My Custom Garmin Maps  

I have been working on gathering the GPX files from the website for about a year now and to make a long story short, I wanted a map that did the following:

  • Not cluttered like the topo map in my GPS (Garmin Topo USA 24K Mountain North)
  • Not full of errors like the topo map, or the Open Street Map dataset
  • Only displayed legal trails and roads
  • Ignored hiking or motorcycle trails (I have bad knees and don't hike, and I don't have a motorcycle so who cares about those trails) (no offense if you hike or have a motorcycle)
  • If it was a road, but in all honesty, there was no way in heck I was going to take my new truck, or even a old truck on it, and thought it closer to an ATV trail, show it as an ATV trail.
  • Be more useful than a MVUM since a majority of the trails do NOT have trail markers.

Since no one made such a map, I decided to make my own :)

So, I took my GPX tracks, named them in a an organized way (I am using the Sublet area as my example)

  • SU = Sublet
  • MR-Main Road
  • RD = Road
  • ATV = ATV Trail
  • 000 = Road or trail number (first two digits not added)
  • Green Canyon = Name of the road or trail
  • CG - Camp ground (where I could get my new truck without tearing it up)

Then color coded things in Basecamp as follows:

  • Main roads = blue
  • Regular roads =  pink
  • ATV trails = red
  • Dark purple = Forest border

I see the following (each trail is a unique GPX file)

Then, once all my data was ready, exported all the appropriate info into a GPX data file.  Then using the software I have, I import the GPX file, tagged the individual GPX tracks to the appropriate road type, generate the map and import the map back into Basecamp I get the following in Basecamp as a map.

  • Main roads = Thick double lines
  • Regular roads =  Thin double lines
  • ATV trails = dashed lines
  • Forest border = Thick orange line

Then, once I make any corrections and install the map into my Garmin Montana, here is what I see when I have all the other maps disabled.  (Actual screen shots)

  • Thick red = Forest perimeter
  • Yellow = main road
  • Brown = road
  • Red\black dash = ATV trail (note, some roads such as 242\Magic West in the Cassia division are WAY to narrow and overgrown for a vehicle to really use it, so I tag roads such as this an ATV trail and show up as the red\black dashed lines)

Note:  Yes, the two maps above are cluttered with the names of the roads and trails, but look at what happens in the GPS...  you only see the names when zoomed in quite a bit...

  2 mile zoom. 

1.2 mile zoom

.5 mile zoom

800 feet zoom

80 foot zoom (the red\black lines are more distinct on the GPS than what the screen shot shows for some reason.

Click on a road in the GPS

Click on a trail in the GPS

Click on a POI

Now, I have a custom map, that ONLY shows legal roads and ATV trails, the POI's that I want, and when I enable tracking on my GPS will overlay a black line over the roads or trails that I have been on.

The only thing that I wanted to do, but haven't, is that the map is not routable.  This may come down the road.

Download Custom Maps and Directions