A Killer Route Loop

December 17, 2009

Image of route network

Just the other day I received a call from a member asking when would be the best time to start the tour she and her husband were planning for next spring. This is not an unusual question and I often find myself referring to our Routes & Mapping FAQs for reference.

As the call continued, she told me she and her husband had crossed the U.S. last year using our route maps. They had had a great time, but they were looking to up the adventure-factor for this next trip, and put together a killer loop using sections from four of our routes.

The loop she described would begin in Silver City, New Mexico, where they would ride west on the Southern Tier Route to connect with our new Sierra Cascades Route (to be released in April) in southern California. The trip would continue north almost all the way to the United States/Canadian border in Sedro Woolley, Washington, and then head east on the Northern Tier Route to Whitefish, Montana. In Whitefish they will outfit their bikes with wider tires and head south back to Silver City following the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. Does this sound deluxe or what?

As to the answer to her question: the best time to ride? It will depend on the weather. Mountain passes can be cleared of winter snow in May and then experience heavy snowfall again in June. I've pointed her to some resources to help her make her own decisions and I'll pass them on to you in a future post.

Personally, I can't wait for a trip report!

route network graphic by Adventure Cycling's Routes & Mapping Department

GEOPOINTS BULLETIN is written by Jennifer 'Jenn' Milyko, an Adventure Cycling cartographer, and appears weekly, highlighting curious facts, figures, and persons from the Adventure Cycling Route Network with tips and hints for personal route creation thrown in for good measure. She also wants to remind you that map corrections and comments are always welcome via the online Map Correction Form.


Jenn, Cartographer August 4, 2011, 6:57 PM

Hi Eoin Kenny,

I love your retirement project! In this blog post (http://blog.adventurecycling.org/2011/01/national-parks-loop.html) I hinted at how you could recreate that Park-to-Park route with a combination of maps from our route network and the book that is associated with that PBS documentary called the Playground Trail.

I suggest looking at these routes from our network:

Great Parks North and South: http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/greatparks.cfm

Sierra Cascades: http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/sierracascades.cfm

Grand Canyon Connector: http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/grandcanyon.cfm

TransAmerica Trail: http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/transamerica.cfm

I hope this helps in your planning.

Eoin Kenny August 3, 2011, 5:34 PM

I saw the PBS doc recently and was struck by the raw and rugged beauty of the western National Parks. I have started dreaming of following a similar loop route beginning and ending in Glacier/Waterton - I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to celebrate my retirement! Is there a detailed route map that is true to the original Park-to-Park highway? I have not been able to find anything on the web that is sufficiently detailed to make acurate plans for such a monumental undertaking. If you know of such a map, please let me know.

Jenn, Cartographer December 18, 2009, 11:21 AM

Wow, to do that loop entirely on foot, pretty cool. And it looks like Andrew's adventure for 2010 will be even more challenging.

Thanks for the comment and the link!

Eric West December 18, 2009, 10:45 AM

This would be a fantastic loop! A similar route has been hiked on foot:


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