The United States Forest Service (USFS) is creating a good set of maps for hikers and backpackers. The series of 10 maps will cover the entire Pacific Crest Trail. At present, 8 of the 10 maps are finished and are available for purchase. The remaining two are a work-in-progress.
These maps are printed on waterproof, tear-resistant paper. The maps have many trail-trivia write ups including historical info and ecological info about the areas along the trail. They include elevation profiles and geographic co-ordinate information. It also recommends short trips for day or weekend hikers.
The map is scaled at 1:63,360 (1 inch = 1 mile) with 100ft contour lines. That’s a bit “zoomed out” for some hikers. At present only 8 of 10 of the maps are available. The remaining two (that cover Northern California) are still in-the-works.
There are three major outlets for the USFS maps. Prices vary among them, and you can expect to pay between $100 and $160 for the set of 10.
The cheapest is The National Forest Store. They sell the maps for just $10 each ($100 for the set of 10). Visit their site and type ‘PCT’ into the Map Search area (located in the upper right of their website). That will show you the list of 8 (soon to be 10) USFS PCT maps.
The next-cheapest outlet is the PCTA Online Store at $11.95 per map ($119.95 for the set of 10). It’s more expensive, but the profit goes to the PCTA.
If the above two are ever out of stock, you can visit Omnimap.com – the most expensive of the three at a whopping $15.95 per map ($159.50 for the set of 10).
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