Recommended GA atlas/map?

Depending on the wx at the time, I may take a trip to visit my niece and her new baby in FL, attend the Orlando Hamvention, and activate some summits en route (I leave it to the reader to determine the priority between these 3 activities!).

I usually acquire a De Lorme atlas for the state where I plan to activate. However, I see that the De Lorme atlas for GA is from 2010, and gets terrible reviews.

Can anyone recommend a good map or atlas I should get to help me navigate the roads, etc. in northern GA?


73 Paula k9ir

Hi Paula,

Most of the W4G summits are within the Chattahoochee National Forest area. The FS used to have a large paper map, but it doesn’t look like you can get it anymore. :cry: My copies are so old and ragged, I am afraid to unfold them! But I like the Nat Geo/Trails Illustrated maps but they add up. If you can do digital, Avenza has all four 'hooch maps for $20, plus all of the Motor Vehicle Use Maps too. Feel free to hit me up for any specific W4G questions.

73, pat - KI4SVM

Tnx, Pat. I use Avenza a lot, so I’ll go with that recommendation.

I will run my list of proposed summits past you for your thoughts once I finish it.

73 Paula k9ir

@K9IR have you played with CalTopo much? You can pay 20.00/yr for unlimited private maps and then other special features on the app version, or you can just use it for free, print the maps you need, or download the GPX you want to push to device of your choice etc. Also there are a lot of extra layers on Caltopo like Motor Vehicle use maps, Slope Angle, etc. Just one more option… When I went to W4G two years ago, I pushed custom maps and GPX routes made with CalTopo to my Garmin Watch as well as GPS.
Good luck on your trip

Jamie, tnx for the reply. I use the free version of CalTopo with Avenza on an 8" tablet quite a bit. However, the maps I create are for the last mile or so to a trail head, or to follow a trail/proposed route to a summit. I don’t use CalTopo to generate maps that cover extended distances.

I’ve started loading some of the custom maps to my Garmin 66i, but sometimes the larger perspective of the tablet is better.

Based on Pat’s reply, it sounds like the best options for GA are either NatGeo or Avenza. I’ll need to get a sense as to how well the details appear on the Avenza maps, and how practical they would be to use on a tablet.

Tnx agn!

73 Paula k9ir

I just use Google Maps on my phone to navigate to trailheads. You can download areas for offline use if you’re worried about not having service. And if you visit a ranger station for the national forest you’ll be in, they’ll probably have paper maps they can give or sell to you.

And +1 on using CalTopo for planning :smiley:

Jeff, I do use Google Maps, as well as Waze. But several north GA summit articles explicitly note one should NOT use Google Maps, as it will mislead you. It was after I’d read up on a few summits to target, and read the negative reviews of the GA DeLorme Map, that I posted my query for better maps.

The ranger station is a good idea – as long as they are open when one is activating! For example, yesterday I was at Rib Mountain State Park in WI. This summit is essentially a drive-up, but if it weren’t, I would have been SOL relying on the local ranger, as the office was closed at 830 am local time when I arrived.

Since none of these summits are local to me, I prefer knowing the details I need for access before I arrive. It’s very expensive to show up 1,000 miles away and learn you don’t have enough info ;-).

Totally agree with you on CalTopo. It’s kept me found!

73 Paula k9ir

I’ll toss this out as general information, as Paula K9IR already knows this about me after having recently collaborated on some ascents in W0M/SF. I’m an old school dude and use USGS topo maps. The app I use is “US Topo Maps” – a German product, and there is a free and a paid version. It allows many different kinds of maps overlays (but not CalTopo, funny enough).

The problem I find with any of these maps is that, unlike Nautical Charts controlled by NOAA/UK Admiralty/whomever, no one really seems to be in charge of officially updating topo maps (in the US, at least) with any frequency.

I find the US topo maps most useful, but even they are 20 years (or more) out of date in some cases. The “US Topo Maps” app does allow tracking, trackback, waypoints, etc., as long as one can get a decent GPS signal.

73, Jim KK0U

Lots of great options posted here:

  1. CalTopo website (free and paid)
  2. Avenza app (free and paid) (can use with or without CalTopo)
  3. Nat Geo paper maps
  4. Google Maps (with care for accuracy in some instances)
  5. US Topo Maps app (free and paid version)
  6. NPS, etc. maps (check ranger station)

Tnx to all!

73 Paula k9ir