Backpacking Apps for iPhone

My iPhone has become an essential piece of equipment while in the backcountry. I use the same apps while hiking and backpacking. Heck, they're good for the outdoors in general.

Gaia GPS

Gais GPS is the best app and website combo for planning routes and tracking progress. I have looked at On-X and haven't been impressed. Some YouTube backpackers like it, but for me in Washington State, Gaia GPS has the best maps, usability, and user community.


The Washington Trails Association has the best content and trip reports on hikes and backpacking routes for Washington. I wish other states had the quality of content that the WTA has.


Here in the PNW, it's impossible to know the names of all the mountains. Sometimes they look different from different angles and can be hard to identify. PeakFinder solves that problem with an augmented reality overlay of your view with callouts for all the peaks you can see. It also gives you an overly of the sun's path so you can see exactly where it's going to set.

Sky Guide

Sky Guide gives you an augmented reality map of the sky. It also notifies you of meteor showers and gives you the current Kp index on your home screen for keeping a lookout for aurora borealis.


I keep flora and fauna field guides loaded in my Kindle app. I also download PDFs of flowers and trees specific to Washington State alpine areas.