1,760 miles of the best backcountry across California
The Long Way Across
The California Adventure Trail (CAT) is a remote motorcycle route consisting of a mix of dirt roads and back paved roads. The route was designed for adventure motorcycles and dual sport motorcycles but it is also well suited for Jeeps and 4x4s.
The CAT starts at the Mexico border and travels to the Oregon border.
In the south, the route follows through the Mountains of Cuyamaca, San Jacinto and Big Bear. In the middle part of the state the route follows the famous Sierra Nevada mountain range and in the north, the route follows the Cascade Range. These are some of the best and most remote routes in the west. The route is best traveled in the summer and fall; late spring can also be good in light snow years.
"I have been waiting and watching and studying California's trails for years just hoping others would design and make an a awesome motorcycle route covering the best back routes across the State. Well, tired of waiting, so I decided who better than myself to design and put an awesome trail together. After all I ride alot, study a lot, and have created 100s of rides myself. Now it is the time to tackle the grandaddy of all rides. Want to help me? gpsKevin"
The CAT route has been designed with options for difficulty levels depending on your skill level and desires. The main CAT trail is shown on maps in blue. Some sections can be tough and during those sections riders have an option to take green or easier paved routes. For advanced riders on smaller dual sport bikes I have added some tough options, even singletrack in places. These red options are not recommended for larger bikes or Jeeps.
This ride now includes a support Van, so riders do not have to carry all their own gear on their bikes.
The cost to join this 9 day ride is $1195. This covers your lodging for the 10 nights during the ride. This also covers your ride packets which include a custom Garmin GPS Map on a micro SD card and printed ride maps and descriptions.
Now taking signups: You can now reserve your spot on this ride by leaving a $100 Deposit (Ride limit is 10 riders)
$100 CAT Deposit
Checkout View Cart
After your signup, riders will receive an email from me with further ride information and instructions.
Note: Riders must make full payment by 6/15/2017
Riders will receive ride packets in the mail one week before the ride.
Do not sign up for this ride unless you are serious about coming. I take your signup very seriously and start planning for you the minute you sign up. If you need to cancel up to one month prior to the ride start date I will give you a full refund but I will keep $100 to cover the planning work. Sorry but I make non refundable commitments myself so it gets hard for me. "I hate this world of non refundable deals myself." If you need to cancel within one month of the ride I cannot give a refund unless I can find a replacement rider. In the case of finding a replacement rider, I will gladly give you the full refund minus the $100 to cover the planning work. In the event of ride cancellation, you will be given a full refund.
I know many of you also enjoy dreaming about the ride and making your plans, so here is the detail, enjoy!
Yoda gpsKevin Yoda Jeffrode Support Van Yoda Greg
View the ride on the Satellite Maps
OK since many of you like to study more detail about the ride, below are the ride maps.
I put these ride maps on the web page because I know a few of you love looking at the ride detail and dreaming about the ride. At first glance these maps do not look so impressive, but they are way cool. If you start zooming in, you can see the ride in incredible detail. I have spent a ton of hours sorting through the details of the ride for each day, so for those of you that enjoy this sort of thing, well enjoy!
The Blue lines are MAIN COBDR Routes
The Red lines are Hard Alternate Routes
The Green lines are Easy Alternate Routes
Black lines are out and backs to gas and towns
Bike Shipping? Riders team up.
My name is Josh and I'll be a rider on this trip. After the ride, Monday August 7, My riding buddy and I will be driving a uhaul truck from Ashland, Or to Oceanside, Ca, but can take the bikes further south if needed. We will be taking the 5 south the entire route. If you would like to ship your bike back with us in an enclosed uhaul, the cost will be $175. I will also pack any gear needed to return as well. Allowing you to fly back. I will need the tie downs provided for your bike though. If interested in shipping the bikes back with us please email me for more information. If you're out of town you can park near me and we can get your bike to the original starting point if needed. Feel free to ask any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
Stories or Lessons Learned from people that have ridden the Trail
Q: What gas mileage range do I need?
A: 150 miles will cover the longest section
Q: Is the CAT an official route?
A: No: there is no governing body that has declared any official CAT trail. The route given here is merely a collection of open existing routes across the state. They are subject to all local laws.
Q: Can the route be ridden in the north to south direction.
A: Yes, no problem, just ride it backwards against the GPS arrows.
Q: How do I check my GPS to see if the SD Card is working?
A: There are two ways you can check your GPS.
