OnX Backcountry vs Gaia: Which Outdoor Navigation App is Right for You?

Are you planning your next adventurous hike and need a reliable navigation app to guide you along the way? The GPS technology has advanced, and there are a plethora of apps to choose from, but two of the most popular ones are OnX Backcountry and Gaia GPS.

OnX Backcountry is known for its topographic maps and real-time off-road tracking, while Gaia GPS is famous for its detailed maps, global coverage, and robust features. But, which one should you choose? In this article, we will compare both apps and help you decide which is the better option for your outdoor activities.

If you are looking for a comprehensive review of OnX Backcountry and Gaia GPS, we’ve got you covered. We’ll discuss the features of each app, their pros and cons, and compare OnX Offroad vs Gaia in 2023. We’ll also provide answers to commonly asked questions such as, “Is Gaia good for off-roading?” and “Is Gaia better than AllTrails?”

So, whether you’re planning to go hiking, mountain biking, or off-roading, read on to find out which app will meet your navigation needs.

OnX Backcountry vs Gaia: Which One is the Best Fit for Your Adventure

When it comes to planning an outdoor adventure, having the right tools to navigate the terrain and terrain conditions can make all the difference. Two of the most popular tools for outdoor navigation are OnX Backcountry and Gaia GPS. While both offer similar functionalities, each has its unique features that set it apart from the other. In this section, we will explore the differences between OnX Backcountry and Gaia GPS to help you decide which one is the best fit for your needs.

OnX Backcountry

OnX Backcountry is an all-in-one app that offers advanced GPS mapping and navigation features for outdoor adventurers. Here are some of its notable features:

  • Offers offline maps covering the US and Canada, so you don’t need a cellular network or Wi-Fi connection to access the maps.
  • Provides real-time weather updates to help you plan your trips and stay safe during unpredictable weather conditions.
  • Offers a tracking feature that allows you to record your hiking or hunting trips and view them later.
  • Has a customizable waypoint feature that enables you to create groups and categorize your points of interest according to their types.
  • Allows you to save your favorite maps, trails, or routes, so you can revisit them easily.

Gaia GPS

Gaia GPS is another popular GPS navigation app for outdoor enthusiasts. It offers similar functionalities as OnX Backcountry, but with some unique features that might sway your decision. Here are some of its notable features:

  • Offers both free and premium options, depending on your navigation needs and budget.
  • Has an extensive database of maps covering various countries worldwide, making it an ideal app for international travelers.
  • Allows you to create and edit your maps using the app’s drawing and measuring tools.
  • Offers a premium plan that provides access to public and private land maps in the US and Canada, making it an ideal app for hunters and anglers.
  • Integrates with wearable devices like smartwatches and fitness trackers, making it an ideal app for fitness enthusiasts.

Key Differences between OnX Backcountry and Gaia GPS

Now that we have seen the notable features of OnX Backcountry and Gaia GPS, let’s take a deeper look into the key differences between the two apps.

  • Budget: OnX Backcountry is a premium app that requires a subscription fee to access all of its features, while Gaia GPS offers both free and premium options.
  • Offline Maps: OnX Backcountry offers offline maps covering the US and Canada only, while Gaia GPS has an extensive database of maps covering various countries worldwide.
  • Customization: OnX Backcountry offers more customization options, including personalized waypoints and tracking features, while Gaia GPS offers more editing tools to create and modify your maps.
  • Ideal Users: OnX Backcountry is more suited for hunters and hikers who need access to public and private land maps, while Gaia GPS is more suited for travelers and fitness enthusiasts who want a broader range of maps and integration options.

Both OnX Backcountry and Gaia GPS are fantastic navigation apps that offer a plethora of features and functionalities for outdoor adventurers. Ultimately, the choice between the two would depend on your specific needs and budget. If you are a hunter or hiker who frequently travels within the US and Canada, OnX Backcountry might be a better fit for you. If you are a traveler or fitness enthusiast who wants a wider range of maps and editing options, Gaia GPS might be more suitable for your needs. As always, before heading out on any adventure, make sure to plan ahead and be equipped with the right tools, including a reliable navigation app.

