This article will show you how to download maps to use while offline and out of cell service.
Note: You must be logged in to the app and have a Membership to download maps.
1. Select the map source you want to download. [Premium Members can layer & download multiple map sources at one time.]
- Follow these steps to change the map source: iOS / Android
- Note: make sure the map you want to download is the selected / active / visible source.
- If you are a Premium member with "Layered Maps" enabled, any maps that are in the Active/ Visible section of the Layers list will be downloaded. If you don't want to download a certain source, be sure to move it to the Inactive / Layers section of the Layers list.
- If you are having any issues with your map downloads, you can try downloading one layer at a time.
- Note: certain maps such as USFS 2016, NPS Visitor, and NatGeo Trails Illustrated have limited coverage. If you don't see the map for the region that you are trying to download, it is likely that no coverage is available. If you are unsure, use Gaia Topo as it has worldwide coverage.
2. Navigate to the area you would like to download by:
- Panning the map
- Search Points of interests or trails by tapping the Search icon: iOS / Android
- Search using coordinates: iOS / Android
3. Tap the (+) icon.
4. Tap Download Maps
5. Tap and drag the dots at the corners of the highlighted rectangle to cover the area to be downloaded.
- Note: When downloading multiple maps to cover a large area, you can overlap the download area and the app will not redownload previously downloaded areas.
- Note: Certain map sources limit the number of tiles (the individual images that compose a digital map) that can be downloaded at one time. MapBox sources have a 10,000 tile limit per download with a combined limit of 160,000 tiles for all MapBox sources. Learn more here: Individual Offline Map Tile Limits
6. On Android, Use the Max Zoom slide bar to adjust the detail level for the map download.
- Higher zoom = more detail
- Increasing the zoom level also increases the file size
- More info about zoom levels here
7. Tap "Next".
8. Confirm that the map sources you'd like to access offline are toggled on. If you'd like the ability to create snap-to-trail routes while offline, toggle on offline route data.
On iOS, select the map resolution you'd like to download: Low, Medium, or High. See advice on choosing a zoom level here.
- High corresponds to the maximum zoom level for the source.
- For example, in the picture below, the Resolution is "High" and Satellite with Labels shows "Zoom: 3-17." This will download all tiles up to and including zoom 17 for Satellite with Labels.
- Note: The maximum zoom for Gaia Topo and Gaia Streets is 12 because it is a vector source. Zoom 12 for Gaia Topo corresponds to an approximately 1:8,000 scale. Read more about zoom and scale here.
- Medium is 15 (approximately 1:17,000 scale)
- Low is 13 (approximately 1:68,000 scale)
Then, tap Next.
On Android, name the map and then tap Saved.
9. On iOS, name the map and then tap Save.
Note for Apple devices: you need to leave the app open on the screen (in the foreground) and leave your screen on for the map to download. Don't switch to another app or let your screen turn off, or it will pause the download. To stop your screen from turning off, open iOS Settings > Display and Brightness > Auto-lock > set to Never. To resume a paused download, see Pause/Resume Map Downloads on iOS.
If you are having any issues downloading maps, check out this article:
Downloading Multiple Maps
When you download new maps, already saved areas will display as colored boxes.
- The Red box with dots indicates the region you're currently downloading.
- Feel free to overlap these boxes. The app will not download the same map tiles twice.
You can check the status of your map downloads by following these steps:
- In the iOS app, tap the green Download Status icon on the main map.
- In the Android app, tap Saved icon > then select Downloads from the Saved menu.
Delete a Downloaded Map
- Tap the Saved folder icon to open the Saved menu.
- Select "Maps" from the Saved menu.
- Tap the dropdown arrow (on iOS) or long-press (on Android) the map name
- Tap "Delete"
- Pause/ Resume Downloads: iOS / Android
- Why aren't my maps downloading?
- What zoom level should I choose - Low, Medium, or High (iOS only)?
For activities, like hiking, biking, or skiing, High is recommended.
For off-roading and other driving-oriented activities, Medium may work depending on your preferences.
- Low can be useful for activities such as flying or driving where you don't need a lot of detail but need to cover a large area.
We recommend downloading maps and testing them before your trip to make sure the zoom works for you.