Finding and tracking your trails can be tricky so I wanted to share some of the resources my family and I regularly use to do this.
We regularly use the apps AllTrails (free) and Gaia GPS ($19.99). AllTrails is what I usually use to find new trails and plan trips. It has a section to create list and favorites. You can search nearby, or in specific areas and view results in list or map form.
AllTrails can record your adventures. I love this feature because it calculates stats about your trip. It shows elevation, average MPH, your position on the trail, total trip time and time actually moving! After you finish recording your hike you can write a review and post pics from your hike and you have the option of making this public of keeping it private for your own use only. They do have an option to download your map for offline use but that does come at an additional subscription fee of $2.50 per month billed annually.
Gaia GPS is similar to AllTrails in that it has a lot of the same features with recording/ tracking your trails. However, with Gaia you can mark out your own trail and stops like points of interest and your campsites, and our personal favorite, you can download your maps and use them offline! This is the app Hubby uses the most to track and plan trips, and so far he really likes it.
CalTopo is another one of hubby’s favorites because it has a lot of detailed maps (satellite, topographical, road, and terrain), you can save as many maps as you like and print them for free. But most importantly you are able to draw maps on the trails you find and import and export these maps to GPS as it is compatible with most tracking apps (think Gaia, Google Earth, etc.). We use this to plan trips and typically export the Caltopo map to Gaia where we are able to track our progress offline. **Trail wisdom** Since you can print as many maps as you want you can leave a copy of your trip (however long or short) with someone back home and in your car in case there is an emergency.
They are wonderful resources because they typically have been on the trail recently and can give you a better idea of conditions and fun things to keep eye out for. Plus it’s always nice to talk with someone who shares a passion or hobby of yours.
What’s your favorite way to plan or track your trips?
Until next time, take a hike!