Category Archives: GPS Data

Notice to Hikers: Halfmile Smartphone Apps Will Not Be Updated For 2018

The Halfmile smartphone app showing Pacific Crest Trail information near Warner Springs, CA.

The Halfmile smartphone app showing Pacific Crest Trail information near Warner Springs, CA.

We have come to the unfortunate conclusion that the Halfmile Android and iPhone Apps will not be updated for the 2018 hiking season due to other commitments and lack of available time.

Halfmile Pacific Crest Trail Maps, GPS files, Google Earth Files, and Trail Notes have all been updated for 2018. Only the Smartphone Apps have not been updated. If hikers need to convert between 2015 mileages (still used by the Halfmile App) and 2018 mileages, a version of the Halfmile Trail Notes has been published that includes both 2015 and 2018 mileages.

What does this mean for 2018 Pacific Crest Trail hikers? Halfmile Smartphone Apps will continue to work, but hikers might notice:

  • Resupply and other information contained in the Halfmile Smartphone Apps may not be current and should be verified from other sources such as a phone call to the various locations or Halfmile Trail Notes.
  • The Sierra Buttes Reroute (starting near mile 1204), that was completed in the fall of 2017, is not included in the Halfmile app. This new route replaced about 4.4 miles of old trail with 6.9 miles of new trail.
  • Because the PCT is now 2.5 miles longer than the previous year, mileages in the Halfmile app north of about mile 1210 will be off by 2.5 miles.

  • Hikers needing an app that uses the latest Halfmile PCT data could consider Gaia GPS or other apps that import GPX files. It’s easy to import Halfmile data into these apps using the data at this web page.

    Halfmile data can be imported into the Gaia GPS or other smartphone apps.

    Halfmile data can be imported into the Gaia GPS or other smartphone apps.

    2018 Pacific Crest Trail Map Updates

    Pacific Crest Trail Maps, updated for 2018.

    Halfmile’s Pacific Crest Trail maps have been updated for the 2018 hiking season.

    The biggest changes for 2018 are in California Section M (in Northern California), where after several years of work, approximately 4.4 miles of old trail was replaced with 6.9 miles of new trail. This reroute increased the length of the PCT by 2.5 miles. The new route and mileages are shown on the new 2018 maps. Because of this, the Pacific Crest Trail is now 2.5 miles longer and the mileages north of PCT mile 1203 have increased by 2.5 miles. Mileage south of mile 1203 remain unchanged.

    Elevation profile pages have been improved for 2018 by squeezing more waypoints on the elevation charts.

    Halfmile’s Trail Notes have been updated for 2018 with the new mileage and now are available online.

    2018 Halfmile GPS and Google Earth files will be available in the next few days.

    The free Halfmile smartphone app will hopefully be updated in about a month. The app should auto update on your phone when a new version is available.

    Check the Halfmile What’s New Page and the Corrections and Updates Page for the latest information and corrections.

    -Halfmile

     

    Pacific Crest Trail Weather Forecasts

    Rain along the Pacific Crest Trail in Southern Oregon.

    Rain along the Pacific Crest Trail in Southern Oregon (photo by Halfmile).

    Several hikers have asked about Pacific Crest Trail weather forecasts. We use the National Weather Service (NWS) point forecasts from Weather.gov. These point forecasts are for a 2.5km grid and using Halfmile Project data makes it easy to find the forecast for a specific location along the PCT. Point forecasts are for the elevation of the PCT which are often thousands of feet above nearby towns.

    Links to NWS weather point forecast along the PCT:

    Mile 0 — Southern Terminus of the PCT — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 42 — Mount Laguna — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 110 — Warner Springs — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 179 — Saddle Junction (near Idyllwild) — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 210 — Highway 10 (near Cabazon) — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 275 — Van Dusen Canyon Road (near Big Bear) — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 374 — Vincent Gap (near Wrightwood) — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 454 — Agua Dulce — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 565 — Tehachapi Pass — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 652 — Walker Pass – Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 704 — Kennedy Meadows — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 767 — Mount Whitney — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 839 — Muir Pass — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 943 — Tuolumne Meadows — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 1017 — Sonora Pass — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 1153 — Highway 40 near Donner Pass — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 1265 — Bucks Summit — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 1388 — Hat Creek Rim — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 1507 — Castle Crags — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 1597 — Etna Summit — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 1716 — Callahans Lodge (near Ashland, OR) — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 1836 — Crater Lake Rim — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 1905 — Willamette Pass — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 1998 — Santiam Pass — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 2095 — Timberline Lodge — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 2211 — Indian Heaven Wilderness — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 2292 — White Pass — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Miel 2391 — Snoqualmie Pass — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 2461 — Stevens Pass — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 2518 — Mica Lake — Desktop Link | Mobile Link
    Mile 2630 — Harts Pass — Desktop Link | Mobile Link

    Note: The “current conditions” for these point forecast are from the nearest weather reporting station which could be many miles away from the actual forecast area and may not be as useful as the actual forecast.

