Adventure Cycling Association developed the best cross-country, loop, coastal and inland cycling routes available, with turn-by-turn directions, detailed navigational instructions for the tricky sections, and elevation profiles in the high country. The maps are also waterproof and sized to fit in a handlebar-bag window or jersey pocket.
ADVENTURE CYCLE MAP INCLUDE:
- Service symbols indicating the locations of campgrounds, hostels, motels, gas stations, groceries, restaurants, post offices, and bike shops
- Narratives with turn-by-turn instructions for traveling in either direction
- Distances given in miles and kilometers
- Contour lines providing a general idea of elevation gains and losses
- Elevation profiles in mountainous regions with major ascents and descents indicated
- Details about the natural history and cultural heritage along the route
- A weather chart providing average monthly rainfall and mean temperatures at various points along the route
- Large-scale detail maps of urban or congested areas
- Summaries of riding conditions to provide information on road surfaces, traffic volumes, and areas of caution
- Our Online Addenda, where updates are always available and current
These routes are available to you in 300 to 400-mile map sections, so you can plan anything from a weekend trip to a multi-month adventure.
Our routes feature the backroads of America where you can experience the communities and rural landscapes that make our country unique. We want you to see a rural America that can't be seen from the freeways. Our generous members and supporters are helping to create and maintain our legacy and gift to the nation -- the Adventure Cycling Route Network.
THE FINER DETAILS OF ADVENTURE CYCLING MAPS
Adventure Cycling Association maps are divided in a dozen 40-60 miles sections (1/2 a day to 1 day biking), this is an example of one of those section:
Bi-directional Narratives: Narratives have detailed turn-by-turn instructions for traveling in either direction. The number preceding each directive indicates the distance you've come since the beginning of the map panel at the matchline. (The number following in parentheses is the distance in kilometers.) Changes in road names and numbers are marked by stars both in the narrative and on the map panel.
Locator Box: The locator box gives an idea of your progress on the map section. For an overview of the route, the Index Map shows a larger scale version of the route's location.
Matchlines: Matchlines are solid pink lines on each end of the map panel intersecting the route. The narrative leads you from matchline to matchline. Once you "reach" the matchline, turn to the next map panel and begin following its narrative, again proceeding from the near matchline to the far matchline.
Service Symbols: Symbols correspond with the service information on the text side of the map, and tell bicyclists what sort of services they will encounter along the route. These include campgrounds, bike shops, grocery stores, libraries, restaurants, post offices, hostels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and hotels.
Elevation Profiles: Elevation profiles indicate major ascents and descents. On the Lewis & Clark Trail maps (as shown here), the profile is attached to each map panel. On other maps, in the mountainous regions of the country, the profile appears in one continuous panel on the text side of the map. (Not all map sections have elevation profiles.)
North Arrow: The north arrow is not necessarily up as it is on most maps, and it changes orientation from panel to panel. This allows as many miles of the route as possible to be depicted on each map panel.
End Mileages: The mileage to either end of the route section is shown at the border of each map panel.
Annual Events and Points of Interest: For your information, selected museums, points of interest, and events are included, where space allows, on the map panels. Museums have a brief description of their exhibits. Annual events have a brief description and the time of year they occur.
Southern Tier Route
San Diego, CA, to St. Augustine, FL - 7 map set (3,092.5 mi.)
FASCINATING LANDSCAPES AND DIVERSE CULTURES
The Southern Tier Route can be ridden between early fall and late spring. In September and May, there still might be some very hot weather to contend with at either end of the route. Note that snow can occur at any time in the higher elevations in the Southwest during the winter, and the highest pass in New Mexico is over 8,000 feet. If you are doing a winter trip, remember that you will have short daylight hours. Due to changing local conditions, it is difficult to predict any major wind patterns, but here are a few known observations. In California, dry easterly winds predominate in the fall, blowing west from the desert. In western Texas, winds from the Gulf of Mexico will cause headwinds for eastbound riders. Be aware that hurricanes can occur from July through November along the Gulf Coast of the Florida panhandle and can also hit the Atlantic seaboard.
After climbing away from San Diego on the California coast and topping out at 3,800 feet, the desert appears. The route travels through the Yuha Desert and the below-sea-level, irrigated Imperial Valley, before splitting the Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area in half. In Arizona, the snowbirds abound as the route travels through Phoenix and its surrounding communities, and the copper-mining towns of Miami and Globe. The Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park east of Superior and the Besh Ba Gowah Archeological Park in Globe are attractions not to be missed. You'll be riding through dry, sparsely populated ranch country where every town will be a welcome sight and a chance to top off your water bottles. New Mexico offers Silver City for the latte drinkers, along with the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, some of the best preserved Mogollon cliff dwellings around.
The ride along the Rio Grande into El Paso, Texas, is a treat for bird lovers, especially during migration season, when the birds are flying north or south. Texas dominates this route, taking up an entire third of the mileage. Starting in El Paso, just across the Rio Grande River from Juarez, Mexico, the route follows the river southward before turning east and heading through the Davis Mountains, where some of the friendliest folks on the whole route reside. You'll pass the McDonald Observatory atop 6,800-foot Mt. Locke. There's a visitor center with daily tours, and evening "Star Parties" three days per week. After the Davis Mountains, towns are few and the country desolate, full of sagebrush and tumbling tumbleweeds. As you travel through central Texas, the terrain starts to feel like the Alps, but this is actually the famous "hill country." This diverse area serves some great barbeque and is the training ground for Lance Armstrong, seven-time Tour de France winner. If you take the alternate route through Austin, make sure you go hear some of the diverse music available at the nightclubs on Sixth Street.
Louisiana is like no other state in the United States due to its history, language, culture, and food. First of all, they have parishes instead of counties. Traveling right through the middle of Cajun country, in places like Mamou, a stop in a cafe is a trip unto itself. The crowd is speaking English, but you can't understand the words. Try to hear some lively Cajun music if you have the time. Mississippi offers rural riding all the way into Alabama, where the route crosses a bridge to Dauphin Island. From there it's a ferry ride across Mobile Bay to Gulf Shores and some of the whitest beaches in the world. If the ferry is closed due to inclement weather, you will have to take the alternate route through Mobile.
The scenery varies greatly across Florida, from the historic coastal city of Pensacola to the alligator-filled waters of the area around Palatka. The route ends in St. Augustine, a city full of interesting buildings and the Castillo de San Marcos, a fort that has guarded the city's waterfront for over three centuries.
The route offers challenging terrain right from the start, with some longer climbs leaving San Diego all the way up to In-ko-pah Pass, about 70 miles east of the Pacific coast. There are two mountain passes in New Mexico, the highest being Emory Pass at 8,228 feet, which is also the route's highest point. The route just north of Silver City, New Mexico, which goes to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, offers some steep, challenging, rolling mountains, as does the hill country west of Austin, Texas. East of Austin the route flattens out as it meanders through piney woods, by bayous, along farmlands and woodlots, and past the Gulf Coast all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.
Isolated stretches, especially in the western states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas are not uncommon. Services are infrequent and can dictate long miles on some days. The 144-mile stretch from Marathon to Comstock, Texas, calls for specific planning and carrying of food and water. Bike shops are not as plentiful as one would like, and there are none for the 450 miles between El Paso and Del Rio, Texas. There are also none between Bastrop, Texas, and Orange Beach, Alabama (870 miles), unless you go off route into Baton Rouge, Louisiana, or Mobile, Alabama.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO CHECK FOR UPDATED ADDENDA
BEFORE STARTING A TRIP!