With all of the things we have to accomplish in a workweek we want to make the most of our weekends. I have discovered a great resource for those who want to take a weekend excursion to a National Park. National Geographic and Trails Illustrated have joined together to provide you with information and maps for that weekend retreat.
The Destination Maps combine map and guidebook resources in a hardcopy form. The folded map and park booklet includes information on visitor centers, weather, flora and fauna, as well as visitor services.
The map is a shaded relief map of the park area including markers for camping spots, visitor centers, and trailheads. The map is made of a tear-proof, durable and waterproof plastic that has the consistency of paper. When folded the map is about 4 x 9 inches and can fit in the glove box, or pack pocket.
One of the features our testers liked is the proposed itinerary for 1, 2, or 3-day visits to the area. This is extremely useful when it is your first trip and you want to maximize your time. With the complete listing of visitor services, including campgrounds and lodging, you have the phone numbers and descriptions needed to reserve your weekend getaway.
The maps include very beautiful color photographs and descriptions of the geology, animals, activities, as well as Internet addresses to get the latest information. The down side is that some of the printed items, such as campsite fees, is subject to change.
The maps are based on USGS quads but don't have any of the LAT/LON markings needed for use with a GPS receiver. Major trails are marked but some of the less traveled areas are not highlighted on the map.
The suggested retail price is $14.95.
Great for the weekend traveler who wants to plan a trip. With a lot of information and suggestions of things to do this is great for a first timer. There is a plethora of information that will aid in your trip planning but we think the price is a little steep for the map when most of the data is available free on the web if your willing to look for it.
Jeff Porcaro is a Contributing Editor at GearReview.com, and co-founder. He specializes in stoves, GPS navigation, mountaineering, and trips to Utah's remote backcountry.
For more information, contact: