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Using GAIA GPS to Start and Navigate the Shenandoah 52 (&25) Challenges: Downloaded and Offline Maps

You’re ready to get outside and want to know where to start. You'll need to do three steps to start the Shenandoah 52. Let’s start with the basics of getting the GAIA GPS app, the maps share, and download offline maps.

We will start with a few steps, IMPORTANT steps:

  1. Download the GAIA GPS app on your mobile device

  2. Sync your phone with the Shenandoah 52 maps

  3. Download the offline maps for Shenandoah National Park

1 | Downloading GAIA GPS to Your Mobile Device

The App part is straightforward, head on over to the App Store for your device to download, set up an account, and get logged in. For Offline Maps, you will need to pay the annual subscription.

Apple Store

Android Store

For other devices, you can download the GPX maps from GAIA GPS to load them on your Garmin or another satellite device, if that’s your cup of tea.

2 | Sync the Shenandoah 52 Maps to Your Phone

Once the App is installed on your device, you can now join the map share from the link on the Shenandoah 52 website. Access to the maps is free. Without cell coverage which most of the park is spotty, you'll want to download the maps.


1. Open the GAIA GPS map on your mobile device

2. Click on the GAIA Maps on the SNP52 | Shenandoah 52 Hiking Challenge page.

3. This will open the GAIA App on your mobile device, click on the button to SAVE the maps.

4. To access the maps, open the GAIA GPS app on your mobile device, and select "SAVED" at the bottom.

Now when you open the GAIA GPS app, you will have access to the “Saved” maps on the tab at the bottom.

3 | Download the Offline Maps

Now that you have the Shenandoah 52 Maps, you will need to download the Offline Maps for the area. This is important to do before you get to the trailhead. Downloading Offline Maps requires cell or wifi coverage. Because of the size of the file that you will be downloading, we suggest doing this step when connected to wifi.

GAIA GPS Offline Maps Link: Download Maps for Offline Use – Gaia GPS

In order to download the maps, these steps are one way:

1. Search: Shenandoah National Park

2. Resize the map so that the cities of “Front Royal” is at the top right and “Waynesboro” is at the bottom left.

3. Click on the “+” at the top right near the map layers icon

4. Click “Download Map.”

5. Resize the map to include all of Shenandoah National Park. Make sure that all the colored trails are inside the "red" box using the blue dots.

6. Click "Save" at the top right.

4 | Test Your Offline Mode

To double-check that you have the files downloaded and offline maps, place your mobile device into “Airplane Mode” and then open the GAIA GPS App.

Navigate to Shenandoah National Park, and search if the map is still not centered on your device. Pinch the map to Zoom In and make sure that you can see the trails.

Once you have this completed, you're ready. Happy hiking and enjoy the outdoors!


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