For hiking the Appalachian Trail, nearly every thru-hiker carries a guidebook. Additionally, some thru-hikers carry maps. To save on weight, some hikers choose not to carry maps and only carry a guidebook or just some pages of the guidebook. However, maps give you an all around layout of the area and are just fun to look at. Below are the most popular options that thru-hikers choose.
The A.T. Guide
The most widely used guidebook is The A.T. Guide. This guidebook is essential for hiking the Appalachian Trail. It tells you the exact mileage to the shelters, location of water supplies, elevation changes, town information, and more.
The elevation profiles run along the side of the page as seen below:
- Price (for The A.T. Guide only) = $15.95
- Price (for The A.T. Guide and maps) = $94.95
- The A.T. Guide website = <http://theatguide.com>.
The official Appalachian Trail Maps
If you want to the official AT maps, purchase them from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s online store. You can purchase AT maps in a bundled set or you can purchase each one separately. Maps are useful for looking at the full lay of the land. For some hikers, it might be overkill, but they provide overall information about the trail and surrounding area.
- Price (for bundle of maps and informational books) = $255.60 (non-members) OR $230 (for $35 membership)
- The ATC Trail Store website = <http://atctrailstore.org>
A pdf of the entire Appalachian Trail
This takes a few seconds to load, but click <here> for a pdf of the entire Appalachian Trail. This map is from the National Park Service. Warning: Looking at the entire map at once might overwhelm you.