Route Network FAQ

I’m planning a bicycle trip sometime in the future. When is the best time to purchase one of your maps?

We generally update the maps every three to five years. We suggest that you wait as long as you can before the trip to buy the maps, to ensure that you have the most current maps available. We realize that some cyclists like to buy the maps well ahead of their trip to start their planning. If you do this, make sure to download the map updates and corrections for each section of your route. The map updates and corrections are updated throughout the year so you’ll want to check online just before you leave or even during your ride for longer trips.

While you’re on a trip, use the map correction form to alert us of any updates on routing, services, camping, and contact information. We verify the suggested changes and publish online map updates and corrections.

You can also check our Temporary Road Closures forum any time to find suggested detours in case of situations like wildfires, construction or washed-out roads.

What type of Adventure Cycling map should I buy?

Our routes come in waterproof print maps, GPS navigational data, and the Bicycle Route Navigator smartphone app. Our print maps are the #1 longstanding popular resource for traveling cyclists! They are waterproof, highly detailed and always work even when you’re not in cell service.

For long trips, many cyclists use a combination of print maps and digital versions.

If you’re already comfortable and familiar with a GPS navigational aid such as RideWithGPS or a Garmin, our digital data packages are an excellent choice. We do not recommend GPX data for beginners since there are a few extra steps to installing and troubleshooting.

If you like to use a smartphone for navigation and don’t want to fuss with installing files or learning a new program, the Bicycle Route Navigator app is a great option. All our route maps can be purchased and used through the app. Note that it is not compatible with GPX data.

For more on our Bicycle Route Navigator app, visit this page!

How do I know if I have the most current paper map available?

The month and year of update for each map section is available on our Current Map Versions page. At the bottom right of the map cover on our folded maps there is a "BC" number and a 3-4 digit number that is the year the map was updated. There is also a revision date (month and year) on the Index Map at the end of the copyright information. Over time maps become less useful because things change. If your map is more than a few years old, we recommend purchasing a new map so you are current with all the service changes and other updates.

Can you map a custom route for me?

No. The Routes and Mapping Department does not do custom routes for individuals. Check out these routes that are already created:

I’m planning a bike trip in the U.S. outside of your mapped routes. Do you have resources to help me?

The Adventure Cycling Route Network is vast but can’t go everywhere! Take a look at the routes we have mapped to see which parts you could potentially use. Select the "OpenCycleMap" button to see cycling routes within cities.

You can also explore U.S. Bicycle Routes and our new Short Routes, which have been mapped in Ride with GPS and are free to use.

Another resource is state bicycle information. Nearly every state publishes a free bicycle map suggesting roads for cycling (try Googling the state name + state bicycle map to start). Here is a link to the contact information for all of the bicycle coordinators in the United States who can provide additional resources and guidance for your trip.

Sites such as Ride with GPS,,, also offer useful info for bicycle adventures.

You also might want to solicit feedback and refinements from the knowledgeable community of cyclists on our Forums.

I see that a route map has been updated, and I recently purchased the GPX data or Bicycle Route Navigator (BRN) app. Are the updates included?

  • For GPX data:

    Visit your MyAdventureCycling account page and go to Purchased Maps. If there is an update available for a digital section you’ve purchased, you will see a download option.

  • For the Bicycle Route Navigator:

    Within the app, go to the Menu (BRN icon) > Settings > New Map Versions > Download

When is the best time to ride a specific route?

The best times to ride each route can be seen in the Logistics tab of each individual route page on our website. Choose a route from the list below the Interactive Route Map to get to its description.

Which way is north on your print maps?

Our print map panels aren’t always oriented northwards for space and layout reasons. Refer to the north arrows to help orient yourself if you’re not sure. Find more info on our map features and how to use them.

How do I use the Bicycle Route Navigator app?

For more in-depth info and troubleshooting, visit our Bicycle Route Navigator help page.

How do I use GPX data for my GPS device or app?

For more info and troubleshooting, visit our page on using GPX data!

If you’re using Ride With GPS, they offer extensive resources and a staffed customer support team that can respond to questions. Ride With GPS Help