Using USGS and Google Earth to plot my bike route in mid-September

12:01 a.m. on September 10, 2011 (EDT)
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5,248 forum posts


I am using my USGS site ( ) and Google Earth to lay out and plot my route for my bicycle tour to Show Low come mid-September. I have already found 4 Indian Ruins just off Interstate 40 East of Flagstaff 30 miles. May become my first nights rest/camp area as there is also a spring in the Diablo Canyon the ruins are along.


Using Google Earth and Mapcard allows me to see both the landforms and the topo map features side by side. I save the images and topos that later I will print off to carry on my routes.


This Google Earth image shows the Interstate from Flagstaff to 2 Guns near where the Indian Ruins are.




This is the next place I will visit, the Arizona Meteor Crater which is 42 miles from Flagstaff. Its just 4 miles off the interstate on a paved road. The paved road goes to a visitor Center on the north rim of the crater, but I plan to try to bike around it to the south and go and see it from a non-paying side. It costs money to see it from the visitor center.


This what it lloks like as a topo map. Its about 600 feet deep and between .66 NS and .75 EW miles across. Here you can see the dirt road I hope to take around it from the NW side to the NE side. The road averages about a 1/10th miles from the rim.

From there I will head back to the interstate and on to Winslow and explore some of the Little Colorado which is south of the interstate between Winslow and Holbrook, AZ for 31 miles.

I will turn south and head to Snowflake. There I plan to hike 4 miles up Silver Creek Canyon, a small 100 foot deep gully that 15 miles north of Snow flake runs into the Little Colorado.


The red line is part of Hwy 77 from Holbrook to Snowflake. I will hike the green looking Silver Creek Canyon snaking its way north from the green area below which is the head of the canyon at Snowflake. Its four miles one way and I plan to make it either a long 8 mile day hike or go up and the explore a side canyon to the west and come back to Snowflake the next day. Hope to find someone in town to hold my bike for me.


Winslow is on the left center just on the upper edge of the brown rectangle and Holbrook is on the left center where the push pin is. The LC runs east/west between the two towns.

Man I am getting so excited to leave Flagstaff and go on this adventure!

I have a good hiking buddy who has lived in Show Low where I am going since May. I will saty with him for a couple weeks then go on south towards southern Arizona, maybe to Tombstone or onto Tucson for the winter...

8:05 a.m. on September 10, 2011 (EDT)
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3,956 forum posts

That sounds like an excellent trip Gary!

I'm sure you will have a great time biking & hiking around that part of the country.

I also use the USGS & Google Earth to plan trips, I have always enjoyed planning trips and learning all I could about topos, satellite imagery, and that kind of stuff.

Keep us informed.

1:02 p.m. on September 10, 2011 (EDT)
244 reviewer rep
5,248 forum posts



Vintage postcard of Canyon Diablo "Devils Canyon east of Flagstaff 30 miles.

Check out this link about Canyon Diablo, a ghost town I will pass thru off I-40.,_Arizona

 External links

Once said about Canyon Diable town: Tombstone was noted for "having a man for breakfast every morning," then it could be said that Canyon Diablo "had a man for breakfast, lunch, and supper every day." 


Modern day Canyon Diablo, shot from the railroad bridge.

June 18, 2018
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