app, http://gaiagps.appspot.com/ I'm in the planning stage now.