Sitka Mountain Gear
CO Topo Map help
Contributors to this thread:
mgmicky 19-Apr-18
Muddyboots 19-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 19-Apr-18
Surfbow 19-Apr-18
LKH 20-Apr-18
WDP 20-Apr-18
sticksender 20-Apr-18
Jethro 20-Apr-18
mgmicky 20-Apr-18
SoDakSooner 20-Apr-18
jims 20-Apr-18
discgolfk9 20-Apr-18
Backpack Hunter 20-Apr-18
md5252 21-Apr-18
midwest 21-Apr-18
Lovehunt11 26-Apr-18
midwest 27-Apr-18
Pop-r 29-Apr-18
From: mgmicky
I’m another flatlander going on my first elk hunt this fall asking for some help/suggestions. I’ll be hunting Unit 41 and want to get a topo map of the area to study this summer, but I’m not sure which one to get. A Google search came up with a TON of different maps, brands, etc. Can anyone give me some advice on what to look for in a topo map? Are they all the same? FYI I will also have OnX or similar but want to have a map and compass as well... Thanks, mg

From: Muddyboots
What you want to do for crusing around the area is type in On the map on the left side zoom and pan until you are looking close to your area. Then on the upper right of this screen open the pulldown menu and open caltopo. Bingo, near-current topo plus a google photo of the same area on the right. You can look your entire unit over. I find printing to be "not so good", and use an older National Geographic topo map series for printing. I use hillmap for studying.


IdyllwildArcher's Link
Check the link. From that screen, you can make a custom map of 41. I like to make it USGS definition. You can change it to tall or wide depending on the shape you want it. They give you the option to have it rolled or folded. Get the folded version for hunting. It comes water proof. I get one of these for most hunts.

From: Surfbow
What he said^

From: LKH
You might want to try Google Earth and then activate the topo to overlay the area.

From: WDP
Of course you could always use the Colorado setup till you decide what map you really want because this is free.

From: sticksender
If you're talking paper maps, then IMO the best are Nat Geo Trails Illustrated. They have good detail, show private land, waterproof, and to me are the most easily readable maps. Most areas of Colorado are available.

From: Jethro
The Nat Geo maps are very nice. I also have maps from DIY maps that are good for broad generalization such as roadless areas, access, trails etc. They are not good for studying topography.

Once I pick some particular spots, I have printed out nice maps from Caltopo. Can zoom in as much as you want. Very nice for showing topo.

From: mgmicky
Thanks for the info guys. I will definitely check these out!

From: SoDakSooner
Just like above Mytopo. I have 4 or 5 of those. They are good scouting maps but lack the definition I like. I use a ton of the NATGEO maps. they are by far the best non military maps I have used. Printed on plastic too. They are trail maps but do show the gmu boundaries as well. Only downside is they aren't available for every square inch of ground.

From: jims
For scouting I often use a combo of maps. I look at the terrain in detail with google earth on my computer. If I'm hunting an area with lots of public/private I use topozone or similar land statis maps. There are a bunch of tricks for figuring out potential areas that may hold elk and access points that you can figure out on maps at home.

Out in the field I often use OnXmaps when hunting areas with mixed land status. I also bring hard copy topo quad maps that I can write on while scouting and hunting...and take lots of photos and videos of areas so I remind myself of different areas. These are great references for future trips.

From: discgolfk9

discgolfk9's Link

You can try these for a paper map (link above). They include the entire GMU and forest information. Most sporting goods stores around the front range carry these (Cabelas, Sportsmans Warehouse, BassPro, etc). I also use Onx Maps on my phone.

The one draw back to the maps on this link is they are paper and you will need to keep them dry.


Mytopo has worked well for me.

From: md5252
Get GAIA Premium GPS phone app. Awesome app and you can print Topo maps from it too

From: midwest
I'm a fan, too. I always get shaded relief with the UTM tick marks.

How can I transfer waypoints from google map to Onxmap? I can see water better on google map or google earth but I can’t figure it is belong to private or public.

From: midwest

midwest's Link
Lovehunt11, Check out Toprut.

At my link...

From: Pop-r
There was a guy trolling the sites a couple years ago that had a CO topo & just general map service. I forget his handle. He even hunted elk barefoot! Lol!

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