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If you only take one map...

AAA Indian Country guide


First and foremost is the "Indian Country Guide", a general usage roadmap published by the American AutomobileAssociation. This map is the absolute best for visiting the Colorado plateau. It is a sheer pleasure to look at and use and it makes finding geological phenomena or landmarks, such as the Grand Staircase or the Waterpocket Fold, very easy. A few years back, the map did not include the Arches/Canyonlands area, a really painful omission. This has now been fixed by the good people at the AAA by putting this area on the back of the map. Unless you intend to do some heavy-duty hiking or fourwheeling, this map is quite sufficient for an ordinary car-based trips. Note that it doen't cover the Southern part of Arizona and New Mexico.

Other nice maps to have when visiting the Colorado Plateau

The maps are classified by scale, beginning with the largest and most general level.

Utah maps

Detailed Road Map

Southeastern Utah and Southwestern Utah maps are published by the Utah Travel Council. Roads and tracks are indicated in a very precise fashion. These maps can prove very useful used in conjunction with the Indian Country map, especially to find 4WD trails of lesser importance.

National Parks and Monuments Miniguides: these wonderfully concise mini-guides are packed with all the essential information about the parks, their history, geology and fauna. You can get them at the entrance to the parks or at the Visitor Centers. They will help you find your way around on roads and trails.

National Parks and Monuments Miniguides

Trails illustrated Topographic Maps

Trails illustrated Topographic Maps : if you plan on adventuring along the trails and roads in distant parts of the National Parks, the topographic maps of the illustrated Trails series, printed on waterproof, foldable paper, are extremely well made and highly recommended. The author always uses them for hiking in the parks.


4x4 topographic maps: Fran Barnes' maps in the Canyon Country series are excellent. They are U.S. Geological Survey topo maps on which are superimposed the numerous and little frequented 4x4 trails. They are extremely practical if you travel with a 4x4.


4x4 topographic maps: Fran Barnes

Find photos of the Southwest and Colorado Plateau in Photographing the Southwest and Land of the Canyons, the Photo Trip USA landscape photography guidebooks.

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