Trail Finder – Expanded Elevation Coverage, Tips on Using It

Since we launched the Gaia GPS Trail Finder 3 weeks ago, people have plotted a zillion trails, all over creation. This has given us the chance to talk to users about their experiences, improve the docs, observe log files, and squash bugs.

Elevation Data Improved

When we first launched, there was a bug that prevented most routes from seeing elevation profiles, which we pretty quickly patched up.

Also since launch, we expanded elevation lookups to higher latitudes, to include Alaska and the upper reaches of Canada. You can see the coverage today in the diagram below.

We thought 60N-60S was a good start, but we immediately got some presumably very cold people complaining.

Coverage of Gaia GPS elevation look ups.

Coverage of Gaia GPS elevation look ups, for routes and other things in the app.


Tips on Using the Trail Finder and OpenStreetMap

If this is your first time hearing about the Trail Finder, you can check it out here. For instructions on creating a route, you can visit this article that includes a quick video tutorial.

Here are some tips for using the Trail Finder more effectively.

  • The Trail Finder works best with OpenStreetMap sources, including OpenHikingMap and OpenCycleMap, because it relies on the same data as these maps. It may not pick up trails on sources like USGS topos.
  • If you see a trail on the map, but it won’t snap to the route, there might be a gap in the trail data.
    • Try to zoom in and find the gap, and then you can go edit a fix in at
    • Email us at if you improve OpenStreetMap – we’ve love to hear what you did.
OpenStreetMap logo

You can improve the Trail Finder and the maps Gaia GPS better by contributing to OpenStreetMap.

Bugs and Limitations

Be aware of these limitations:

  • Walking and biking routes cannot be longer than about 250 miles.
  • Routes must be composed of 9 or fewer points. Make your route sparse, and drag the line as needed.
  • If you sync a Trail Finder route to the Android app, route points show up as waypoints. The fix for this will be out this week.
  • If you get a routing error, also try deleting the last point you created. We automatically log routing errors and investigate them.