Why You Should Always Print Maps Online with Gaia GPS

Mobile apps like Gaia GPS make it possible for everyone to have a high-end navigation tool in their pocket for a fraction of the price. Avid hikers and backpackers download maps to access them offline and use GPS to show their location anywhere in the world. Printed maps offer a super lightweight backup mechanism for mobile maps, essential for safe navigation.

Gaia GPS lets you print unlimited maps for over 250* map sources and overlays for one yearly fee. A Premium Membership lets you stack up to 5 map sources enabling a mathematically endless amount of combinations to customize your print.

Not a Gaia GPS Member? Click here to print free topo maps today with a 1-month trial Premium Membership.

Read on to learn the 6 reasons you should always print maps online with Gaia GPS.

1. Print More than 50 Different Map Sources (250+ with Premium!)

Gaia GPS offers the largest collection of digital map sources in the world. With a Membership, you can print over 57 different maps including topographic, satellite, and roadmaps.

A large majority of the available maps use openstreetmap.org trail data. This means that they have some of the most up to date trails and points of interest available.

At the Premium level, you get access to over 250+ maps and overlays. These maps include several Premium base maps from paid providers, like IGN, MapBox, NeoTreks, and others. It also unlocks hundreds of overlays like public lands, private lands, hunting management units, and grid overlays.

At both levels, you get exclusive access to the best topo map for backpackers, Gaia Topo.

Yosemite Valley with Gaia Topo

Yosemite Valley with Gaia Topo

For more traditional maps, you can print USGS Quads anywhere in the United States.

USGS Maps showing the Grand Canyon

USGS Maps showing the Grand Canyon

2. Plan and Print Custom Trip

When you plan a trip in Gaia GPS, you can view your route on top of any map source. By plotting a route and adding waypoints, you can print a custom map for your entire trip.

The online trip planner lets you highlight your route and use custom waypoint icons to mark starting and ending points, trail intersections, campsite locations, and more.

3. Customize Paper Size and Map Resolution

With the ability to select the zoom level, most maps on gaiagps.com can print well beyond the traditional 1:24k.

You can print an overview map of a large area, or zoom in close to get a highly detailed map.

From the print screen, choose between 5 different paper sizes — then, print it out or save it as a PDF on your computer.

Saving the map as a PDF allows you to share it with others, or stitch multiple maps together. You can also customize your paper size further to create a huge print with a printing service like FedEx and Staples offers.

Huge printed map

We were able to print this enormous 54×36 map at Staples!

4. Add Gridlines and a Compass Rose

Print of Half Dome with National Geographic Trails Illustrated* with the compass rose added

Print of Half Dome with National Geographic Trails Illustrated* with the compass rose added

For precise navigation, add coordinate gridlines to any map and add or remove a compass rose to display in the bottom left corner of the map.

Print using UTM grids, or choose from several other coordinate formats. Click here to learn how to add gridlines to your map.

5. You Can Layer* up to 5 Maps at Once

Once you’ve tried layering maps, you’ll never go back. Get a super customized view unlike any other. Choose a base map, then start adding overlays like Public or Private Lands Overlays, or elevation shading. Pair that with your custom trip and icons, and you’ve got something truly amazing.

With the Premium Membership, you can choose from hundreds of different maps and transparent overlays, to create combinations like:

6. You Get Unlimited Prints

Once you have a Membership, there is no limit to the number of prints or PDF maps you can make. With paper maps costing an average of $12 for a specific park or trail, your Membership will pay for itself with just one or two trips!

Try Printing for Free for 1-Month

Get unlimited prints of the best topo maps starting today.

Print maps for FREE for 1-month by starting a trial Premium Membership – no credit card required. Click here to sign up now.


* Indicates Premium Membership required