    Tracking Hikers With Google Earth

    Entering the latitude and longitude from a Delorme inReach satellite message in Google Earth with Halfmile data.

    Entering the latitude and longitude from a Delorme inReach satellite message in Google Earth with Halfmile data.

    Many Pacific Crest Trail hikers are using satellite messaging devices like the Delorme inReach or SPOT Messenger to communicate with friends and family. Using Halfmile Project data from PCTMap.net and Google Earth can make these messages easier to understand for your followers back home.

    Halfmile data is available in several different forms — and the data matches exactly, no matter which form you are using. The data is available as follows:

    • Printable PCT maps
    • Android or iPhone Apps
    • Google Earth KML files
    • GPX files for loading into a GPS or third party Smartphone GPS app
    • Trail Notes

    A Halfmile point on the printable maps is the same in Google Earth or the Halfmile smartphone apps. If a satellite messenger sends latitude and longitude coordinates, these can easily be viewed by friends back home in Google Earth or simulated in the Halfmile smartphone app.

    Here are the steps to follow a hiker using a satellite message and Google Earth with Halfmile data:

      1. Download and install Google Earth.
      2. Download the Halfmile Google Earth KMZ file.
      3. Open the Halfmile KMZ file in Google Earth and save it to “My Places.”
      4. Expand the satellite message and note the latitude and longitude [see screen capture above].
      5. Enter the latitude and longitude in the Google Earth Search field [see screen capture above] and select the “Search” button.
      6. Google Earth will zoom to the location and show a marker [usually a pushpin] at your hiker’s location.
      7. If you have followed the steps correctly, the path of the Pacific Crest Trail and Halfmile waypoints will also be shown in Google Earth. It will be easy to see the location of your hiker in relation to these landmarks. In the screen capture above, the hiker is at a waypoint named WA2658, between PCT miles 2658 and 2658.5. You may need to expand the Google Earth “Time Sliders” to see all of the Halfmile waypoints.

    Halfmile data is updated each year, usually in January. For constancy, use the latest data. If you are using 2015 Halfmile maps, be sure to use the 2015 Google Earth or 2015 GPX files. If you are using other PCT information sources, the mileages may not match exactly.

    Note: A version of this blog post first appeared on the HalfmileProject.org bog.

    Waypoint Abbreviations

    Waypoints

    Waypoints

    We have been asked by several hikers about the abbreviations used for waypoint names on Halfmile Project PCT maps, apps, GPS data, and Google Earth files. Here is a list of the most common abbreviations:

    BB — Bear box or bear locker (mostly in the Sierra)
    CG — Campground
    CS — Campsite
    GT — Gate
    JMT — John Muir Trail
    Hwy — Highway crossing
    NF — National Forest boundary
    TH — Trailhead
    TR — Trail
    PL — Powerline
    PO — Post Office
    RD — Road crossings
    RR — Railroad track
    Ski — Ski lift
    Wild — Wilderness boundary
    WA — Possible water source (not on www.pctwater.com, mostly north of mile 700)
    WR — Possible water source listed in the PCT Water Report at www.pctwater.com
    WACS — Possible water source and campsite
    WRCS — Possible water source from the Water Report and campsite

    Curious which waypoint types are most commonly used? Here is a list from the new 2015 Halfmile Project data:

    3161 — total number of 2015 waypoints
    972 — WA waypoints
    745 — CS waypoints
    498 — TR waypoints
    466 — RD waypoints
    152 — WR waypoints
    73 — GT waypoints
    61 — Hwy waypoints
    54 — PL waypoints
    33 — Wild waypoints
    21 — CG waypoints
    16 — BB waypoints
    12 — TH waypoints
    8 — PO waypoints
    6 — NF waypoints
    6 — Ski waypoints

    About the 2015 Halfmile Updates

    Updating maps for 2015

    Updating maps for 2015

    The 2015 Pacific Crest Trail hiking season is rapidly approaching and understandably we have been getting questions about what’s changing in the 2015 edition of Halfmile’s PCT maps and when new maps, apps and GPS data will be ready.

