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Hiking Challenge.

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SNP52 / Shenandoah 52 Hiking Challenge is Now Available via Google Maps! A FREE Alternative to Offline Access.

When we set out to make the hiking challenge, our goal was to make it accessible to all. And while GAIA GPS is still the standard for the challenge, we recognize that many hikers may not want to pay the subscription. Especially with the unilateral change that GAIA GPS made to pricing this year.

In the coming weeks, we will be working towards also adding this mapping to ALL TRAILS in addition to GOOGLE MAPS and GAIA GPS. For now, the following are the resources for downloading the maps to your phone via GOOGLE MAPS.

How Does This Differ from GAIA GPS?

There will be features that are missing, but if all you concerned about is where you need to go, this should have you covered.


  • FREE. The maps are loaded as GPX files onto the Google Map app

  • This app is probably already loaded on your mobile device

  • With a few extra steps, you can make this map available offline - HOWEVER, you will need to download the layers before losing cell coverage (do it at home)


  • Does not display any details about the hike - it will be absent the vertical change

  • You will not be able to change the map layers to see specific USGS map layers

  • The maps are just about right, however with any software, they are slightly off based on where the map provider has the trail located on the map (you should have no problems)

To see the details specifics of the map, you can still access GAIA GPS through the free interface to see the details on the trek.

The links that you'll need for below:

  1. After dowloading the KML files, you'll need to view the maps on your phone: View your My Maps using Google Maps - Google Maps Help

  2. How to download maps for when you don't have cellular coverage: Download areas & navigate offline - Google Maps Help

Where Do I Download the Maps?

This is a little bit tricky, but these steps should get you what you need for getting to the maps and downloading them offline. From your desktop computer, you need to import the file.

STEP#1: Download the "KML" file to your computer. Remember where you saved it, you will need that.

Shenandoah 52 Hiking Challenge
Download KML • 414B

STEP#2: Navigate to

STEP#3: Select the red button for "CREATE A NEW MAP" and then label it "Shenandoah 52 Hiking Challenge"

STEP#4: Then "CREATE" map.

STEP#5: Select the "IMPORT" in blue.

STEP#6: Select "BROWSE," then Navigate to where you saved the "Shenandoah 52 Hiking Challenge.KML" file and select that file.

The files should be imported, now you need to download the offline maps.

NOTE: You must use the same login as your desktop and phone for the maps to show.

STEP#7: Download the Offline maps for the park.

You should be set. You should put your phone in Airplane Mode and test the maps before you head into the park to ensure that you are set.


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