Major Detour on Southern Tier Section 1

I’m reaching out to you because in the last 2 years you bought a Southern Tier Section 1 route map or GPX data, or the Southern Tier Map Set or GPX data. I wanted to make you aware of a major detour in eastern California and western Arizona between El Centro, CA, and Peoria, AZ. On the print map this affects panels 5 to 15. It is 16.4 miles shorter than the main route. Here is the link.

This detour avoids the winding, narrow, and hilly SR 78, and the associated truck and recreational traffic hazards between Brawley and Blythe, CA. Eastbound, it leaves the main route just east of El Centro, at the intersection of Old Hwy. 111 and E. Evan Hewes Hwy./CR S80, passes near the full service town of Yuma, includes approximately 45 mi. of interstate riding, and rejoins the existing ST #1 in Peoria in the Phoenix metro area. Westbound, in Peoria, it begins at the Rio Vista Community Park and follows the New River Trail and city streets south through urban areas to SR 85, then I-8. You will ride on interstate shoulders, frontage roads, highways, county roads, city streets, and the New River Trail.

Plan your riding days carefully. There are very limited services along the detour, especially along 86 mi. of interstate and frontage roads from Wellton to Gila Bend. The California cities of Holtville and Winterhaven, and the Arizona cities of Tacna and Dateland have partial services. Wellton, Gila Bend, Buckeye, Avondale, and Peoria have all services. Between Tacna and Dateland there are no services for 25 miles. Between Dateland and Gila Bend there are no services for 49 miles. We advise you carry extra water and food with you. Indoor lodging options are extremely limited, and you will likely need to go off route to find them.

Between Holtville and Yuma there are primitive camping opportunities at several BLM Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVA). The amenities available at these locations can be very limited. Potable water, garbage, and restrooms may or may not be offered. If visiting during the off season from Sept. – Apr., a permit (available at is required to camp. Be prepared to share these areas with motorized recreation enthusiasts.

Camping is available at the Mittry Lake Wildlife Area (BLM). It’s located from the junction of Laguna Dam Rd. and Mittry Lake Rd., off route 2.9 mi. S. on unpaved Mittry Lake Rd., 928-317-3200.

Camping is available at the Holtville Hot Springs Long Term Visitor Area (BLM). It’s located at 3700 Evan Hewes Hwy., 760-337-4400.

In Dateland, the Dateland RV Park (pvt.) is located at 1737 Ave. 64 E., 928-454-2772. Register at the gift shop. Arrive earlier in the day so that maintenance can mark a site for a tent. RVs enter the park at night, and might not see a tent set-up.

For more information on this situation or others that may crop up, visit our Temporary ACA Route Road Closure Forum discussion, and be sure to check for other Map Updates and Corrections before you leave.