    2014 was a massive data collection effort for the Halfmile Project team. Halfmile and Dirt Stew thru-hiked the PCT (Halfmile northbound, Dirt Stew southbound) carrying very accurate custom GPS devices designed for mapping long hiking trails. 8,296,179 new data sample points and 5,065 new waypoints were collected.

    GPS reception can be challenging along some parts of the PCT due to tree cover or terrain such as mountains or canyons that sometimes block GPS signals. This is especially true in Oregon and Washington. The custom GPS logging hardware performed amazingly well because of the outstanding performance of the ublox NEO-7P GPS module, external mast mounted antennas, and the merging of multiple GPS data sets using software developed by David Lippke. We are confidant this is the most accurate data ever collected of the PCT.

    Overall the new 2015 data has an average horizontal accuracy of 1.9 meters. Here is the horizontal accuracy by PCT section:

    CA Sec A: 0.67 meters
    CA Sec B: 1.26 meters
    CA Sec C: 1.11 meters
    CA Sec D: 1.19 meters
    CA Sec E: 0.81 meters
    CA Sec F: 0.98 meters
    CA Sec G: 1.18 meters
    CA Sec H: 1.44 meters
    CA Sec I: 1.62 meters
    CA Sec J: 1.51 meters
    CA Sec K: 1.61 meters
    CA Sec L: 0.49 meters
    CA Sec M: 0.57 meters
    CA Sec N: 0.46 meters
    CA Sec O: 0.68 meters
    CA Sec P: 1.92 meters
    CA Sec Q: 2.37 meters
    CA Sec R: 2.19 meters
    OR Sec B: 2.66 meters
    OR Sec C: 2.49 meters
    OR Sec D: 2.57 meters
    OR Sec E: 2.32 meters
    OR Sec F: 2.45 meters
    OR Sec G: 3.78 meters
    WA Sec H: 3.45 meters
    WA Sec I: 2.94 meters
    WA Sec J: 1.75 meters
    WA Sec K: 3.34 meters
    WA Sec L: 2.42 meters
    Continue reading

    2014 update change list

    Wondering what changed in the 2014 version of Halfmile’s Pacific Crest Trail Maps and GPS data? Here is a list:

    Changes to all sections:
    Gain/loss estimates on elevation profile pages recalculated for improved accuracy and consistency with smartphone apps
    Acrobat bookmarks added to .PDF files
    Mobile optimized .PDF files created (smaller size due to increased compression)

    CA Section A
    RD0064 – corrected typo
    WR091 – updated location

    CA Section B
    No Changes

    CA Section C
    Updated track near mile 220.5
    Moved half mile point 220.5
    Renamed WR226 to WRCS226
    Added WRCS229
    Added WRCS231
    Added WRCS232
    Added WR233
    Removed WR234
    Renamed WR235 to WRCS235
    Renamed WR239 to WRCS239
    Renamed WR240 TO WRCS240
    Renamed WR256 to WRCS256
    Added RD0258
    Added WR258
    Added RD0258B
    Added WRCS258
    Added Cougar Crest Trail
    Removed BigBearHostel waypoint from GPS data (it’s not on any map)
    Removed BigBearLakePO waypoint from GPS data (it’s not on any map)
    Removed Nature’s Inn

    CA Section D
    Renamed MessengerFlat to MessengerFlats
    Removed ActonMetrolink from GPS data (it’s not on any map)

    CA Section E
    Updated description, location for the spring at WRCS494

    CA Section F
    Added BV0570
    Added BV0571
    Added CS0571B
    Added CS0573
    Added CS0574
    Added RD0575
    Added RD0579
    Updated description WR583
    Added PL0584
    Added GT0590
    Added RD0600
    Added RD0601
    Added TR0602
    Renamed WR602 to WRCS602
    Added RD0605
    Renamed WR609 to WRCS609
    Added RD0609
    Added RD0618
    Added Gully0620
    Added DoveSpringCynRd
    Added WR620
    Added RD0622
    Added RD0624
    Added RD0625
    Added RD0628
    Added RD0630
    Updated description of WR631
    Added CS0634
    Added CS0635
    Added TR0637
    Renamed WR638 to WR637
    Added RD0641
    Added RD0644
    Added McIivers Spring track to map and GPS data
    Added Willow Spring track to map and GPS data
    Added Robin Bird Spring track to map and GPS data
    Added Willow Spring Alternate track to map and GPS data
    Removed PO0652 from GPS data (it’s not on any map)
    Renamed water warnings from mile 620 – 664
    Updated Lake Isabella PO hours
    Updated Onyx PO hours

