U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior
USGS MAP LOCATOR
I love the USGS, as you can see from the Tahoe to Whitney Maps.
I also dig the NWS, as you can see from our Weather Page.
We gotta know the terrain under our feet, and the weather in the sky. These are the basics. In that spirit, let's set you up with the USGS maps sufficient to plan and execute your High Sierra Backpacking Trip with a set of custom backpacking maps.
In fact, we can use the USGS to set us up to plan and hike anywhere in the US of A.
Move the Map to the Sierras. Or your favorite backpacking spot in the US of A. Navigate the map to the area you wish to locate maps. Click "Mark Point" in the options to see the USGS map grid of the various scaled maps.
Select the maps that will help you plan and execute your backpacking trip, set up a directory on your computer named for the trip or location of the maps, and begin downloading those suckers.
Open your USGS maps with Adobe Reader.
But first, we have to "unzip" the maps.
I use 7zip.
Once we get the maps downloaded, unzipped, and running on Adobe Reader we can cut and paste the pieces of the maps we need together, and mark our selected hiking routes to create our own customized maps using MS Paint, Photoshop, or some other image software.
If we want to print up our maps for field use we need some printer technology and knowledge. I understand Inkjet printers, special inks, and the proper paper are necessary to print up serviceable maps.
At least one reader of Tahoe to Whitney has copied and printed out Tahoe to Whitney Maps with success.
Online and Trail Maps
That is totally cool for personal and non-profit uses.