Western Traveler


If you’re heading into unknown territory you need to get some good maps. Not too many things add excitement, or fear more than going on a hike and having no idea where you’re at.

The following information was provided by Jeff Campbell, formerly of the Utah Geological Survey.

The USGS topo quads also known as 7.5 minute or 1:24,000 scale are the most detailed. They cover about a 7 by 8 mile area. The USGS phone number is 888-ASK-USGS (888-275-8747) and they stock everything.

The UGS (Utah Geological Survey) has everything for Utah and surrounding states. They cost $5.50 which is about the going rate everywhere.

The next scale is the USGS 1:100K. The entire is US covered with this scale. They cost $6.95 and give good detail with trails and roads. There are BLM editions to these maps that show recreation information and property ownership as well as the traditional topographical info.

After these two options, there are recreation maps put out by various companies such as National Geographic and Earth Walk Press and forest service maps. These maps are more tricked out, using plastic material and overlaying much information geared towards recreation. Forest service maps are great for roads and camping, but do not show topography, kind of a “Catch 22“. That’s why the various recreation maps, if available, make the most sense. They show it all and cost about $10.00

Last modified on: January 14th 2013.
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