Today, this premium service facilitates overland journeys that can extend from Canada to Mexico, and from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.
H.o.W. (in the photo above) has always been an adaptable, GPS-guided 2,800-mile-plus loop along backcountry roads through some of the American West's most iconic landscapes. But over the last few seasons, we've chronicled routing that can extend the experience far beyond H.o.W.'s original six states.
The result: Heart of the West Adventure Route serves as a convenient "roundabout" that links an unmatched network of loops 'n routes with:
- new included routing, at no additional cost
- convenient connectors to the multistate Backcountry Discovery Routes; and
- optional connectors (at additional cost) to Northern and Southern California.
By taking a modular, looping approach to wildland route development, we've made it easy to tailor H.o.W. to your interests, logistics, time limitations and circumstances.
From California's deserts and coastal mountains to Utah's canyons and the ramparts of the Rocky Mountains ... Heart of the West's roundabout of loops and routes lets you pick and choose, mix and match ... and do it your way! (Pricing and details are below.)
|Heart of the West ADV Route (with optional routing)|
An exhilarating wildland experience by itself, this connector ascends deep into the rugged and surprisingly verdant mountain ranges and canyons of the Silver State's northernmost reaches.
Extend your travels!
Our 575-mile (925km) Northern California connector. Backcountry travelers now can make their way to or from California, following 19th-century wagon routes across the Great Basin between the Sierra Nevada, the H.o.W. roundabout, the southern terminus of the Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route and the northern terminus of the Nevada BDR. Note: This option also connects the H.o.W. roundabout to our 825-mile trans-California route, Sierra to the Sea (see below).
|Southern California connector|
Typically an eight-day east-west journey that can be taken in either direction, S2S uses GPS-guided routing to immerse travelers in:
|Sierra to the Sea (S2S)|
- the northern Sierra's rugged and historic Mother Lode country;
- the southern reaches of the Cascade Range;
- the woodlands and grasslands of the Coast Ranges; and
- the largest coastal wildland in the Lower 48.
Fee: $199/1-2 vehs; $299/3-4 vehs.
Our 1,300-mile (2,092 km) Southern California connector. This option extends from the Mojave Desert to H.o.W. It also links to the Utah and Arizona Backcountry Discovery Routes. It includes:
- Mojave National Preserve;
- Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument;
- the new Gold Butte National Monument; and
- Utah's canyon country, including Moab.
Fee: $129/1-2 vehs.; $199/3-4 vehs.)
Hub of a wildland roundabout
Heart of the West Adventure Route is our flagship product and service. Functioning as a web of interconnected routes, it immerses overland travelers in the wildlands of six states in the American West:
- Utah, and
Heart of the West extends deep into the Great Basin, one of the most remote and sparsely populated regions in the Lower 48.
|Heart of the West Adventure Route|
Lonely two-tracks reach deeper into multi-hued badlands. And alluring wildland backways have replaced tamer state and county roads.
The licensed H.o.W. package (pricing is below) includes:
- our detailed, comprehensive plug-and-play GPX track file;
- the H.o.W. e-booklet (printable and available online 24/7);
- personal consultations;
- re-routing as you travel when conditions warrant; and ...
- built-in links to the Colorado, Idaho, Nevada and Utah Backcountry Discovery Routes.
|H.o.W. Map Packs ($60 ea., shipped)|
Depicting highways, surface waters, paved and unpaved backroads, public lands, national and state parks, campgrounds and a great deal more, these maps are important companions to GPS-guided travel, providing a "big-picture" perspective and exceptional detail. It even includes H.o.W.'s convenient connectors to the Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Nevada Backcountry Discovery Routes.
Perhaps best of all: Heart of the West includes rewarding, field-tested options to shorten, modify and adapt the full, ~2,800-mile (4,500 km) loop to accommodate time-limited or changed itineraries.
So no matter what your schedule will allow, Heart of the West ADV Route can be adapted to fit your needs, even as you travel.
The fee schedule for personal use of the proprietary, non-transferable H.o.W. track file alone is:
$199 USD for 1-2 vehicles
$319 USD for 3-4 vehicles
$415 USD for 5-7 vehicles
The total fee for the complete package (detailed track file; map pack; e-booklet; consultations; plus a 3 percent PayPal surcharge) for 1-2 vehicles: $267.00 USD.
Another benefit: Our clients are eligible for substantial discounts on premium motorcycling gear and map products.
So ... start planning for H.o.W. now! Contact us using this site's contact form (helps avoid spammers), and we'll help you get on your way.
'Trip of a lifetime!
Time and again, those who've traveled Heart of the West find one phrase to describe the experience: "Trip of a lifetime!" And you don't need to be an enduro champion or veteran four-wheeler to enjoy it. You just need a good adventure motorcycle, 4x4 truck or sport-utility vehicle, the skills to travel in the backcountry safely, the ability to follow the comprehensive GPS track we provide -- and a yearning to venture well off the beaten track.
We do the work. You live the dream.
Our detailed, plug-and-play GPS data file will guide you accurately along every mile of the route. With the routes that Backcountry Byways LLC develops, you get highly detailed data that is researched, documented and monitored by wildland-travel specialists with decades of on-the-ground experience in both adventure-motorcycle and SUV-borne overland travel.
Instead of only the basic GPS tracks and a handful of location markers (waypoints) so typical of free routing, H.o.W. includes more than 1,200 essential waypoints for verified campsites and campgrounds, lodgings, fuel stops, difficult sections and more. Each is pinpointed using Global Positioning System coordinates, by direct on-site observation.
