Recently I visited my local REI store and an employee mentioned to me an APP that has maps that can be downloaded to my cell phone for use when there is no cell service, but using the GPS in the phone.

What APP would you recommend since I forgot the APP that the employee mentioned to me?


Thanks Joe



@JoeMcMullin although I don't know for sure which app our employee was recommending...I'm willing to make a guess that it was the REI Co-op National Parks Guide app. The data in this app is available offline and uses its built-in GPS to show your location. Hope this helps!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.


Gaia GPS app.

With the premium version you have access to every National Geographic Trails  illustrated map including the national parks. Plus hundreds of other maps. It and CalTopo are arguably the gold standard in mapping apps/software although Gaia GPS is much more user friendly.  CalTopo is better if you want to get super in-depth into making your own maps and things like that but it takes time to learn. Gaia GPS has most anything you could want for maps already available.

Erik - thanks I downloaded the Gaia GPS.  I got the regular $19.99 version. Downloading the maps for the route I am taking seemed to take a while.  Hope that it works when I get to Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Park next month.  Curious if you know how I can validate that the GPS and the maps I downloaded will work as described?  Thanks Joe



I use Gaia GPS and I find it much faster and easier to map out your hike on a home computer, then download it to your phone. You can also print your maps with the track or waypoints on them. If you want to make sure that the maps are on your phone, put your phone on airplane mode and then open the app. The GPS portion has never given me any issues, unless I'm in a deep hollow. Under heavy tree cover it may take a minute to find you.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

AllTrails and COTREX. Although the former is a paying app to get the full benefit the latter is free. 
of course the REI one is free !

NPS Emplopyee here.

You might try Avenza Maps. It's free for personal/recreational use. In addition to downloading offline-ready maps, it also allows you to collect basic GPS points and import a limited number of your own maps for use as well. From within the app, you can download a number of free maps including all of the USGS Topo quads and National Park maps from their "Avenza Map Store." (It's a "store" because users can upload their own custom maps and make then available for a small fee.)

Happy trails!