Gaia GPS: The Ultimate Backcountry Navigation Tool

If you’re an adventurous soul who loves to explore the great outdoors, whether by hiking, camping, or trekking through the wilderness, you need a reliable navigation tool to help you find your way. And when it comes to navigation apps, Gaia GPS is at the top of the list.

Here’s why:

Accurate Mapping System

Gaia GPS has an incredibly accurate mapping system that allows users to access topographic, road, and satellite maps, and overlays. The app integrates with your phone’s GPS to track your location, route, and distance covered.

Wide Catalog of Maps

Users can also choose from a wide catalog of maps for specific countries, regions, and zones. This is useful for those who like to explore outside their home country.

Customizable Waypoints and Tracks

Gaia GPS lets you create and save your own waypoints, tracks, and routes, making it easy to plan and navigate long-term treks. You can also add notes, photos, and comments to each waypoint for future reference.

Real-Time Weather and Fire Alerts

One of the great features of Gaia GPS is it provides real-time weather updates and fire alerts. This is particularly helpful for those who are exploring in remote areas where accurate weather is crucial.

User-Friendly Interface

Gaia GPS has a user-friendly interface that is intuitive and easy to navigate. The app also provides users with Jargon-free tutorials and helpful videos to get started.

Whether you’re a seasoned backcountry explorer or new to the world of outdoor adventures, Gaia GPS is the perfect navigation tool to help you find your way, stay safe, and make the most out of your outdoor experience.

AllTrails vs Gaia: Which App is Better for Hiking

When it comes to hiking apps, two popular options are AllTrails and Gaia. Both apps offer similar features, such as trail maps, GPS tracking, and community reviews. However, there are some key differences to consider before choosing the best app for your next adventure.

User Interface

AllTrails has a well-designed, user-friendly interface with various filters to search for trails based on location, difficulty, length, and more. The app also includes trail photos and maps, as well as user reviews and ratings. On the other hand, Gaia’s interface may seem overwhelming at first, but it offers more detailed maps with off-trail routes and terrain analysis.

Trail Collection

AllTrails has an extensive selection of over 100,000 trails in multiple countries, including detailed descriptions, photos, and reviews. However, Gaia goes beyond just hiking trails, providing additional layers for backcountry skiing, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities.


AllTrails offers a personalized experience with the ability to track hiking stats, save favorite trails, and set reminders for upcoming trips. The app also provides a premium subscription with extra features like offline maps, weather overlays, and real-time tracking. In comparison, Gaia has a more robust set of features with access to topographic maps, custom waypoints, and live tracking with the premium membership.


AllTrails offers both a free and premium version, with a yearly subscription at $29.99. The premium membership provides additional features, but the free version has limited trail data. On the other hand, Gaia has a 7-day free trial and a yearly subscription for $39.99, which includes access to all features and maps.

Both AllTrails and Gaia offer excellent options for hiking and outdoor enthusiasts. However, the best app for you depends on the features you need and the type of hiking you want to do. AllTrails is more beginner-friendly, with a wider range of trails and a straightforward interface. In contrast, Gaia may be better for experienced hikers who want more in-depth maps, live tracking, and backcountry features. Ultimately, it’s up to personal preference, and both apps offer a great way to explore the outdoors.

Is Gaia Maps worth it

As an outdoor enthusiast, investing in a reliable navigation app is essential to ensure a successful and safe trip. Gaia Maps is one option that has been gaining popularity among hikers, campers, and backpackers. But is it worth the investment? Let’s take a closer look.

Features of Gaia Maps

Gaia Maps offers a variety of features that make it a powerful navigation tool, such as:

  • Detailed topographic and satellite maps
  • Navigation and tracking abilities, including real-time location sharing
  • Downloadable maps for offline use
  • Route planning and tracking
  • Weather forecasting
  • Integration with wearable technology

Benefits of Gaia Maps

By using Gaia Maps, you can enjoy several benefits, such as:

  • Simplified route planning: Gaia Maps allows you to plan your routes in advance, save them, and then access them offline.
  • Detailed topographic information: With Gaia Maps, you can access highly detailed topographic information for your trip, allowing you to better prepare for the terrain ahead.
  • Real-time tracking: Gaia Maps has real-time tracking capabilities, which means that you’ll always know where you are, even if you’re offline or in areas with poor signal coverage.
  • Safety: Gaia Maps offers a variety of features that can increase your safety, such as the ability to send your location to friends or family, access to detailed weather information, and the ability to track your progress in real-time.

Pricing of Gaia Maps

The pricing for Gaia Maps varies depending on the plan you choose. The basic plan costs $19.99 per year and offers access to the standard map layers. The premium plan costs $39.99 per year and includes additional features such as high-resolution maps, weather overlays, and the ability to download maps for offline use.

So, is Gaia Maps worth the investment? The answer depends on your needs and preferences. If you’re an avid outdoor enthusiast who frequently ventures into remote areas, Gaia Maps may be a worthy investment to ensure your safety and enjoyment. However, if you only go on occasional outings or stick to well-traveled paths, a free app may suffice.

Overall, Gaia Maps offers a comprehensive range of features and benefits that make it a reliable navigation tool for outdoor enthusiasts seeking an extra layer of safety and functionality.

ONX Backcountry Review

If you’re into outdoor activities like hiking, camping, hunting, or fishing, you know how important it is to have a reliable navigation tool that can help you explore the wild and make your way back home safely. That’s where ONX Backcountry and Gaia GPS come in as two of the best navigation apps available in the market. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at ONX Backcountry, its features, pricing, pros, and cons.


ONX Backcountry is a navigation app designed for outdoor enthusiasts who want to discover new trails, identify public lands, and plan their routes. Here are some of the features that make ONX Backcountry stand out:

  • Highly detailed maps: ONX Backcountry offers multiple map layers that show you topographical data, satellite imagery, and terrain information. You can customize the map view by toggling on and off different layers based on your needs.

  • Offline access: This app allows you to download maps for offline access, which is useful when you’re hiking in remote areas without cellular coverage. You can save maps in advance and access them even when you’re offline.

  • Waypoints and tracks: ONX Backcountry lets you mark waypoints and plan your route by adding tracks to the map. You can also measure distances between two points, calculate elevation changes, and get estimated time of arrival.

  • Public and private lands: One of the unique features of ONX Backcountry is its ability to show you public and private land boundaries, which is useful if you’re hunting or fishing in an area with land ownership restrictions.

  • Weather and sunrise/sunset data: This app provides you with live weather data and sunrise/sunset times based on your location. You can use this information to plan your activities and stay safe.


ONX Backcountry offers subscription-based pricing. There are three options:

  • Monthly subscription: $9.99/month
  • Annual subscription: $99.99/year
  • Elite membership: $149.99/year. This includes access to all 50 states, additional layers, and features like 3D maps and live location sharing.


  • Detailed maps: ONX Backcountry offers some of the most detailed maps available, which is helpful when you’re exploring new areas.
  • Offline access: You can download maps for offline use, which is essential if you’re hiking or hunting in areas without cellular coverage.
  • Land boundaries: ONX Backcountry shows you public and private land boundaries, which is useful for planning your activities.
  • Weather data: This app provides you with live weather data and sunrise/sunset times, which is important for staying safe in the outdoors.


  • Pricing: ONX Backcountry’s subscription-based pricing might be too expensive for some users, especially if they don’t need all the features.
  • Limited coverage: ONX Backcountry’s coverage is limited to the US and Canada, which might be a drawback if you’re traveling abroad.
  • No free trial: Unlike Gaia GPS, ONX Backcountry doesn’t offer a free trial, so you can’t test the app before signing up.

ONX Backcountry is a comprehensive navigational tool for outdoor enthusiasts who want to explore new trails and plan their routes. Its features, including detailed maps, offline access, and land boundaries, make it stand out from other apps. However, its pricing and limited coverage might be a drawback for some users. Overall, if you’re planning to explore the wilderness, ONX Backcountry is definitely worth trying.

ONX Offroad vs Gaia 2023: Which Mapping App is the Best for Off-Roading

When it comes to exploring the great outdoors, having the right tools at your disposal can make all the difference. In this subsection, we’ll be comparing two of the most popular off-road mapping apps on the market: ONX Offroad and Gaia GPS. Let’s dive in and see how they stack up!


