California Backways Adventure Trail (CABAT) South

Self Guided Adventure Package

Adventure route across the best of the Sorthern California mountains and deserts

The California Backways Adventure Trail South is a 1,250-mile loop route around the southern half of the state. The first 5 days covering 800 miles is a mix of deserts and mountains. The routes are a mix of paved and dirt two track roads through the deserts including the Colorado, Mojave and Death Valley deserts and mountains including the Inyo National Forest and Sierra Nevada mountains. The last day is a 450 mile back paved route completing the loop of the state. The entire route is double track suitable for motorized users, Adventure motorcycles, Overlanders, 4x4s, and Dual-Sport motorcycles.

DIY Ride Package

This ride can be done by yourself or with a group of friends. Riders can purchase a custom ride packet that includes custom GPS routes and matching paper maps and a self guided ride booklet.

With the use of a well programmed GPS, anyone can lead themself on the greatest adventure routes.

This is a 6 day adventure making a big loop around the Sothern part of the state. The ride is best done with bikes loaded as light as possible. We recommend that riders stay in motels and eat in restaurants along the route. We provide these suggestions so no need to bring cooking equipment or food. The riding should be scenic to rough depending on your choices.

The exciting part about this ride is that riders can choose their own level of adventure exposure each day to meet their level of desire and excitement.

Each day our route will take us to the next motel and a few days we will have an option of lunch on the trail. Each morning riders will grab breakfast and team up with their riding buddies, grab their daily snacks and begin their adventure. The day's adventures are long with many rich options along the way.

After the day's ride, riders perform bike maintenance. Then it is often to bed early as the next day comes quickly.

Riders should also carry any supplies for bike repairs and maintenance on the trail (like flat tires).

Is this route right for you?

This route is not good for beginners; you should be very experienced in backcountry travel and prepared for any difficulty or failures. This route includes options: both easier and harder routes. As an example, for those wanting to avoid river crossings, we have added workaround route options. For those just tired and wanting to end the day early, we have added easy paved shortcuts. And for those tough guys wanting more, we have added some challenging routes.

Self Guided Adventure: This ride is designed to be a self-guided adventure. As GPS units have become both more powerful and easier to use, it has enabled anyone to be able to easily find their way along the trail. For many, this allows them to just experience the adventure without the burden of getting lost. The Adventure Packets include: custom route maps on microSD card for Garmin GPS units, a ride description booklet, both daily 11x17 printed maps and mini 5x8 quick reference maps. It also includes a list of hotels and their contact information. Everything you need to have a great adventure.

Route Choices: Don't put yourself in a bad spot. gpsKevin route maps always include route options. We recognize that weather and conditions can change. We design these adventures with multiple routes in different colors. The main adventure route is colored Blue, then there are easier and harder options, Green and Red, respectively. This allows riders to choose their own level of adventure appropriate for their own skill and desires. We don't want to put you into a challenging spot without options; we let you make the choice.

Purchase Info: Rider Choice (Scroll Down Menu)

Ride Details

I know many of you also enjoy dreaming about the ride and making your plans, so here is the detail, enjoy!

Ride Description CABAT South

What are these adventure rides like? These rides are designed along the theme of exploring the world. They include a mix of remote dirt routes, back paved roads, sometimes some very seldom ridden paths and pavement. Rides are a mix of all these things and sometimes some surprises due to weather conditions. These rides are for experienced, well seasoned riders that are capable of turning a washed out road experience into just part of the day's fun. Riders should be comfortable with turning around when necessary and finding an alternative route around unexpected obstacles. These rides are not for new riders. As an experienced rider, the tough part of having a great motorcycle adventure is the routing and logistics. What routes do I take? Where do I stay? How do I find the best routes and places?

View the ride maps

OK since many of you like to study more detail about the ride, below are the ride maps.


The Blue lines are MAIN routes

The Cyan lines are Alternate main routes

The Red lines are Harder routes

The Green lines are Easy options

The Black lines are the out and back viewpoints

We have done the homework for you: We have studied and developed and ridden to find the best possible routes and then we have put them into great daily rides. As riding skills and desires for riders can be different, we have developed and include route options. We find that many riders like to ride with their best friends, however their friends may not always have the same riding skills and desires. As the day's ride progresses, riders have choices of easier and harder routes. This allows you to tailor the ride more towards your own riding desires and allows you to make choices that might better suit your friends when necessary. Sometimes riders may just want a break too.

How does the ride navigation work?

This is a self-led GPS ride; all riding is on your own. You are responsible for your own riding. You are given a GPS map file and instructions on how to use your Garmin GPS unit. People will hook up in small groups of less than 6 riders and tend to ride together. You are not encouraged to ride alone. You are responsible for your own riding and yourself.

(see my ride Navigation Video)

Are you right for this ride?

When something goes wrong on a ride, would your riding friends say that you are more likely to need help or more likely to give help? You should be in the more likely to offer help camp. This ride is filled with riders that are more likely to give help, so most of the time the riders never need help. Additionally there is all the normal stuff: come prepared to maintain your bike, fix your bike on the trail, repair flat tires, deal with bad weather and rain and make a joke or two.

How do I make the GPS stuff so easy?

I develop very high quality ride maps custom for our ride. They come from much of what I and others have ridden. I take the best from all my rides and make new ones.

(See my Custom Ride Maps Video)

Note from me, gpsKevin

My goal for this ride is simple: great riding. You can count on great routes and places to ride.

But in addition, the ride is about discovering new places, meeting new friends, seeing new parts of the world.




Q: Would this be a good ride for new riders?

A: No, this ride is for intermediate and experienced riders only. The riding has easy route choices and tough route options.

Q: What are motel room arrangements?

A: You are on you own to make arrangements. I recommend reservations.

Q: What bikes are right for this ride?

A: Adventure bikes, Overland 4x4, and Dual Sport bikes can all do well; it depends on your route choices

Q: Can I use my cell phone?

A: Sorry, at this point we do not support cell phone GPS use for our rides. The IMG files will not run on a cell phone.

Q; What do I do if I don't have a Garmin GPS?

A: Buy one, you need it. Get a Garmin, it is still the most reliable.

Q: Is the riding really on my own?

A: Yes, but we recommend you bring a friend

Q: How good are these routes?

A: They are 99% perfect. Or sometimes, 99.9% perfect. Or sometimes, 95% perfect. So be prepared for a little imperfection.

Q: What are Custom GPS Ride Maps?

A: Custom GPS ride maps are electronic maps designed specifically to show the paths and path choices for a particular ride. The maps show the paths as clear bold lines so the riders can easily see them even on small screens. The lines are often comprised of groups of arrows or chevrons so that riders can easily tell the recommended direction of travel. The lines come in multiple colors so that riders can easily choose between Hard and Easy options. Custom ride maps make ride navigation much easier than ever before.


Any and all riding is on you own. Conditions change and routes may not be navigable.

Legal access can change and is not guaranteed. Riders must assess the local conditions.

Weather can make the routes impassable. Riders must obey all local laws.

gpsKevin assumes no liability for these rides or your actions.