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byways 12-02-2012 11:12 AM

Heart of the West ADV Route
"Tony Huegel ... has put together what I think is the greatest western U.S. adventure of all. ... I am so stoked on Tony's work that I have begun to plan for a solo adventure using his HOW data. If things work out right I will finish the HOW and come home on the new IDBDR. This would be a real Bucket List fulfillment for me."

Brothers and sisters:

If you're fretting about planning your next ADV ride ... finding time to do the research ... tracking down resources ... stocking up on maps, atlases and guidebooks ... posting queries ... getting the answers you need when you need them ... Ugh!


How 'bout this: Do it the easy way!


Let Backcountry Byways LLC do the work ... so you can live the dream!

To get started, just contact us at: We'll respond promptly with all the details.

Wildland and rural-West travel is what we do. So just choose the option that suits you:

-- Custom routing. If doing things your way is more your style, or you have specific needs and interests that cannot be met by established routes, then draw on our decades of on-the-ground experience chronicling the wildland roads of the American West. Have us craft an ADV route tailored to your requirements and interests. We do the research, and provide ready-to-ride .gpx files complete with tracks, waypoints (fuel, campsites , lodgings, etc.), as well as documentation and counsel.

Examples of our personalized backcountry-travel routes ...

For 2014:

A 1,400-mile odyssey through Idaho and Montana ...

... complete with camping and lodging options.

A 1,200-mile Colorado loop ...

... that incorporates most of the 700-mile, north-south Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route, and mixes lodgings and camping along the way.

For 2015:

Southern California to Sturgis, South Dakota -- 2,100 miles from the Mojave Desert to the Black Hills the ADV way ...

... weaving together a wilderness corridor, a bit of old Route 66, our Heart of the West ADV Route, the Utah and Colorado BDRs, and the Dakota Adventure Loop.

Sea to Summit ... a grand loop 'round Northern California, from wine country to the Lost Coast ...

... by way of the volcanoes of the Cascade Range and the Sierra Nevada's rugged and remote gold country ...

And this just in: A father-and-daughter road-bike trip through the northern Rockies ...



But a personal adventure route is a premium product ... challenging to produce, limited to a few each season, uniquely rewarding, priced accordingly.

So we also offer ...

Heart of the West Adventure Route is our modular, ready-to-ride, six-state, GPS-based, self-directed and affordable journey through the storied landscapes and history of the American West -- adaptable to your travel needs and time constraints even as you ride!

Heart of the West ADV Route debuted on ADVrider in 2010 as Forever West, a largely non-technical wildland travel loop we developed initially for a group East Coast riders. (We'd previously drafted an Idaho loop for them.) The original query was whether it'd be worthwhile to tweak the famous Great Divide Route, a.k.a. CDT, a north-south route that poses substantial logistical difficulties.

Drawing on our years of experience chronicling the unpaved backroads of the West for guidebooks and magazines (National Geographic Adventure, Road & Track Specials, Four Wheel Drive & SUV, Mercedes Momentum and others), we drafted instead a grand six-state loop -- beginning and ending in Idaho Falls, Idaho -- that included some of the West's most iconic landscapes and historic backways.

Since that initial "rough draft," the route has improved greatly through continual research, on-going field checks, and important feedback from adventure-motoring enthusiasts who have traveled it from across North America.

Now ... it's better than ever.

And ... it’s now called Heart of the West Adventure Route, which reflects the scope of what many call the ride of their lives.

Yet more than the name has changed since that initial "rough draft," for the journey is being upgraded, rerouted, revisited and revised continually. It's even rougher in places that were, well, just too darned civilized. :jose This on-going effort means Heart of the West is always new! Because of this continual upgrading and refining, we see that H.o.W. clients always have the latest data, sometimes even sending updates as they travel.

Upgrades include:

-- Hundreds of new waypoints that pinpoint additional campsites and campgrounds, lodgings and fuel stops.

-- More wildland two-track trails and dirt backroads that replace long segments of paved highways and roads.

-- Supplementary tracks that enable travelers to modify the route to accommodate their own interests and itineraries, and to respond to changing conditions as they travel.

-- No land-access issues. The focus is strictly on public lands, public roads and public right-of-ways.

One especially entertaining H.o.W. ride report that reflects these changes is inmate Tragic Overlander's fast-paced tale of an international team's apparent attempt at an ADV land-speed record -- can be found here. Just be ready for a lot of :poser

OkieRedPig was kind enough to share his video.