  • ONX Offroad: $29.99/year
  • Gaia GPS: $19.99/year

Map Selection

  • ONX Offroad: offers over 985 million acres of public land across the US, including trails, roads, and access points.
  • Gaia GPS: provides access to topographic maps, hiking trails, and campgrounds worldwide, as well as custom offline maps.

Ease of Use

  • ONX Offroad: offers a user-friendly interface, making it easy to navigate and access information.
  • Gaia GPS: may be less intuitive for beginners, but it offers more advanced features such as real-time tracking, geotagging, and waypoint creation.

Key Features

  • ONX Offroad:
  • Provides detailed information on public land boundaries, including private landowner data.
  • Offers real-time weather overlays and other helpful tools.
  • Allows users to track and save trails, campsites, and other points of interest.

  • Gaia GPS:

  • Offers detailed topographic maps for hiking, backpacking, and off-roading.
  • Provides offline maps for remote areas without cell service.
  • Offers an assortment of map layers and overlays, such as avalanche forecasts and hunting boundaries.

Pros and Cons

ONX Offroad

  • Easy to use and navigate
  • Detailed public land information
  • Weather overlays and other helpful tools
  • Fewer map options
  • Requires a subscription fee to access

Gaia GPS

  • Offers detailed topographic maps
  • Provides offline maps for remote areas
  • Offers an assortment of map layers and overlays
  • Can be less intuitive for beginners
  • Requires a subscription fee to access the most advanced features

Both ONX Offroad and Gaia GPS offer an excellent way to explore and navigate the outdoors. Ultimately, the best choice for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you’re primarily interested in off-roading and exploring public land in the US, ONX Offroad may be the better choice. However, if you’re looking for a more comprehensive mapping app with worldwide capabilities, Gaia GPS may be the way to go. Regardless of which app you choose, remember to always use caution when exploring remote areas and be sure to follow all posted guidelines and regulations.

Is Gaia Good for Off-Roading

When it comes to off-roading, having the right navigation tool can make all the difference. Gaia GPS, with its topographical maps and customizable features, is a popular choice among off-road enthusiasts. But is Gaia really as good as people say it is? Let’s take a closer look at some of its features.

Off-Road Maps

One of Gaia’s most impressive features is its off-road maps. These maps are far more detailed than the standard maps you’ll find on other GPS navigation systems. They show detailed topographical information, including elevation changes, which can be incredibly helpful when navigating rough terrain.

Customizable Routes

Another great thing about Gaia GPS is that it allows you to customize your routes. This means that you can choose the best possible route based on your specific needs. You can also save multiple routes and switch between them on the fly, which can be hugely helpful when exploring new terrain.

Waypoints and Markers

Gaia GPS allows you to create custom waypoints and markers, which can be incredibly helpful when exploring off-road. You can use these markers to mark important locations, such as campsites, trailheads, or other landmarks. You can also add notes to your markers, so you’ll always know why you marked a specific location.

Import and Export Features

With Gaia GPS, you can easily import and export data from other GPS devices. This means that if you already have waypoints or other data saved on a different GPS system, you can easily transfer that data to your Gaia GPS. You can also export your data from Gaia GPS, which can be helpful if you want to share your routes with others or back up your data.

Community-Based Features

Finally, Gaia GPS has a number of community-based features that are specifically designed for off-road enthusiasts. For example, you can use Gaia GPS to find off-road trails that other users have recommended. You can also share your own trails and waypoints with the community, which can be helpful in planning future trips.

Overall, Gaia GPS is a great option for anyone who enjoys off-roading. Its off-road maps, customizable routes, and community-based features make it a standout choice among GPS navigation systems. While it may not be perfect for everyone, if you’re looking for a powerful, user-friendly app for off-road exploration, Gaia GPS is definitely worth checking out.

Is Gaia Better than AllTrails

When it comes to outdoor navigation and trail mapping, Gaia and AllTrails are two of the most popular apps among hikers, backpackers, and outdoor enthusiasts. While both apps offer similar features and functionalities, choosing the right app can make a significant difference in your overall outdoor experience. Here are some reasons why Gaia may be a better choice than AllTrails:

More Comprehensive Trail Maps

Gaia offers a wider selection of trail maps and layers than AllTrails, including detailed topographic, satellite, and road maps. With Gaia, you can overlay different layers to get a more comprehensive view of the terrain, such as elevation profiles, slope angles, and even weather conditions. AllTrails, on the other hand, only offers basic topographic maps and limited layers.

