This article will show you how to:
- Create a route on the website.
- If you need to create a route in the app, follow these steps:
- Plan a trip along existing hiking or biking trails and roads with Snap-to-Trail modes.
- Measure point-to-point distances and map out off-trail adventures using the Straight-Line mode.
- Generate elevation profiles and calculate the length of your route.
Create a Route
1. Go to www.gaiagps.com/map to view the main map.
2. Search for a place you would like to plan a route.
3. Click the Create Route icon.
4. Scroll down and click the Routing Mode dropdown menu to change the type of route.
- Select Hiking, Cycling, and Driving to snap to the nearest trails or roads. (Snap-to-Tail notes)
- Select Straight line to manually draw line-segmented routes. (Straight-Line notes).
Note: if you want to combine snap-to-trail and straight-line routing, choose Hiking, Cycling, or Driving. The routing tool will default to straight-line when no trails or roads are nearby.
5. Click the map to create the starting point for your route.
6. Click the map again to add points along your route. Add as many points as you'd like.
- Click, hold, and drag the map to pan around.
- Scroll to zoom the map in and out.
7. Adjust the route line and delete route points.
- Click, hold, and drag the route line or a route point to move it to a new location.
- Click a point, then click "Delete Point" (red trash can) to delete the point.
8. Click Undo to remove the last segment.
9. Click Reverse to reverse the entire route. The direction arrows on the route line will change and the elevation profile will update.
10. View route distance and cumulative ascent/descent in the sidebar.
11. Hover over the interactive elevation profile to see corresponding locations along your route.
9. Convert any route point to a waypoint:
- Click a point, then click Add Waypoint.
Save the Route
- Add a Route Title and any Notes.
- Change the route's color by clicking on the color icon left of the title.
- Click Save.
- Your route is now saved. Sync your data to access the route on your devices.
Edit your Routes
After you save a route, you might need to edit it if your plans change.
To edit a route, follow the instructions here: Edit a Saved Route on gaiagps.com
The Snap-to-Trail feature utilizes OpenStreetMap (OSM) data. Use OSM-based map sources like Gaia Topo for the best results. Here is a partial list of snap-to-trail compatible map sources:
- Gaia Topo
- Satellite Topo
- Satellite with Labels
- Gaia Streets
- OpenCycleMap HD
- Terrain HD
- Snap-to-trail data is not available for Antarctica at this time.
Combined Snap-to-Trail and Straight-Line Routes
Choose Hiking, Cycling, or Driving mode and start your route. The routing tool will default to straight-line when no trails or roads are nearby.
Straight-line mode has numerous applications. Some possible uses include:
- Establishing an off-trail hiking route
- Setting a backcountry skiing skin track
- Evaluating day lengths on a river trip
- Measuring fly-over distances between two points
I'd like to make road biking routes. Is there an option to "snap to (paved) road"?
Also, it would be nice to have a road bike layer that is separate from a mountain bike (trails) layer.
EDIT: OK, I followed the steps and it snapped to the road. Awesome.
Also check out OpenCycleMap HD for a road bike layer!
I created points accidentally and could not sort out how to change/delete them and not end my work. Ctrl Z would be nice :-)
You can click the point and then the trash can that appears to delete it.
Is there a simple way to turn a route into an out-and-back rather than just one way?
You can create an out-and-back route by dropping the final point for your route next to the beginning of the route and then drag and drop the point to be in the exact same place as your first point.
Is there a way to import a GPX file of a track into Gaia for use on my iPhone Gaia App? I saved a track from my old GPS unit and want to follow it again on my phone using Gaia. I didn't want to have to redraw it.
Yes, here are instructions to import directly to the app: https://help.gaiagps.com/hc/en-us/articles/115003639048-Import-GPX-and-KML-files-in-Gaia-GPS-for-iOS
Alternatively, you can upload to your account online at http://www.gaiagps.com/upload.
Excellent. Thanks Ashli, that works great.
Can you create a route from a list of waypoints? I'd like to be able to set up my list of various waypoints for a hike then create various routes.
Can you edit a route by adding more waypoints at various places within the route?
You can't create a route based on a list of waypoints, but if you import the waypoints, you could use them as a guide to trace your route.
Also, yes -- you can tap on the route in edit mode to add or remove waypoints.
