View Full Version : Printable maps for the CDT

10-29-2011, 13:41
I know there are a few options for CDT maps but are there any that are printable (like half-miles PCT maps?) i want to avoid mailing maps.

-PINE- AT-2010 PCT-2011

10-29-2011, 14:34
I used the J. Ley maps for my thru this year. They are awesome. Came on a cd, I had them printed at staples. Double sided. Pretty much like halfmiles maps. Lots of great alt routes and such. Used a gps for my bailout options as leys maps are focused on the trail. Worked out great. Good luck.

10-29-2011, 17:47
CDTA Mapbooks of the "official" National Scenic Trail route have waypoints at average 1/2 mile intervals. The trail track was mapped by carrying professional grade sub meter gps gear along the entire trail so the map line is correct. GPS data matching the points on the maps are free on the internet. The Mapbooks are available for sale online in both print and online versions. Right now the only published states are NM and CO but the mapping was completed last summer and the WY, MT/ID books should be available by next season. You can check the existing books online at www.lulu.com and typing in keywords "Continental Divide Mapbook".

bamboo bob
11-01-2011, 16:55
i tried lul . they just have CO and NM so far. i need 4 others to join me for a CDT hike. Bears dont attack parties of five.

11-14-2011, 12:44
Hey Pine, nice to see that you did the PCT this year! Hope all is well.

I'm not sure what you're thinking in terms of avoiding having to mail maps. I used both Ley and (for the books that were out this year) CDTA maps, and mailed both in each resupply box (8 for me, plus ultimately a couple more ad hoc). The implication of not mailing maps is ... maybe you plan to look at them on your smartphone, or ... ? Print them somehow en route?? I'd plan on just printing them. Heck, you'll perhaps at least be mailing yourself new shoes periodically, no?

FWIW, the Ley maps are excellent in particular if you print them on 11 x 17 paper, which I didn't do. I checked into it, decided it was too expensive, but I met one or two people along the way that had looked harder (or knew someone) who got them printed that way at not too-o-o high a price. The CDTA maps are wonderful insofar as they are (a) easier to read (than Ley on 8-1/2 x 11), (b) are very accurate in terms of both trail location and mileages, (c) sometimes can give you a sort of second opinion as to whether a particular water source might be there, though this last factor is pretty minor. But IMO they're clearly inadequate for a thru-hiker in that they only show the official route (much more of an issue than the other two long trails) and they lack Ley's notes. Particularly in NM where I took the Columbus route, a good chunk of the state book was useless to me (I forget which CDTA considers the 'official' route, Crazy Cook or Antelope Wells).
If you go with just one of the two, go with Ley.

Final note: you might also want to consider Wolf guides, which add to your paper volume quite a bit and are not printable; you buy the booklets and cut them up, a la Wilderness Press books for the PCT. Then there's Yogi as well. I found that my paper load was heavy enough that I changed my original planned 6 resupply boxes to 8 primarily to spread out the paper weight !! Most folks won't carry both CDTA and Ley, however; I was just kind of curious, and then when I bought the CO book I liked the look of it quite a bit. Somewhat schizophrenic, though, having three different data sources to look between.

11-14-2011, 16:26
I used a combination of Ley's maps (I agree they're absolutely awesome) and Wolf's text (also great, but I found Wolf's maps difficult to use). I was often off Wolf's route, and sometimes off Ley's maps (to avoid fires), so I also carried appropriate pages from the DeLorme atlases.

11-15-2011, 14:42
Excellent maps. Don't forget to donate generously. They are a huge amount of work to create and update and there are few people using them relative to some other trails/maps.

11-15-2011, 23:58
I also used the Jonathan Ley Maps. I had them laser printed at a local copy shop for about $150 for 300 pages. (Laser copies on plain paper don't bleed their ink when wet.. although the paper still falls apart)
I split them up into 6 packs; the first i carried with me from the Mexican border.
The second pack I had mailed to Chama New Mexico along with my ice axe, snow gear, and a new pair of running shoes for the San Juans of CO.
The third pack I sent to Silverthorne CO with new shoes and bug repellant.
The fourth pack i had sent to Rawlins Wyoming with new shoes.
The fifth pack i had sent to Lima Montana with new shoes.
The sixth and final pack of maps i had sent to Helena Montana with shoes and my passport for Canada (Actually re-entry to the US from Canada)
Each pack of Ley maps weighed about a pound give or take.
On top of those i had Delorme atlas pages as overview maps so i had at least an idea of where i was in the grand scheme of things beyond the trail corridor which can be as small as 6 miles wide on the Ley maps.
I also sent the Wolf Guides to each of my five resupply drops and simply read them on my zero day and sent them home along with extra gear before hitting the trail again. The Wolf guides are excellant but with the exception of the MT Guide they are written with a Southbound description of travel. I never could get use to converting this in my mind. the historical and natural history information in the Wolf guides is superb and fired my imagination while hiking those areas. Just wait till you get to Lemhi pass and the Sacajawea Monument.. you'll get goosebumps!
If i were to do it again I would have the Ley maps printed double sided on 11X14 paper instead for greater detail. I could just barely make out the elevations and place names on the 8.5 X 11 laser copies.
In 2010 i met the Noddleheads going the other way and they had their maps printed in 11X14. I was WAYYY jealous!
Ley's maps also have a rosette device that is useful for GPS triangulation. I did not use a GPS but the little gadget seems like a major bonus for those that do. It gives you an exact position on the map surrounded by a compass rosette. You input the coordinates of that position and using your GPS you can find a reciprocal bearing that traces back to where you are on the trail.
I don't know of anyone that used the CDTA maps on a thru hike so i can't comment on their usefulness either way.
I don't think i would bother with the Delorme atlas pages next time and rely solely on the Jonathan Ley Maps.
14393My Resupply boxes for the CDT in 2010. The J. Ley map packs are in the tyvek envelopes on the floor in front of my flat rate boxes. The pack is the same Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus I used on the AT this year. Damn tough Pack. The Yellow book is a Wolf guide for Southern New Mexico.
By the way.. those tyvek envelopes were about .25 cents a piece at office depot and they were water resistant enough to keep my maps happy for the trail. I jettisoned the maps as i used them at town stops along the trail. Their life span was about a day folded up in my pocket as the sweat would soak them and they would begin to tear.
I covered enough ground while hiking to encompass 2 to 3 pages a day so the whole plain paper laser copy maps thing worked for me.
Obviously you can see i only sent maps and shoes to myself. I bought food as i went and sent boxes to myself from the trail to places food was scarce.