Where do I buy topo maps in SLC or Moab on a weekend?
March 30, 2014 9:03 PM   Subscribe

Is there a store in Salt Lake City that sells Utahn USGS 7.5 minute topo maps that's open on Saturday? Or, alternatively, a place in Moab that's open on Sunday? For instance, does REI sell topo maps? We're visiting Utah from Vancouver Canada and we don't have enough time to have maps shipped from the USGS, but unfortunately the way things are timed we're going to be passing through SLC and Moab on the weekend. We'll need the maps by Monday morning, otherwise we'd hang around. Any help would be appreciated.
posted by Dr. Send to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total)
I've bought topo maps from an extensive selection at the REI in Salt Lake City. That was 5-6 years ago, so I don't know if things have changed, but I'd be optimistic about your chances there.
posted by willbaude at 9:20 PM on March 30, 2014

Ever since the USGS closed their physical store, real topo maps have become harder to find and buy. You do have several options, however, depending on timing:

A) Visit the Nat' Park bookstore at Arches. National Park bookstores usually don't carry real USGS topos anymore, but they do carry the National Geographic topo maps.

B) Buy access to All-Trails and print out a topo map of the area you want. You might be able to buy water-resistant paper somewhere (it's Moab - a gas station could have it!) or just print it out on regular paper and place it in several zip lock bags.

C) Alternatively, download the PDF of the topo map from the USGS directly. Click on the little mountain symbol under USGS in the upper right hand corner. Take it to Canyonlands Copy Center and have them print it out. Or again, just print it out what you need (if you're staying at a hotel, you could use their copy center if you don't have access to a printer.)
posted by barchan at 9:22 PM on March 30, 2014

I meant to include an example of the Moab Topo Map. Here it is, (download link at the bottom) although I assume you also want other areas around Moab too, which you can download directly from the USGS topo store. This is a better link than the one I gave above (for just topo maps).
posted by barchan at 9:30 PM on March 30, 2014

I would be confident that you could find usgs maps of Moab in Salt Lake City on a Saturday. Are you certain that you need the usgs 7.5 minute topos? There will be tons of good maps of Moab available in any gear store. There are good gear stores in Moab, these folks would probably know where to get any map that they don't sell. or this store. Moab is crazy busy with tourists so stores will be open every day.
posted by fieldtrip at 9:33 PM on March 30, 2014

My local REI has a machine that will print out USGS survey maps, but they come out at 11x17 instead of the full size versions. They'll also stock a number of commercially printed trail maps that will include topo information for a bunch of popular locations. I would be really surprised if the SLC store didn't have stuff for Moab, Canyonlands, and Zion.
posted by LionIndex at 9:42 PM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have been inside that REI but didn't look at their map section other than to notice that it existed. The Public Lands Info Center is inside that REI store and quick googling suggests that they do sell the expected array of topo maps. The contacts and map info here should help if the REI option doesn't work.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:03 PM on March 30, 2014

If you download the PDFs from the USGS, they can be printed half-size on 11x17 paper. (I printed a ton of them half-size a few years ago.)
posted by notsnot at 6:01 AM on March 31, 2014

The Park Service has a bookstore in Moab, right downtown, that has maps of all kinds and flavors. I know they have the National Geographic Topos - I bought a couple there. They even have the Forest Service MVUM and pretty up to date on conditions in the back country.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:44 AM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! Just to clarify, I don't need maps OF Moab, I just figured SLC or Moab would be the most likely places to have a map store. I need maps that aren't covered by the National Geographic series. Also, I was set to buy the maps from the USGS website, but then I saw a note that said it could take up to TEN BUSINESS DAYS before they're even handed over to UPS! Government efficiency there. That's why I'm looking for a place to buy hard copies.

LionIndex and notsnot, aren't the 11x17 versions too small to make out all the contours? Or are they still usable? We're looking into getting the full-size maps printed here, but it seems to be remarkably expensive.

If all else fails, REI in SLC and the Moab Information Centre seem like the best bets, but we'll also check out the gear stores. Thanks!!
posted by Dr. Send at 10:25 AM on March 31, 2014

Gearheads in Moab definitely has topo maps, but I can't say for sure if they have the specific ones you need. Just across the street from the Big Horn Lodge motel. I think they are open seven days a week.
posted by indyz at 11:11 AM on March 31, 2014

The 11x17 are a bit small but still useable.
posted by notsnot at 4:11 PM on March 31, 2014

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