There are many options out there for maps. The USGS maps are the best for planning backcountry trips and learning the lay of the land. The issue is they are outdated and not always accurate (especially with roads and water). Other maps you find cover a large area, but are lacking details for shorter hikes. Green Trails recognized this void in the map world, and started producing them. Sometimes you just need a detailed, manageable map for a smaller area or local trail system. The city of Phoenix is scattered with local mountain preserves that allow an escape from the city. These parks see lots of urban use and thus have plenty of social trails. The city does their best to keep up on redirecting, marking and maintaining the trails; but at times the routes can be confusing. The Green Trail map for these areas are very useful for navigating tricky junctions.
Initial Thoughts- Folded up the South Mountain Preserve Green Trails Maps takes up a askant 6x9 inches. The map is made of completely waterproof and tear-resistant material. Although you can tear the map with some effort, in most cases the map will never tear. Unless of course you are the type to use it as a sit pad. The map easily folds out into a 24x18 inch spread. The scale of the map is 1:24,000 which gives you a very accurate read of the land. Along with the detailed topography Green Trails Maps have easy to read mileage markers, trailheads clearly labeled, and other important data points. Too many to list really. The map is easily held in the hand and can be folded with ease. Overall the quality of the map materials and data are high.
Use- The Green Trails Maps have been a staple piece of my local hiking kit for years. The accuracy of the data is unparalleled to other maps I have used. Often these maps are more detailed then the maps provided by the parks themselves and are cost effective. I have used the Phoenix Mountain Preserve map and South Mountain Preserve map and can verify their accuracy. The maps are easily stuffed into my day pack, running vest or even a pocket. They weigh nearly nothing and don't require the use of batteries! Phones are great resources for maps also, but eventually they run out of juice. This is why I am a firm believer in bringing a backup paper map, even for day hikes. At the very least having a high quality map available will allow you to assist other trail users who are unprepared. Both the maps I have owned have held up over the years and I have no complaints.
Final Thoughts- The Green Trails Maps are the go to map for local trail systems in the Phoenix, Tucson, and Sedona area. The maps also found for systems in Washington, California, Oregon, New York, Nevada, California and British Colombia. The maps are bombproof, easy to read/use and are virtually weightless. With the Green Trails Maps there are no excuses for not carrying a paper map. I highly recommend these to anyone using local trails in the Phoenix area or any other covered areas.
*This product was purchased for review.