Why you can't trust Google Maps, cue sheets, & turn-by-turn directions
Why you cannot trust Google Maps, cue sheets, and turn-by-turn directions in the backcountry
Google Maps coverage of backcountry areas is often incomplete and inaccurate. Roads are often missing, located incorrectly, or are misnamed. Below are three of examples of how Google Maps can lead you astray!
Also, be aware that other mapping programs use Google Maps data for their routing. For example, Ride with GPS gives you the option of either using Google Maps or Open Street Map, which is not perfect but is often more accurate than Google Maps.
Example 1: A significant intersection near Alsea Falls
Hull Oakes Road is the major unpaved route from Alsea Falls to Bellfountain Park. In the summer of 2021, two different groups of local riders were misled by this particular discrepancy and both groups ended up doing an unintended 800' climb.
Example 2: Roads to the southwest of Burnt Woods
Google Maps misnames the roads and shows a road that doesn't exist, which could lead you to making the wrong turn.