1. See the trail on the GPS yourself. Turn on the GPS and zoom out to about 50 or 30 miles. Use the cursor to pan over to an area where you know the trail should be. Now begin zooming in. Wait for the gps to refresh it's screen as they can be slow. As you zoom in you should see the trail as a wide bold Blue line made up of arrows. OK, good job, you did it right.
2. Check to see if the map is in the GPS unit's memory: The steps to do this vary depending on which Garmin gps unit you have (and there are hundreds). Most work like this:
Alternate 1: From the "Map" page select Menu. Then select "Setup Map" then scroll down and select "Select Map." Now you can scroll down and read the maps in you unit. You should find a map called "TAT gpskevin." Make sure it is enabled and you are done!
Alternate2: Some GPS units (like Nuvi's) work like this. Select "Settings" then "Maps" then "Info" and now you should find the map "TAT gpskevin." Make sure that it is checked and you're done.
Alternate3: Some work like this. Select "Tools" then "Settings" then "Map" then "Map Info." You should find the map "TAT gpskevin." Make sure that it is checked and you're done.
Again, your gps may have a different way to access the maps, but the download does work in all Garmin gps units with a card slot. Sorry, there are just too many Garmin gps units for me to go through them all.
If you are new to this stuff or having trouble I will help you.
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.
Q: Why do the ride lines show up as white lines rather than the expected Blue, Red and Green?
A: There are two possible reasons for this:
You have your gps in Night Mode or Auto Mode and you are seeing this after the sun has set. Solution is to put your gps display into Day mode only. See your manual, to do this it depends on which Garmin GPS you have. Or wait and it will work fine during the day.
You may have a Garmin 78 and it is in Marine Mode. To fix this: Disable Marine Mode: Select: Menu, Menu, Setup, Marine, Marine Charts Mode: Off
Q: When I purchase GPS maps on a microSD Card what is included on the card?
A: The chip will include the image files used to create the maps and a gpx file that contains all the tracklogs and waypoints for the ride. This gpx file can be read by capable Garmin GPS units or by Windows based PC's.
Q: Why do we use custom ride maps and not tracks or routes?
A: Ride maps function the same as tracks, however ride maps are made with much higher accuracy and clear line types and colors, The lines can also include arrows to help riders with direction of travel. Additionally riders do not need to know anything about tracks or which one they maybe be riding. So this makes it much easier for the riders.
Q: What are tracks and why are they not recommended?
A: Tracks (or sometimes called Tracklogs) are a collection of electronic breadcrumbs that can describe the desired path. There can be thousands of these electronic data points to describe one path. Each ride can be made up of many sets of these paths. As a result, the number of Tracklogs for a ride with several choices can become very confusing. Therefore, I do not recommend that riders use tracks as it can often create confusion. Tracklogs are often included on the MicroSD card for those riders that would like to import them to a PC and edit them to create their own ride.
Q: What are routes and why are they not used?
A: Routes are paths that are created by your GPS unit based on the internal maps that you have. This enables your unit to give you turn by turn directions. Routes are calculated based on lots of different parameters like shortest distance, fastest time, and many others. However, we as riders would like to choose our own specific path. And often our path does not include known roads that would be in your GPS mapset. Therefore, to avoid traveling on undesired paths and constant off route recalculation, we do not use routes and force your GPS to display our desired path only.
Q: What are waypoints? and how are they used?
A: Waypoints are sets of coordinates that identify a point in physical space used for purposes of navigation, otherwise known as a landmark. Waypoints are used to describe all kinds of locations on these rides like scenic points, river crossings, lunch stops, motel locations, and camp spots. Most of the microSD cards include a set of ride specific waypoints. Depending on your GPS model, these waypoints can either be automatically included in your GPS or you may need to import them into your GPS.
Many thanks and credit due:
All great big adventures are a collections of many wonderful smaller adventures and routes. The CAT has been built from a collection of the works of many people Including the Forest Service who started several of the California backcountry routes last century. The open sharing of the ride information has made the CAT possible and I would like to help openly continue to share these routes.
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 will be 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, so 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 Southwest.
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.
Who is going on this ride?
Roberto CZ, Mexico City
Dylan L, La Mesa, CA
KTM 500 EXC-F
Eric E, Bakersfield, CA
2012 Suzuki DR650
Sigfrido, Mexico City
Greg M, Penn Valley, CA
gpsKevin, Escondido CA
Honda Africa Twin
Jeffrey G, Escondido CA
Yamaha Super Tenere