The best iPhone hiking map apps

If you like trecking or biking, you’ll provably have probably already heard of mapping apps for your smartphone. I’d like to present the apps that I use on my iPhone.


Outdoor Navigation ape@map

The basic version of Ape@Map is for free. It’s killer feature that distinguishes it from other apps is a very detailed topigraphic map (for germany and austria) for free. Of course it also support open maps such as OpenCycleMap and OpenStreetMap. ApeMap also has a 3D view. But its rendering is quite slow compared to the other apps.

Additional licences for professional maps (like the ones from „Kompass“) can be bought via in-app purchase. The app is quite easy to use, once you got used to their icon driven UI. Downloading of maps locally to your device for offline use is only possible with the professional version „ApeMap Pro“ which costs 21.99€

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Trails · GPS tracker for hiking, biking & skiing · Offline topo maps & GPX file importTrails has a very fast and responsive user interface. They just updated their app and refurbished the UI completely. Looks nice and tidy now. But sadly they made even OpenStreetMap only available via in-app purchase for 0,66€ / month. This actually kills the app for me. Especially since other apps offer OpenStreetMaps for free.


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GPS-Tracks for iPhone is one of the largest routing sites. They offer many great hiking routes as GPX download. GPX files can be synced to your phone. Then you can see the chosen track as a line on your map. They also provide the GPS-Tracks iOS app which interfaces nicely with their site. The app includes

  • a greeat TOPO-map for Germany for free. (The official map of the „German Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy“).
  • all the open maps which can also be downloaded and stored locally.
  • And you can download a digital version of Hallwag and Kümmerly + Frey maps that you purchased in paper form for free by entering an activation code from the printed map.
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Kompass Wanderkarten

KOMPASS Wanderkarte mit LIVE-Tracking

Kompass maps are very well known for their detail and correctness. The free version of the app shows all(!) Kompass maps for free. Only the lowest (most detailed) zoom level is only shown for 10 minutes. After that the app automatically jumps back one zoom level. Maps can be downloaded locally in different sizes: 0,99€ (small), 1,99€ (medium) or 2.99€ (large).

You can also by tour descriptions. Here the UI is a bit tricky. The button „Tours“ on the main page only shows tours around the location currently shown on the map. So you must first move the map to where you want to go and then click the „Tours“ button and then click on „Premium Tours“.

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Maps 3D (Pro)

As the name suggests Maps 3D Pro is your choice if you like 3D maps. While scrolling over a 3D mountain Maps 3D shows the altitude and automatically levels the view according to the terrain. So you can easily check the altitude difference up to the peak. Maps 3D offers some map types that none of the other maps have, such as „Topgraphic Map I – III“ and USGS Topo Map“ and even a „Commuter Transport“ map that shows trains and bus routes.

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