Importantly, H.o.W. isn't just a product; it's a premium service. That service and support begins when you sign up, and ends when your adventure is done. Going far beyond typical crowdsourced routing ("You get what you pay for!"), we provide prompt, professional and personalized service and support.
Our clients have exclusive "anytime" access to the person most knowledgeable about every aspect of the route, someone who can provide counsel that is prompt, convenient, and authoritative.
Our premium support means our clients don't have to subject themselves to hours mining social-media forums for credible input from strangers and amateurs.
We get to know our clients. Many become friends and return year after year. So we often can tailor our products and services to suit their interests and circumstances. We're available when they need us, just a phone call or text message away from start to finish ... even as they travel!
Perhaps you're the DIY type, willing to risk your group's vacation to save a few bucks ... spending hours scouring websites and fielding suspect responses on social-media forums ... ordering maps (USD$10 to $15 ea.), atlases (USD$25 ea.) and guidebooks (USD$20 ea.) ... consuming hours of cell-phone time ... struggling for weeks to build a GPS track following roads across unfamiliar terrain -- only to learn the hard way that a road no longer exists!
Or, perhaps you're willing to spend thousands of dollars to eat the dust of 20 other riders on a tour that follows the same treadworn routes that everyone follows. (Does the image of a string of toddlers on a walk around the block come to mind?)
We say ... Do it your way!
Focusing on the western USA's unpaved backroads, Heart of the West Adventure Route takes overland travelers through some of America's last-remaining, least-populated and most spectacular wildlands that remain motor-vehicle accessible.
Whether on four wheels or two, you will be immersed in the:
- Continental Divide;
- Rocky Mountains;
- Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem;
- Colorado Plateau; and
- Great Basin Desert.
Travelers find themselves on some of America's most historic backways as well. Among them:
- tracks of the Oregon Trail;
- the Pony Express and Overland Stage route;
- the Lincoln Highway; and
- the final segment of the world's first Transcontinental Railroad.
Access is easy!
Other backcountry routes run east-west or north-south, and so must omit a great deal. More important, they pose logistical difficulties, e.g., getting to the beginning and returning from the end. They require arranging a shuttle or return bike shipment; or enduring massive "slab" time on backtracking.
Heart of the West Adventure Route is efficient and convenient.
That's because it's comprised of a main, grand loop with optional interconnected loops. Begin and end anywhere that works for you. If you can't break free for the 15 or so days the full loop typically requires, travel it in segments, over time, at a pace that's right for you.
The loop is intersected by two interstate U.S. highways: north-south I-15 and east-west I-80. Connecting to I-70 -- a major access route to Utah's canyon country -- is convenient as well. So travelers from every point on the compass are saving precious vacation days with fast and direct access.
Major airlines serve cities at logical entry/exit points, e.g., Denver, Colorado; Salt Lake City, Utah; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; even Idaho Falls, Idaho! Connections are available as well to Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada; Moab, Utah; and Grand Junction, Colorado.
Vehicle storage is often available at local airports and motels.
You can camp, stay in motels, or pause for a relaxing evening at a mountain lodge.
What do travelers say?
Visit ADVrider.com to read the growing list of ride reports and reviews. A sampling:
"... the greatest western U.S. adventure of all." ADVrider.com member
"In my opinion should go down as one of the great Overland Adventures in North America." Tragic Overlander
"Tony's constant attention to detail, updates, emails, and obvious true desire to insure the client has the experience of a lifetime is just tremendous." Sir Dave
"... the best route we've ever ridden, period. And we've ridden a few." Dockingpilot
"UN-FRIGGIN-BELIEVABLE RIDE!" slowpoke69
"For people who have one shot at it, this service is great." Pantah
"Any part of the route is fantastic. You will love it." johnpitts01
"I am very happy with the depth and quality of the resources as well as excellent input and customer service from byways, it will be hard to go back to my usual personal planning from scratch in the future." -- Somber
Contact us today!
We will connect you to a web gallery of images that depict the route. It's not a sales tool, but rather a comprehensive survey that will show you what to expect.
We'll also provide payment details (we are traveler-direct service providers). And you'll receive the advantages of the 25 years we've spent chronicling the wildland roads of the American West for guidebooks, magazines, automotive manufacturers, web publishers ... and busy people like you.
How to get H.o.W.
Here's how most folks acquire the H.o.W. license and navigational data:
1. Connect with us via the contact form on this site's sidebar.
2. Schedule a telephone visit. This enables us to acquaint you with the H.o.W. experience further, and to answer your questions.
3. We provide payment details.
4. Once payment is received, we deliver the H.o.W. track file via email.
5. USPS Priority Mail delivery of the optional ($60) map pack, if you choose to purchase it.
6. Adding you to the list of H.o.W. travelers who will receive exclusive news alerts or revised data that we sometimes send out during the travel season for which your license is acquired. These emailed alerts can involve updates on road conditions, closures, wildfires, new routing and more. If warranted, they also may include a revised or supplementary track that can be downloaded to your GPS device and added to the route.
Many wildland travelers can require post-purchase assistance. So our personal service doesn't end with providing the track file.
Supplementary services include:
- prompt and authoritative responses to your questions
- tailoring the route to your specific interests and needs*
- identifying and routing to the best start/end points*, and
- arranging accommodations and other logistical support.*
* Additional fee and at least 90 days advance notice required.
We are available for consultations, fee-based custom routing ($1,050 minimum) and supplementary logistical support. Just ask! Our goal, after all, is to help you have that "trip of a lifetime."
Still have questions? Send us a note using the "Contact" form in the sidebar.