Author Topic: Southern Tier Sec. 1, maps 5-15 major detour Jan. 2021  (Read 671 times)

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Offline CMajernik

Southern Tier Sec. 1, maps 5-15 major detour Jan. 2021
« on: January 27, 2021, 06:14:36 pm »
We are posting a significant detour between El Centro, CA, and Peoria, AZ on the Southern Tier Section 1 map. On the print map this affects panels 5 to 15. It is 16.4 miles shorter than the main route. Plan your riding days carefully. 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.
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.
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline John Nettles

Re: Southern Tier Sec. 1, maps 5-15 major detour Jan. 2021
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2021, 07:30:55 pm »
Wow. Major reroute.  That said, I enjoyed the Holt Hot Springs and will definitely miss my 2nd all-time favorite restaurant in Blythe.

Offline jamawani

Re: Southern Tier Sec. 1, maps 5-15 major detour Jan. 2021
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2021, 01:43:32 pm »
So sorry to hear.

Here is a backroad alternative that stays on Old Highway 80.
Only a few miles longer, low traffic. Which is a rarity in the Southwest.

The problem with the Southwest is that there are almost no backroad alternatives.
There are only 4 crossing points over the Colorado River on through routes:
Needles, Parker, Blythe, and Yuma.

Because Interstate highways were built on top of the old US routes,
you are forced to ride Interstate shoulders for many miles on three of the above.
I-8 as shown in the link above; I-10 in western Ariz. and eastern Calif.
Even if you take Old Route 66, you have at least 10 miles of I-40 west of Needles.

AZ Hwy 72 east of Parker and CA Hwy 62 west of Parker give you a non-Interstate route.
Traffic is generally light, but there are ZERO services for 90 miles between Vidal and 29 Palms.
Plus, there is a stretch of AZ Hwy 93 south of Parker which is busy.

Which gets back to the core issue - -
That there really are not any good backroad alternatives in the Southwest.
(At least for cross-country travel)

Offline DRH

Re: Southern Tier Sec. 1, maps 5-15 major detour Jan. 2021
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2021, 11:39:04 am »
To my way of thinking, changing the Southern Tier route isn't a plus for cyclists.  The planned reroute is giving up an enjoyable scenic and peaceful, less traveled path opting instead for many, many miles on Interstate 8 and then over 30 miles on busy State Route  85 between Gila Bend and Buckeye, AZ.
 Riding the existing Southern Tier, I enjoyed the challenging stretch from Brawley, CA. to I-10 especially the sand dunes near Glamis.  Then, before leaving California, Blythe was touring cyclist welcome with its grocery stores and best of all inexpensive motels. 
Across the Colorado River it's into Arizona and winter RV oasis Quartzsite and a few miles later onto highway 60.  The next 80 miles to Wickenburg is pleasure riding, peaceful with long distance views passing through several small communities including Hope, Salome, and Aguila. 
After Wickenburg, state highway 74  to the far north Phoenix area offers a good shoulder through one of the most colorful springtime wildflower displays in the southwest. 
The current Southern Tier route from El Centro to the Phoenix area is truly "adventure cycling".  Heck, I've enjoyed reliving it by writing the few words above. 
I hope more route analysis goes into the existing Southern Tier route before changing it.