The Route Plan

With the GPS route being made available by Mark Sampson, a majority of the route planning for this trip was taken care of. This would be a different kind of trip than my previous trips, as I would mainly be following the arrow of my GPS and trusting it to keep me on-track. Of course, knowing that many others had followed the same GPS route over the past 4 years and giving their approval to the riding community, makes a decision like this easy to make. Regardless, I studied the route in detail as I had to break it up into sections to make it fit onto my GPS unit, a Garmin 60Cx which can only make routes with 50 waypoints. Mark's routes come with a couple hundred waypoints.

The part I would have to plan on my own would be getting to the start of the route at the Montana/Canada border and getting back home from the New Mexico/Mexico border. With 10 days off from work, I planned a 17 day trip over Labor Day Weekend, giving me about 12 days on the actual CDR, doing between 200 and 300 miles a day on the route.

Starting in Montana, I would be winding my way down, then head through a small bit of Idaho on my way to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, then south through Colorado and finishing through New Mexico. The route has a varying character through each state, such as the remote forests of Montana, the high altitude desert of the Great Divide Basin in Wyoming, the high mountain passes of Colorado and the dry mud roads of New Mexico.

With time on my side, and the ability to camp wherever, I didn't set solid destinations for each day and was looking forward to this kind of freedom. On my previous trips with long distances to cover, I had to adhere to a schedule to make sure I could do what I planned. However, I planned to meet a riding friend of mine, Mike Perry and ride through the Colorado portion with him. He recently moved out to Denver and would be joining me for 3 days over the Labor Day Weekend.

The actual CDR starts on the west side of Glacier National Park at Roosville, Montana and ends at Antelope Wells, New Mexico. For the sake of saving some time, I would be starting on the eastern side of Glacier National Park and ending at Columbus, New Mexico as there are no vehicle importation facilites on the Mexican side of the border at Antelope Wells and I plan to cross over.

My trip route map, starting and ending in Chicago and going north to south down the Continental Divide.

Click here to download the CDR GPS route (BigDog's route) (5.2 MB) or email Mark for the route at

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