The websites below are resources I use in planning backpacking trips. I have put them here as a storage area for myself and also to share them with you. I will add/delete sites periodically as I find new useful sites.


  • USGS Topo Maps: Online source for classic USGS quadrangle maps.
  • Trails Illustrated Maps: I have several of these maps from National Geographic. They are waterproof and pretty tough—I’ve had them for years. They are not as detailed as USGS quadrangles, but they are plenty detailed for most of my trips.
  • Backpacker Maps iPad App: I haven’t tried this yet. I have an iPad, but I do not pay for subscription internet service, so I really only use my iPad at home or at hotels, coffee shops, etc. where internet access is free. In most of the places I backpack, I can’t get cell phone service anyway, so I’m not sure how useful this is for me, but it might be great for you.

National Forest Websites (Colorado)

These websites contain vital information on backcountry permits and regulations, as well as maps and other information that helps us plan our adventures.

The Colorado Trail

  • The Colorado Trail: This is the official website of the Colorado Trail Foundation. It includes great information on planning a thru-hike or section hike on the Colorado Trail. You can also get CT waypoints for your GPS here.
  • Colorado Trail End-to-End Guide: Paul Magnanti (aka PMags) put this site together. It has lots of very useful tips for planning a Colorado Trail thru-hike, including ideas on where to resupply.
  • Hiking the Colorado Trail: This is the story of one man’s journey on the Colorado Trail. It is full of beautiful photographs that tell most of the story, with short sections of text in between.

Gear Reviews

  • Brian’s Backpacking Blog: This blog has lots of good information about everything backpacking. But I find Brian’s gear reviews especially helpful, so I have put it in this category. You can follow Brian’s blog on Facebook or Twitter too, I do!
  • SectionHiker: This blog also has a lot of good gear reviews, and tips on other aspects of backpacking as well.
  • Backpacker Magazine: I also like to look at Backpacker Magazine for gear reviews if I am contemplating a new piece of potentially expensive gear.

Backcountry Cooking

  • One Pan Wonders: This site has some good recipes for backpacking, many of which can be prepared ahead of time. Some of them require quite a few ingredients, but I have simplified them with good results.
  • Wild Backpacker: This site has some good, simple recipes and some other resources too.
  • Backpacking Chef: This site has recipes but also lots of information for those who want to dehydrate their own food. It also has a newsletter you can sign up for if you like.

One Response to Links

  1. Mary Russell says:

    Tonya, you are an excellent writer! And your recent post about backpacking with kids has to be so encouraging to mothers who love the outdoors and want to hike with their children. Great job!

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