Author Topic: Detailed maps  (Read 1558 times)

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Offline neil

Detailed maps
« on: October 04, 2012, 07:52:35 am »
Hi
Can anyone recommend a detailed map for cycling the Yellowstone area, New England, Colorado and California? (Yes they are a long way apart and so separate recommendations are needed!!)
In England we have 1:50.000 scale maps covering the whole country that are very good, but it's a smaller place.
I can find maps with a 1:750.000 scale and have cut up a Rand McNally in the past, but are there better ones out there?

   Thankyou
     Neil

Offline dkoloko

Re: Detailed maps
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2012, 10:02:25 am »
I suggest getting official state maps; often free. Peruse each state's website you wish to travel. For more detail, get county maps, available from county highway departments; peruse county websites; maybe small charge for maps. For cities, request maps through the cities websites.

In general, Interstate highways are to be avoided, and in congested areas prohibit bicycles. State highways are next worst choice for bicyclists. County roads are often best way to travel. Town roads are the least congested, but are often short.

The maps of this organization show the most bicycle friendly routes; they also list campgrounds, bike shops, etc along the way.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Detailed maps
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2012, 11:53:24 am »
Hello Niel!

Re: Yellowstone-
There are usually free maps of every US National Park. These are pretty basic, but do help in orienting yourself. I prefer using the maps that National Geographic makes for the parks. They are not specifically for bicycling, but are at a larger scale than the freebie maps, and are laminated to be water  and tear resistant:
http://www.rei.com/product/773131/trails-illustrated-yellowstone-national-park-trail-map

Re: California-
The state DOT (Department of Transportation) provides bike-specific maps for each region, so you'll need to know where exactly you are going. I've used them before and found them adequate but nothing thrilling. (This was six years ago, so things may have changed.) Links to these maps and other California maps here:
http://calbike.org/bicycling-in-california/maps/
And if you are biking the Coast, I highly recommend getting the ACA maps.

Re: Colorado-
Some links here:
http://bicyclecolo.org/articles/colorado-community-online-bicycle-maps-pg626.htm

As for New England, which states do you plan to be bicycling through?

Hope this helps!

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Detailed maps
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2012, 01:24:44 pm »
Re: Yellowstone-
There are usually free maps of every US National Park. These are pretty basic, but do help in orienting yourself. I prefer using the maps that National Geographic makes for the parks. They are not specifically for bicycling, but are at a larger scale than the freebie maps, and are laminated to be water  and tear resistant:
http://www.rei.com/product/773131/trails-illustrated-yellowstone-national-park-trail-map

Just a quick note on Yellowstone; the park map shows all the roads in the park, and since you have to stay on the roads, that's everything you can ride inside the park itself. 

You might want to look at the Grand Tetons as well -- it's just a few miles down Rockefeller Parkway, adjacent to Yellowstone NP.

Offline neil

Re: Detailed maps
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2012, 09:11:28 am »
Thanks
The links are very useful - thankyou
This links to the 'When's the best time to tour Yellowstone' discussion posted a few months ago
I bring groups of British Cyclists to sample the delights of America on a regular basis and for 2013 was specifically looking for a map to include Jackson, Bozeman, Gardner, Livingston, Cooke City and Cody as well as Yellowstone and the Tetons

  Neil

Offline indyfabz

Re: Detailed maps
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2012, 11:16:29 am »
When we were touring in Montana last year we got a pretty good Department of Transportation map for free. Some local chamber of commerce office had a pile of them. At least in better times, states would print them and give them out like water.

I believe this is the on-line version:

http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/docs/2011-2012-mt-highway-map.pdf

It's a large PDF that I find cumbersome to work with.

Offline RangerTom

Re: Detailed maps
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2012, 11:33:36 pm »
Though not bike specific, if you are a AAA member, you may have access to CSAA (California State Auto Association) maps.  I find the scale and detail very good for tour planning and on the road use.

Their "Sectional Series" at 9 miles per inch are great for big picture initial planning. As an example the Central California Sectional Series map covers about a 250 X 250 mile area - includes San Franciso well into Nevada.

The "Regional Series" is drawn at 3 miles per inch and really brings out more detail on bicyclist level - the San Francisco Bay Region Map would cover what might be a couple days worth (maybe about 150+ miles) of end-to-end bike travel. Great for on the road navigation.

During planning, I use these maps in conjunction with ideas from Google maps (bike routing, satellite, and street view) and programs like Mapmyride online for distances and elevation changes/gradients. Watch for nearby Adventure Cycling routes (of course).

Oh, the CSAA online services for members includes a route planning tool (car oriented but was very helpful when I tried it for a trip last spring).  Rubber band routes on it, it provides turn-by-turn route sheets and maps, and you can have it populate the map during planning with things such as lodging, restaurtants, attractions, etc - all which are clickable to direct links  like AAA ratings and related websites. I haven't looked at it for a while but I believe camp facilities were likely included .

I also have looked online for cycling clubs in areas we will be visiting. They often have ride sheets posted which shed some light on whats bike-able, links for resources such as regional bike plans or DOT information, and I've used club contact numbers for help from the locals on getting thumbs-up or thumbs-down on routes I've been considering that may have some element of "questionable-ness".

Wow Neil, after all that I just reread your post and realized your home turf is England (nearly midnight here, working only with half of the remaining functioning part of my brain) -  perhaps the above info will still help, or as your plans begin to gel with specific travel areas you can repost and some of us can drum up some maps or extra resources for you. And that reference to AAA - that one was for American Automobile Association! Guess you're not likely a member of that one   :-X

Good Luck    Tom