Happy National Park Anniversary Day!! Today you can visit any National Park for FREE to celebrate the Parks 101 Birthday! To celebrate I am sharing some of my favorite apps and websites that help me plan my outdoor adventure
Adventure Planning Apps
The Outbound Collective – I love love love this app! It’s so great at finding adventures from hiking, camping, photography, kayaking, mountain biking even SUP. From the app you can search by map or activity, read trip reports & reviews and check out user generated photos of the area. Read more about the app here.
Hiking Project – I downloaded this app right before our backpacking trip and I am so happy I did. This is a great app to find new hikes but it can also track yourself on the hike by saving trips for offline use. We could see where we were on the trail, how much left to go and where we were on the elevation gain.
Gociety – If you are looking for friends to adventure with check out Gocitey. This adventure based social network connects those looking to get out and do something. Search for an event or create one and invite others in the community to join. You can also “swipe” through users to find people with similar interests to connect with.
Google Maps – DUH. Goole maps is the best. Do not use apple maps. Just don’t. If I see you using it on your phone I will take it and delete it and replace it with google maps. With Google maps you can also download a selected area to use when you are offline.
Notes – I could not live with out Notes. The standard iOS app is all I need to track my life. After researching for a trip I store everything in Notes and then share it with everyone going on the trip. I love that Notes can sync between your phone and computer so no matter which device I am doing research on everything is in one place.
Instagram – Yes, it great for sharing your adventure but it’s also a great resource for research. Long before the option to “Save a Post” I would screenshot and save places that looked interesting. Instagram is also great for checking out the conditions and weather of a location too. Want to see if the wildflowers are popping in Crested Butte search for CB and check out the most recent images. Want to see if there is still snow on the trail just type in the area you can probably find a photo from that day.
Adventure Planning Websites
Blogs – My blog duh!! I have a great road trip and day trip guides for Colorado and other city guides here as well!
Denver Day Hikes – This website is everything. Want a quick hike in the foothills, how about one that has waterfalls and is dog-friendly too? This website will have it. You can search by distance or driving time from Denver or search based on what you wanna see on your hike. Seriously, I have been using this site since I moved here and it’s such a great resource.
RootsRated – Not sure what you want to do? Check out this site for great round ups like the best swimming holes in Colorado or the best backpacking loops in the state.
State/City Tourism Websites – Some states and cities have fabulous trip planning websites. I use Colorado.com to get an overall history of the area and learn about events. Travel Crested Butte is amazing. Their trail guide included videos and basically turn by burn photos of the trail so you can see exactly what you will see on the trail.
Designated Campsites – To reserve a federally owned campsite you will use Recreation.gov. For both federally and privately owned campsites use Reserveamerica.com. Another site to check out is HipCamp, it’s like Airbnb for land, and wweirdlythey do not have an app. For RV rentals check out Outdoorsy.com from here you can rent nice RVs or even an adorable Tear Drop trailer for your next trip.
Dispersed Camping – For whatever reason Dispersed Camping information is sometimes really hard to find. But after years of planning I have figured it out. First I will google the area + ‘Dispersed Camping’ to see if there are any blog post about the area that mentions good spots. If not, your best bet is to figure out exactly what ranger district you will be in and go to their website. On the website, you will be able to find the Road Maps or MUV Maps. These maps will show you the roads were designated camping is allowed and often a little number to indicate where a site is. I have often called the Ranger to discuss options as well. Learn more about dispersed camping here.
P.S. I just realized my back is turned in all but one of these photos ¯\_(ツ)_/¯