Maps Review: Beartooth Publishing Maps
No backcountry adventure is complete without a detailed map for navigation. Without a map, you’d be lost.
Typically, the most detailed maps available are USGS Quads with a 1:24,000 scale. While these maps are amazing resources, it’s not realistic to pick up every expensive quad map you’ll ever need. A single mission could require three or four maps and you may only use them one time. Not only is that heavy, but it’s annoying – especially when your route travels from one map to another. Yes, the detail is fantastic, but sometimes it’s nicer to get a bigger picture of a larger area.
That’s why Beartooth Publishing maps rock. Beartooth Publishing designs high quality, accurate, and fun outdoor recreation maps of larger regions and mountain ranges. These award winning maps utilize shaded topographic relief to help you orient yourself and navigate through the backcountry. Plus, they are printed on waterproof, tear resistant plastic material so they can withstand pretty much anything you put them through.
Beartooth Publishing Maps stand out because they put in the little details that you’re already wondering about. It’s like they know what information you want before you do. Take a look at the maps. They mark glaciers, wilderness boundaries, bike paths, forest service roads, chair lifts, trailheads, all sorts of roads, mileage between trail junctions, elevations, and so much more. They’ve added all the things you might not see on a “normal” map.
Pretty much every trip I go on starts with a Beartooth Publishing Map. These maps make it easy to find your objective, determine elevation, note hazards, plan routes, and locate the closest microbrewery. The maps I have used come in either 1:50,000 or 1:100,000 scales, which are amazingly accurate for maps that cover entire mountain ranges. If I need more details I may also pick up a USGS Quad or utilize the Topo Maps app, which I absolutely love. Topo Maps supplies you with every USGS quad on your smartphone. Buy the app once and they are yours forever.
With the maps I’ve used, they measure 4.2 x 8 inches when folded up – a nice size to slip in a pocket or into your pack. Unfolded they spread out to 25.2 x 39.2 inches. It’s a massive map with topographic terrain on both sides – some maps even have day hike info, contact details, outdoor ethics, fishing info, and other valuable information. If you’re planning to hang them on your walls to see the entire zone, you’ll need to pick up two! Unfortunately, Beartooth Publishing hasn’t designed maps for the every mountain range, national park, and wilderness area in the US. Based in Bozeman, Montana this mapping company has specialized in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem of Wyoming and Montana and dabbled in Arizona too.
Currently, Beartooth Publishing has maps and guides of the following areas:
- MT – Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness
- MT – Beartooth Mountains
- MT – Big Sky Area
- MT – Bozeman Area
- MT – Bozeman, Big Sky, West Yellowstone
- MT – Crazy Mountains
- MT – Tobacco Root Mountains
- WY – Wind River Range
- WY – Wind River South
- WY – Wind River North
- WY – Yellowstone National Park
- AZ – Sedona
- AZ – Superstition Wilderness
- MT – Bozeman & Big Sky’s Essential Dayhikes
- MT – Bozeman & Big Sky’s Essential Mountain Bike Rides
- WY – Yellowstone’s Essential Dayhikes
You can read details and see samples of each of these maps on the Beartooth Publishing website. I imagine Beartooth Publishing will develop more maps in the future, but for now this is an excellent selection of maps that could keep you busy for a weekend or a lifetime. You can learn more about the roots of Beartooth Publishing on ExploreBigSky.com.
Grab a compass and a Beartooth Publishing map and get outdoors. No matter what activity you’re into – hiking, hunting, peak bagging, backpacking, mountain biking, skiing, mountaineering, or fishing – the Beartooth Publishing maps are ideal for you. They are a must have item on your shelf and in your pack.
Beartooth Publishing Maps retail for $11.95. They’re worth every penny. You can purchase these high quality maps at local retailers or online.