Track Snow Depth Across the U.S. and Canada

Find the areas with the most snow coverage or avoid snow altogether with new Snow Depth map overlays. Backcountry skiers and riders can scout for snow-covered lines through couloirs, ridge-lines and other areas tucked away in the backcountry while hikers can more easily decide on appropriate routes and footwear.

Inspired by a thru-hiker looking to track snow depths along the Pacific Crest Trail with Gaia GPS, the Snow Depth overlays assist with planning journeys of all sizes. Now hikers and outdoor adventurers can examine how many centimeters of snow exist in specific areas by referencing color-coded indicators of coverage.

Image of computer screen with map indicated snow in mountainous region.

SNODAS Sourced Data

The NOAA National Weather Service’s National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center (NOHRSC) Snow Data Assimilation System (SNODAS) source all data for snow depth values. The SNODAS modeling and data assimilation system was developed by NOHRSC to gather information from satellite, airborne platforms, and ground stations to predict snow depths. Climatologists, ecologists, hydrologists, and other professionals rely on the data and now adventurers can too.

Use Cases for Route Planning

When referencing snow depths, remember that estimates are not based on actual observations, but product model output. These data predictions are best for checking seasonal snow-cover rather than exact snowfall totals. However, snow depth totals are updated every 24 hours by both NOAA and Gaia GPS.

If you’re looking to find snow totals for a storm overnight or specific regions, reference your local climate center or weather source. SNODAS recommends American Association of State Climatologists, NOAA Regional Climate Centers, and NOAA National Climatic Data Center. Pair Snow Depth overlays with Snowfall Forecast and Slope Angle overlays to gather more information for backcountry travel.

How to Add Snow Depth Overlays

Snow depth overlays are available with a Premium Membership. To add overlays, visit the Feature/Weather Overlays map source categories and add “Snow Depth.” Access the legend by tapping the info icon in the left corner of the map screen of your phone or hovering over the layer on gaiagps.com

Download Snow Depth overlays with a free month of Premium Membership.

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About Laura Friedland

Laura joined the Marketing Team in September 2019 to support Gaia GPS’s community management and user engagement. Previously, Laura worked as a snow reporter in Vermont and as an Account Manager at Verde Brand Communications in Boulder, Colorado. She’s an avid traveler and recently returned from riding her bicycle from Medellin, Colombia to the southern tip of Chile. While she’s not plugging away at work, you can find her navigating backcountry ski routes in Colorado and riding her bike offroad around the world.