You also can read reports by inmates Shooby, Dynobob, TxTiger, DolphinJohn, DonS, Klinquist, Dockingpilot, Zeegman, Bigdon and CaseyB.

As those ride reports illustrate, duly adjudicated inmates will find:

More mountain ranges
More two tracks
More campsites
More lodges
More of everything ADV!

New for 2015:

The approximately 2,800-mile six-state H.o.W. route includes:

-- integration with both the 870-mile Utah Backcountry Discovery Route ...

... and the 700-mile Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route ...

... as well as connectors to the 1,250-mile Idaho BDR ...

H.o.W. even shares some roads with the American Mountain Biking Association's Great Divide Route, a.k.a. CDT, from Canada to Mexico. WoW! NoW -- with H.o.W. -- you can do them all!

-- Heart of the West Adventure Route Map Pack, with SIX statewide, data-packed, folded paper topographic travel-and-recreation maps with H.o.W.'s primary, optional and alternate tracks highlighted and numbered to match the GPS track file. The map pack -- a $35 option (not available separately) even includes H.o.W. stickers for each vehicle in your group. The maps provide a reliable alternative in the case of a GPS unit failure, and can be indispensable if conditions require rerouting.

Important for ADV travel: The maps are protected inside a durable, translucent vinyl pouch with a weather-resistant roll-top hook-and-loop closure.

And for a limited time: Licensees for the 2015 season are eligible for a big discount on world-class ADV riding gear (act fast!!!)

In the rarefied genre of American wildland travel, experienced ADV riders and newcomers alike are asking: How can I live the dream?

They're finding the answer in Heart of the West.

It's a logistically convenient, 2,800-mile two-week odyssey through the wildlands of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Nevada.

(Note: Don't fret over the length; it includes options that accommodate shorter itineraries, too.)

While Heart of the West is designed to be a largely non-technical (i.e. no single-track) dual-purpose motorcycle/SUV route, sections can be challenging. Overall, it is certain to challenge your bike, your physical and mental endurance, riding skill and ability to organize, lead and execute an overland expedition -- in America.

The route is continually evolving as we evaluate feedback from each season's travelers, and as we work to improve the experience for each upcoming season.

Today ... this modular loop is more convenient and adaptable than ever!

H.o.W.? For starters ... the full, primary loop is comprised of several shorter interconnected loops that you can weave into a trip that suits your and your group's travel needs and interests -- even if they change along the way! This traveler-friendly feature of H.o.W. accommodates individual schedules, and the schedules of group members that might otherwise conflict.

There's more:

-- Access from any point on the compass to numerous start and end points is direct and convenient -- saving your precious vacation time -- via two interstate highways: north-south I-15 and east-west I-80.

-- Major airlines serve cities at logical entry/exit points, e.g., Denver, Salt Lake City ... even Idaho Falls, Idaho!

-- Vehicle storage is readily available at airports and motels.

So if you're ready, spare yourself the anxiety, cost and frustration of doing all that research yourself -- and get that ADV vacation of a lifetime rolling the easy way. Join the growing number of inmates who are experiencing an authentic American West adventure ...

... riders just like you who don't want to do all that work ...

... who don't want to risk their precious vacations ...

... who refuse to pay thousands of $$$ to be led on a 20-bike forced march with ... strangers ...
:muutt :p3rry:lobby:ksteve::dllama:amazon:stupid:cromag
-- yet who DO want the ride of a lifetime!

HERE'S THE DEAL: We do the work. You live the dream!

For as little as USD$249***, Backcountry Byways LLC licenses use of H.o.W.'s detailed, road-tested .gpx/.gdb track file that has been years in the making ... plus you'll get the H.o.W. Map Pack, and prompt, authoritative responses to your trip-planning questions.

You'll also get 24/7 access to a detailed, continually updated 36-page online memorandum explaining the route, the track file, each individual track, unique lodging options ... and more!

So ...

Give it for graduation :deal.
Make it your birthday wish:gerg
Make it a special surprise for Father's Day, anniversaries :rogue, Administrative Assistants Day :type, retirement :*sip*

... and so forth.

Being self-inflic ... excuse us, self-directed ... H.o.W. is perfect for travelers who want to do their trip their way, while still receiving the benefits of prompt, personalized service -- from pre-trip planning advice to advisories as you travel. Wow!

