Mapmaker, mapmaker, make me a (local) map
December 22, 2005
I must admit, I’m a map geek. Put a map in front of me, especially one that provides details of my favorite Colorado mountain areas, and I will happily pore over it until my eyes feel like they’re beginning to dissolve into contour lines themselves.
You can imagine my joy, then, when I recently received a batch of National Geographic/Trails Illustrated maps for the Aspen region: three thoroughly updated ones that cover Ruedi Reservoir (No. 126), the Maroon Bells (No. 128) and Independence Pass (No. 127), and a brand-spanking-new one for Carbondale and Basalt (No. 143).
Long a staple in the packs of Colorado recreationists, the 49 Trails Illustrated maps that cover our state provide detailed trail and forest service road information keyed to hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling, usually on a scale of 1 to 40,680.
What’s new in the revised maps is bold shading that clearly delineates national forest, wilderness and ski area boundaries, as well as private property and public open space. The waterproof, tear-resistant maps are also printed on thicker paper and include contact info for relevant public land management agencies.As for the Carbondale/Basalt offering, you might say that “downvalley” is now officially on the map. Mountain bikers will appreciate seeing the maze of four-wheel-drive tracks off Prince Creek Road clearly laid out, as well as the numerous riding options atop Basalt Mountain. Hikers can find lesser-known routes like the Lake Ridge Lakes Trail southeast of Carbondale or the Red Canyon Trail north of Woody Creek. And geeks like me can pick out obscure things like the Air Tunnels or the location of Saco. The map also includes GPS waypoints and a UTM grid, which actually mean nothing to me. Hey, I’m not that geeky.