Posts

How to Use Free Gaia GPS Maps at Bluebird Backcountry

This year, all Bluebird Backcountry guests will receive a free six-month trial of Gaia GPS Premium, courtesy of our partners at Gaia GPS. That means free access to local topo maps, satellite imagery, slope-angle shading, National Geographic trail maps, and more. 

With the Gaia GPS app, you can download all of these maps to view your real-time location even when you’re offline and out of service. The app is also great for tracking stats like mileage and vertical gain.

To start your free trial, follow the steps provided in your booking confirmation email. Then, read on to learn about some of our favorite features. 

Gaia GPS map of routes and waypoints at Bluebird Backcountry

Bluebird Backcountry Routes and Skin Tracks  

We’ve created a folder containing all our ski runs, hut locations, skin tracks, closed areas, and other points of interest. Add all these features to your personal map by downloading the Bluebird Backcountry Folder. (Be sure to download these features to your phone before leaving cell service.) 

slope angle shading map for Bluebird Backcountry

Slope-Angle Shading Maps

The slope-angle shading overlay is one of the maps our backcountry experts rely on for tour planning in avalanche terrain. It’s especially useful when analyzing which slopes are more likely to slide. Darker shading indicates steeper slopes. 

Gaia GPS map of satellite imagery and vegetation for Bluebird Backcountry

Satellite Topo Maps 

The Satellite Topo map shows topo lines atop ESRI satellite imagery, giving you a clear picture of both elevation contours and any forested or rocky terrain ahead. This is one of our favorites for tour planning, as well as four-season navigation.

snow stations and snowfall forecast reports for Bluebird Backcountry in Gaia GPS

Snow Depth and Snow Forecast Overlays

See current base levels anywhere in the Lower 48 with the Snow Depth layer. Combine that with the Snow Stations (Daily), which provides daily snowfall reports throughout the Western US. (Looking ahead? Gaia GPS also offers several snowfall forecast layers.) 

How to Download Maps for Offline Use

Before you leave home, be sure to download the Gaia GPS mobile app. Then download all the maps you’ll need for the area you intend to explore. (Cell service at and around Bluebird Backcountry can be spotty.) 

For instructions on how to download maps, visit the directions link in your confirmation email, or go to Gaia GPS’s resource page.