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Android as a GPS on the Pacific Crest Trail

Greetings to all Pacific Crest Trail Hikers! I know some of you will be hiking the Pacific Crest trail this year with the help of the GPS in your Android Phone. Here are some tips for Android users.

DO NOT FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THIS PAGE. For 2012 and later, refer to this HelpDesk Article for the files:

BackCountry Navigator, an Android GPS App, can import waypoints and tracks in GPX format. Nonetheless, HalfMile has done this work for you, and you have a trip database ready for download. Note: to learn about the waypoints that HalfMile has prepared for the PCT, go to PCT Maps.  

These instructions assume you have a utility to unzip files (they are built in to some versions of windows), and that you are doing this from your desktop PC with the storage card mounted. If things look slightly different on your system, try not to panic. 

First download the trip database from here:

Waypoints and Tracks for Pacific Crest Trail.

This link is to a single file called This file should be extracted and placed on the storage card under /bcnav/data. Here my storage card is mounted by the desktop and I show the location of the trip database:

Waypoints and Tracks for the Pacific Crest Trail for Android 
This step alone is extremely helpful. This is a single database that contains all of HalfMiles waypoints and trail tracks for the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail. 

BackCountry Navigator is also able to download Topo Maps for offline use along the trail. Getting the map data along the data. However, to save time for everyone and bandwidth for, I've gotten a copy of the download made by Jim Bravo. This is close to 400 megabytes in a zip file. Bravo to Jim Bravo, who was nice enough to send me this on a CD. 

Topo Maps for the entire Pacific Crest Trail: No longer available. Please refer to the link at the top of this page.


Excellent. I’m hoping to hike the John Muir Trail this August, and if I make it I plan to use the BCN as my GPS.