    CA Section G
    Added bear canister information on map pages 6 and 14

    CA Section H
    Updated Red’s Meadow description

    CA Section I
    No changes

    CA Section J
    Corrected small error in track near the Sonora Pass picnic area

    CA Section K
    Renamed WA1194 to WACS1194

    CA Section L
    Survey grade GPS data collected for this section (sub-meter accuracy)
    Improved mileage estimates based on more accurate GPS data
    New half mile waypoints created based on more accurate GPS data
    Added track to rest area
    Renamed WA1182 to WA1181, moved to switchback 1/10 mi south
    Renamed WA1194 to WACS1194
    Removed Red Moose Inn

    CA Section M
    Survey grade GPS data collected for this section (sub-meter accuracy)
    Improved mileage estimates based on more accurate GPS data
    New half mile waypoints created based on more accurate GPS data
    Renamed RD1204 to RD1205
    Renamed WA1205 to WACS1205
    Renamed CS1211 to CS1212
    Renamed WA1211 to WA1212
    Removed CS1216
    Added WACS1216
    Removed WA1216 (at cow pond)
    Added trail to WA1216 track
    Added new WA1216 at piped spring
    Renamed WA1219 to WA1220
    Renamed WA1224 to WACS1224
    Renamed WA1231 to WA1232
    Renamed CS1232 to CS1233
    Removed PO1236 from GPS data (it’s not on any map)
    Renamed RD1241 to RD1242
    Renamed RD1244 to RD1245
    Removed CS1251
    Renamed WA1251 to WACS1251
    Renamed RD1263 to RD1264
    Renamed WA1267 to WA1268
    Renamed WA1277 to WA1278
    Moved WA1278 to more accurate location, renamed WA1278B
    Renamed CS1278 to CS1279
    Removed CS1280
    Renamed WA1280 to WACS1280
    Moved WA1284 to better water source

    CA Section N
    Survey grade GPS data collected for this section (sub-meter accuracy)
    Improved mileage estimates based on more accurate GPS data
    New half mile waypoints created based on more accurate GPS data
    Renamed CS1295 to WACS1295C
    Renamed CS1302 to CS1301B
    Renamed WACS1303 to WACS1302
    Renamed WACS1309 to WACS1308
    Renamed RD1309 to RD1308
    Renamed WA1332 to WA1331
    Renamed WA1339 to WACS1338
    Renamed WA1345 to WA1344
    HatCreekView added
    CS1384 added
    StandByMeBridge added

    CA Section O
    Survey grade GPS data collected for this section (sub-meter accuracy)
    Improved mileage estimates based on more accurate GPS data
    New half mile waypoints created based on more accurate GPS data
    Renamed RD1425 to RD1424B
    Renamed RD1453 to RD1452
    Renamed WA1468 to WA1467
    Renamed WA1469 to WA1468
    Removed waypoints from GPS data that were not on any map

    CA Section P
    No changes

    CA Section Q
    No changes

    CA Section R
    Removed waypoints from GPS data that were not on any map

    OR Section B
    Updated Fish Lake Resort zip code

    OR Section C
    Updated Mazama Village shipping address

    OR Section D
    Updated Shelter Cove Resort phone number

    OR Section E
    Added information about camping restrictions in the Obsidian Limited Entry Area
    Updated Elk Lake Resort shipping information

    OR Section F
    No changes

    OR Section G
    Updated Timberline Lodge shipping address, phone

    WA Section H
    No Changes

    WA Section I
    No Changes

    WA Section J
    New GPS data collected for this section (five new tracks merged for greatly improved accuracy)
    Improved mileage estimates based on more accurate GPS data
    New half mile waypoints created based on more accurate GPS data
    Added note that the Chevron Station may not accept packages
    Renamed WACS2445 to WACS2446
    Renamed WA2455 to WA2456
    Corrected description of Goldmyer Alternate (mile 11.4), where you do not cross the bridge but continue on E side of river

    WA Section K
    No Changes

    WA Section L
    No Changes