Read more about this geographically diverse, logistically convenient and easily adaptable ADV route on our blog, Backcountry Byways Journal.

Have a question? Just post herein!

In addition to the many outstanding photos you will see in ride reports, I’ve compiled an online Web album depicting the route. Have a look here.



To learn more or to order your license, contact us at:
Remember The Haight! :strum

P.S. Heart of the West ADV Route can be modified to accommodate your geographic, timing and logistical needs. Just ask. You'll also find easy options to modify the route yourself -- even as you travel -- already built into the route. Or we can customize it for you.* If there's some other part of the West you'd like to explore, or if you have particular needs or interests, again ... just ask!*

*Fee required.

*** H.o.W. license-fee schedule:

USD$249* for 1-2 vehicles

USD$399* for 3-4 vehicles

USD$519* for 5-7 vehicles

*Add $35 for the optional map pack (not available separately).

Additional license required thereafter according to the same schedule.

Shipping the Map Pack to non-USA addresses may require a shipping charge.

Subsequent use: The license fee covers only participants in the original trip for which the license was originally purchased. Those participants may use the track file for subsequent trips with those same original participants at no additional cost. Participants in subsequent trips who were not part of the original group are new H.o.W. clients; therefore, they must purchase a license according to the fee schedule in effect at the time of their purchase.

Below: Four-time Dakar Rally finisher Eddy Hau of Germany (front) travels a Wyoming segment of Heart of the West ADV Route. Heck, if he can do it ... so can you!

WillyTheWimp 12-03-2012 04:46 PM

There is no one that knows this area like byways. I was on this ride and I can tell you it's amazing. I've been on other rides that he's put together as well and seen somethings that he sent me to while I was solo. All things you wouldn't see if you didn't get in touch with him.

The great thing about dealing with byways is he's been on all these roads before. He's not going to tell you this is good for an adventure bike with your kit when most would be dropping you know what in their pants if they were on a trials bike.

The other great thing about byways is his wide ranging interest and curiosity. So he knows where those hidden gems are that most people just drive past.

What's a few shekels when it come down to having a really enjoyable ride without missing something you'd be kicking yourself over when you figured out you missed it. It will also save you a bunch of time and effort.:drums

D-man 12-03-2012 05:39 PM

Been with Byways on a lot of this route scoping out the trail and making sure it is a advertized.. He will NOT steer you wrong if it is not good for a big bike he means it or if it is doable by your grandma that is a fact!

Every mile of this incredible journey is awesome scenic and just plain fun!



zeegman 12-03-2012 10:29 PM

Must do Ride of the Wild West
If you always wanted to ride an amazing/scenic/historic Adventure ride in the Wild West of the USA this is a must do ride. Tony has put together a fantasic collection of off-road rides that any Adventure would enjoy. Check it out while you are planning your next years Adventures. It is perfect for a two week trip.

Mike Z

spanker 12-04-2012 03:02 AM

As a veteran of the very first "Forever West 2010" ride, I'm telling you all unequivocally that Tony's route is the "must ride before you die" route if there ever was one. If I had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel and was granted one more ride, this would be it. It's all spectacular, every mile. The diversity is unsurpassed; mountain passes, open prairie, desert, high plateaus, no man's land-type open vistas. You New Englanders like me need to pay attention to this. We ride under the canopy in CT and can't see more than 100 yards in any direction. How would you like to peg the throttle for miles and see this before you?

Southern Great Salt Lake Basin, Utah

Or skies like this?

Great Basin (the Big Empty), Wyoming

Or camp at a place like this:

South Pass, Wyoming.

Or hang out at a place like this:

the Wasatch Range, Utah.

This is your #1 bucket list ride if you are serious about dual-sport riding and want the very best experience riding out West. Tony continues to be the premier back-country route planner when it comes to our sport. Highly recommend it!

byways 12-04-2012 08:25 AM

Thank you all!
Wow! I am humbled indeed. It is a terrific feeling for me, helping you experience the "Heart of the West."

Hope you can come this way again!


eakins 12-04-2012 07:35 PM

Awesome Tony!

byways 12-04-2012 08:04 PM


Questor 12-05-2012 06:23 AM

Highly Recomended
Tony is indeed the master of local knowledge and planner of routes.
Tony knows this part of the country better than anyone else, and he has personally scouted these routes himself.
Basically, if you work with Tony, you are guaranteed a successful trip where you ride and see all the best of the West.


kevinj 12-06-2012 01:34 AM

cool, bookmarked.