Is it possible to create a route that has some sections snap-to-trail and some sections straight-line? I'd like to plan long bike rides (100km+) that follow trails for the most part but occasionally go off-trail for short sections. It's no fun to be halfway through planning a 200km snap-to-trail route only to find out that that tiny section of trail that you *know* goes through, is not recognised by the map...
If the trail is not available on the map, the router should revert to straight-line mode for that portion automatically.
Aha, got it working now.
I was trying to click from one snap-to-trail point on a road, across an area with no roads, to a point on another road. It would always reroute the looong way round using roads rather than putting a straight-line section for my little shortcut.
After reading the gaiagps.com feature request forum, I realised I had to click from my snap-to-trail point to a point just off the road I wanted to shortcut to, presumably so the router couldn't find a way to route to it via roads - then it would make a direct straight-line section for me. Then my next point could be on the actual road I wanted to shortcut to.
Simple when you know how but it was a little hard to find.
Thanks for the help Ashli.
When I created my route, it was snapping to dirt road, but then it did straight line for part of it too. I didn't realize this till I saved it and saw the full picture of the trail.
I went into "edit route" to fix this, but every time the editor opened, it wanted me to add to my route with another point.....very frustrating as I would have to add an additional point after my route ended, delete that point then go edit those straight lines to the trail.
Is that issue with forcing me to add a point after my end point a glitch or am I doing something wrong? As soon as I open "edit route" the line is extended from my end point with a new point on my cursor. I don't see a button to turn it off.....but I've missed buttons before too.
To go along with my last comment, now I have all these points (dots) all over my map from trying to edit my route and the software wanting to continually add to my route. I've managed to figure out that in order to stop the route line being extended I have to add a point, then delete it (frustrating), but all these other dots all over the map keep returning after I delete them then save.
They won't die! LOL
After opening your route in Edit Mode, you can select and edit any of your routepoints without having to first create a new routepoint. Sorry for the confusion.
The dash line from the end of your route to your cursor is shown in case you wish to extend your route and can not be toggled off.
As for the extra routepoints, can you click 'submit a request' above to send us a bug report with the web browser you are using so we can take a closer look at what the issue might be?
"The dash line from the end of your route to your cursor is shown in case you wish to extend your route and can not be toggled off."
Okay, I guess I get that.....but the only way to "toggle it off" is to add a point to the end of my route that is already finished. Then I have to delete that additional point before editing any part of my completed route.
Since that feature seems to be programed into the software, I'm thinking it might be nice to get rid of it. Seems silly to default to "you must to add to your route" instead of "do you want to add to your route" before you start editing your route.
But that's just my $0.02.
I'll submit a request for the other issue.
Is it possible to add the feature of automatically create the return path after creating the one way path ? It is very useful when you prepare a way-and-return hiking. Maybe it already exists and in that case I would be grateful if someone could show me the trick.
For the moment I leave it as a one way path or I create manually the return path by adding waypoints for the return. But it is very painful because if you add a waypoint on the already existing path, it considers it as a new waypoint within the path and not a new path to create from the last waypoint. Hence I have to manage to add new waypoints, which are not located on the path I have just created, and still on the map's track to let Gaia calculate automatically the route.
Thanks in advance !
That's a great idea, would you mind opening a new feature request for this so other users can vote for your idea?
In the meantime, when creating the return portion of your route I recommend creating the return routepoints to the side of your route and then drag and dropping them onto the existing route.
New feature request done ! And thanks for the "meanwhile" tip, I didn't think of this way of proceeding. It will be much more handful than my way of doing this.
When creating a new route, the snap to trail feature is great but I often get to a trail where it will not snap regardless of the map source that I use. Nor will it snap to any of my tracks that are not represented by actual map trails. I have to cancel and start over with a manual line route. This is very frustrating. Is there a way to create a single route with a mixture of trail snap and manual lines? If not, this would be a great feature add along with a toggle for also snapping to tracks. Please let me know if I am doing something wrong.
Yes, the route builder will automatically switch over to straight-line mode if the route you are plotting diverges from the trails on Gaia Topo.
If the straight-line mode is not kicking in automatically, please click “Submit a Request” above and included a copy of your route along with the coordinates of the area.
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