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Trails Illustrated Debuts New Maps


    About the best maps I've found for visiting national parks, national forests and other outdoor locales of note are those published by the National Geographic Society. They're clear, concise and durable, thanks to the plastic sheets used for printing.
    Today I received word via my trusty P.O. Box that the society's Trails Illustrated maps collection has grown with the addition of seven maps for the Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe areas. The new Yosemite maps include "Yosemite SW," which covers Yosemite Valley and Wawona; "Yosemite NW," which applies to the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir area; "Yosemite NE," which takes in Tuolumne Meadows and the Hoover Wilderness; and "Yosemite SE," which covers the Ansel Adams Wilderness.
    Not only do these maps show you the obvious -- roads, hiking trails, campgrounds and restrooms -- but they also feature a number of selected waypoints to plug into your GPS unit. You'll also find UTM coordinates along the map borders.
    The scale is a bit on the large size -- 1:40,000 -- although the contour intervals are set at 50 feet, which isn't too bad. MSRP is $8.95 for the Yosemite titles.
    Of course, in this digital, do-it-yourself age, there are CD-ROM programs out there that allow you customize topo maps for the parks. Last October I reviewed MapTech's product for this market, and in December I took a look at National Geographic's entree. But if you're into simplicity, there's nothing like grabbing a Trails Illustrated map and hitting the road.

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