D-man 12-06-2012 06:04 PM

Just a "by the way" for byways he is too modest, but he will work with you on a custom trip also. If you have a certain time frame or a must see area he can also fix you up for that too. starting to sound like a commercial. but I have no gain in this enterprise other than I get to go with him once in a while. pretty good deal I must say.


eakins 12-07-2012 12:17 PM

Question Tony,
In WY before/after South Pass City are you routing people to Farson for gas? I show Boulder (& of course Pinedale) has fuel too.
I'm wondering what that out and back is before heading north to Pinedale.

Just so everyone know Great Divide Basin (desert) is an amzing wide open area but you must be dead on your toes with fuel as there is nothing out there (see Docking Pilot's picture just above to get the idea & note his 2 fuel containers - ). This could be one of the longest stretches of fuel for his whole ride.

Tony do you have a need minimum fuel range people need w/ their bikes so everyone knows this? This is a key piece of info.

eakins 12-07-2012 12:26 PM

I assume this is your inspiration for the name of your route?

byways 12-07-2012 04:08 PM

Name change
Eakins, yes, "Gun Show/Next Exit" was originally going to be the name of the route.

But some thought that was too, I dunno, provincial , or some big .45-cal. hollow-point word like that. Then we noticed the "Forever West" part of the sign. And it was thought that "Forever West" was gentler, cozier, and so would have more appeal among dude-ranch riders from mid-Atlantic regions.

Really, though, we sort of backed our way into calling it Forever West just because it embraces the feeling one gets in these parts, and the route was just a thing among ADV friends. But that moniker is closely tied to Wyoming.

As the route has gained rapidly in popularity, it seemed wrong to continue borrowing Wyoming's well-established promotional theme. Heart of the West Adventure Route better reflects the scale of this route, which is about immersing oneself in Western landscapes and history. So I've changed the name to that.

It has to be noted that Dockingpilot led the first group to travel the entire route in a single trip. And at that time it was new route, waiting to be tested by experienced riders with a keen eye for what works, and what doesn't. He also did a great deal of work researching the South Pass segment, and has made important post-ride contributions to refining the route -- all from the bridge of a supertanker he was parallel parking in NY Harbor.

byways 12-07-2012 04:35 PM


Originally Posted by eakins (Post 20198982)
Question Tony,
In WY before/after South Pass City are you routing people to Farson for gas? I show Boulder (& of course Pinedale) has fuel too.
I'm wondering what that out and back is before heading north to Pinedale.

Just so everyone know Great Divide Basin (desert) is an amzing wide open area but you must be dead on your toes with fuel as there is nothing out there (see Docking Pilot's picture just above to get the idea & note his 2 fuel containers - ). This could be one of the longest stretches of fuel for his whole ride.

Tony do you have a need minimum fuel range people need w/ their bikes so everyone knows this? This is a key piece of info.

Thanks for the questions and comments, Bill. Butler Maps would know to ask!

There should be no fuel issue in Wyoming. There definitely can be, however, farther west in the Great Basin of western Utah and eastern Nevada.

There are two segments that exceed 230 miles; an optional segment would add another 100 miles to one of them.. Both are in the Great Basin of western Utah and eastern Nevada. Both well exceed any of the distances in Wyoming, including the "Big Empty" crossing between Atlantic City and Rawlins.

In Wyoming, greater South Pass area, I provide three options to get from fuel at Boulder (south of Pinedale) to fuel again (usually) at Wild Bill's Gun Shop in Atlantic City -- not a gas station, just a guy who sticks to the basics: guns 'n gas. Depends more on what sort of experience and landscapes one prefers ... and it's a tough choice, I'll tellya.

One way I route that focuses on important Oregon Trail tracks and sites runs for about 80 miles from gas at Boulder to gas at Farson.

From fuel at Farson to fuel @ Rawlins is about 185 miles on this route, via Atlantic City. But from gas at Farson to gas at Atlantic City, on South Pass, is only approx. 50 miles or so via highway, and it's always advisable to buy gas every chance you get. Then A.C. to Rawlins ... 130-135 miles roughly ... no prob.

There's no gas at South Pass City, which is just a state historical park.

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