Customizable Navigation Tools

Gaia’s navigation tools are highly customizable and allow you to plan your route based on your preferences and skill level. You can set waypoints, checkpoints, and tracklogs, export your maps to GPX or KML files, and even connect with other GPS devices. In contrast, AllTrails has limited navigation tools and doesn’t offer the same level of customization as Gaia.

Better Offline Functionality

Gaia has excellent offline functionality, allowing you to download maps and navigate without an internet connection. This feature is especially useful when hiking in remote areas where there’s little to no cellular coverage. AllTrails also has an offline mode, but it’s not as robust as Gaia’s.

More Accurate and Up-to-Date Information

Gaia’s trail information and user-contributed content are often more accurate and up-to-date than AllTrails. This is because Gaia has a larger community of contributors who regularly update the trail data and share their hiking experiences. AllTrails, on the other hand, has more crowdsourced trail information, which can sometimes be less reliable and outdated.

Lower Pricing and More Bang for Your Buck

Gaia is often cheaper than AllTrails, especially if you opt for the annual subscription. With Gaia, you get access to a broader range of maps and features at a relatively lower price. In contrast, AllTrails can be more expensive, especially if you want to access advanced features like offline maps and custom layers.

Overall, both Gaia and AllTrails are great apps for outdoor navigation and trail mapping. However, Gaia may offer a better value in terms of pricing, functionality, and customization. If you’re looking for more comprehensive trail maps, customizable navigation tools, better offline functionality, more accurate information, and more bang for your buck, Gaia may be a better choice than AllTrails.

What is the Difference Between onX Backcountry and onX Hunt

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast who loves exploring the wilderness, then you need the right navigation tool to avoid getting lost and stay safe. Two of the most popular navigation apps for backcountry and hunting are onX Backcountry and onX Hunt. These apps offer similar features, including GPS navigation, offline maps, and location tracking. However, several differences set them apart. Below are the notable differences between onX Backcountry and onX Hunt:

Map Coverage

Maps are the most critical features of any navigation app, and onX Backcountry and onX Hunt have different map coverages.

  • onX Backcountry: This app covers vast wilderness areas, including national parks, forests, and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands. It also includes topographic maps with elevation data, satellite imagery, and 3D terrain views.

  • onX Hunt: This app is specially designed for hunting and has detailed maps of hunting units, property boundaries, and landowner information. It covers over 985 million acres of land across the United States and includes hunting-specific layers like game management units (GMUs), public and private land boundaries, and other hunting-specific data.

User Interface

The user interface (UI) of a navigation app should be intuitive and easy to use. Both apps have a straightforward UI, but they differ in terms of design and layout.

  • onX Backcountry: The app has a dark interface that’s easy on the eyes and has a simple layout. The features are well organized and easy to access.

  • onX Hunt: The app has a bright orange interface that may not appeal to everyone. However, the layout is straightforward and presents hunting-related features upfront.


Pricing is an important factor to consider when choosing a navigation app.

  • onX Backcountry: This app offers two subscription options: $29.99/year or $99.99/lifetime.

  • onX Hunt: This app also offers two subscription options: $29.99/year or $99.99/lifetime. However, some states require additional purchase of state-specific data layers, which cost between $15 to $119 per state.

Main Purpose

While both apps provide navigation and mapping features, they have different main purposes.

  • onX Backcountry: This app is designed for hikers, backpackers, and outdoor enthusiasts who want to explore the wilderness.

  • onX Hunt: This app is designed for hunters who want to find private landowners and know property boundaries.

Offline Use

Both apps allow users to download maps and use them offline, but the capabilities differ.

  • onX Backcountry: This app allows users to download unlimited maps for offline use.

  • onX Hunt: This app allows users to download maps for offline use, but the size is limited, and they need to be refreshed regularly.

Both onX Backcountry and onX Hunt have unique features and cater to different groups of users. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast planning a backcountry adventure, then onX Backcountry is the right choice for you. However, if you’re a hunter looking for specific hunting features like property boundaries and landownership information, then onX Hunt is the app you need. Ultimately, both apps are excellent tools for navigation and exploring the outdoors.

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