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GAIA Review- Is It Worth Buying?

GAIA review

GAIA is a GPS app used to get offline maps for hiking, camping, walking, biking, and offroading. It provides the users numerous ways to get on the road and off it, regardless of whether you are an experienced explorer or just seeking to get started on a straightforward trek. This GAIA Review will help you to go through a wide variety of maps to meet your needs and requirements in addition to providing coordinates. The review will help the users to get to know the good features, drawbacks, and suitability of the app.

Key Takeaways and Highlights

Before getting to know about the GAIA App these are some important points to consider:

Get the GAIA GPS App if you:

  • want to map out your complete route;
  • like the feature of the easy access to the National Geographic that is built-in for a discounted price;
  • prefer to explore or travel off the beaten route to find interesting sites.

Don’t Get the GAIA GPS App if you:

  • do not appreciate the apps that kill the phone battery.

GAIA GPS App Background

Gaia GPS is a mobile mapping and navigation programme which was launched in 2009. Initially it was an outdoor search engine, developed in 2008 by Andrew and Anna Johnson. Today, Gaia GPS offers more than 100 maps according to the kind, activity, and region where you would be exploring to ensure that you have as much information as possible essential for your journey.

GAIA GPS have collaborated with a variety of groups, including Off Grid Trailers, Indigenous Women Outdoors, Outdoor Afro, She Jumps, and Mazams. 

At the time of writing GAIA Review it is witnessed that the app has 100 million+ active users with 10,000 reviews and rated 3+ on google play store and Apple store. 

It is also the 8th top grossing GPS app in providing maps and navigation. This makes GAIA one of the most widely known and successful GPS apps.

Unique Characteristics

GAIA is popular among users for its user-friendly style and the availability of offline maps. The high-quality maps that could easily replace Google Maps are some of the explorations highlighted in our GAIA Review that would certainly hook you on this application. 

Gaia GPS is offered in both iOS and Android versions. It works with a wide variety of Apple and Android devices which are also supported by smartphones and tablets.

How does GAIA App work?

GAIA principaly presents itself as a navigation app with attractive design and innovative interface that continues to achieve the user satisfaction. 

After downloading GAIA there are certain steps to be followed in order to experience the service. And downloading merely takes a few seconds. 

Once you  open the app, make sure to download any map you intend to use. So you have access to it when you go offline.

There’s also the possibility to add unknown regions and destinations.However, for creating routes, make sure to use the coverage maps category which examines the service availability of the location you are visiting. 

GAIA map

Key Features

GAIA offers the additional feature for coordinates. We would suggest that users should explore the option to get a better GPS experience. 

Another appealing feature which makes GAIA app effective is a record button that allows users to record their trek. It allows the users to keep their backup saved. 

GAIA also supports apple car play and additional capability to access the nearby trailheads for the ease of users. It is always a good option to choose your path before starting the journey. 

Moreover the app provides the separate Map icons on the right side of the toolbar. This is something we enjoyed in particular. In the settings section the app provides different controls to make the use more feasible. Experimental features section enables the users to choose the 3D maps and globe settings. Users will get to explore and experience numerous features which will help to make their journey easy and worthwhile.

Core Features of GAIA GPS

When you open the app it provides the users with the attractive feature of finding trails. One of the Core Features of GAIA is its discover button in the bottom centre of the app on your phone. It will easily locate you, or allow you to discover treks somewhere in the whole world, so you can see what is waiting for you if you are planning to go there.

GAIA makes sure that users can easily find the desired trail and record that particular track. This is done with a Record button. You may snap a picture in the app while you’re recording, and the picture will be included on the track as well. If any of your hike-related images weren’t shot in GAIA, you can add them to tracks afterwards. It can help you later if you get lost or forget the route you were on. It will help to remember where you need to go and get back on the right track.

Another great core feature of GAIA is the  arranging tracks.You can create folders containing tracks inside the app. It’s a great feature if you want to arrange tracks near you or if you are planning on going somewhere to plan your exploring more productively. 

Lastly, With GAIA GPS, sharing Tracks is also quite simple. You may click the Sharing icon in the mobile app. There, you can control the track’s privacy and obtain the sharing link. If you don’t want to share your tracks right away or prefer to wait, you may keep them private. But we did share it with our peers and wanted to test this feature. They explored our track and absolutely loved it. They also said that they did not notice that particular track and wouldn’t think about exploring that side of the area.  

gaia dashboars

What makes GAIA GPS App stand out?

The primary impression from GAIA GPS is that it allows users to design a route far faster and more intuitively than any other mapping tool we’ve used. The software performs all of the things we’ve come to expect from mapping applications, such as pinning waypoints, generating routes, and recording walks. The app also provides many elements that others don’t, such as National Geographic national park maps and cell phone coverage maps. The interface is simple and straightforward, and the maps are clear and uncluttered.

Map Types

Every map on GAIA GPS app is unique and customized in order to provide the users with the best experience with respect to their specific needs. Topographic, satellite, road, nautical, aviation, historic, NatGeo, and weather maps are available under the category of  type. The factor which makes topo maps stand out among others is the recent addition of 150,000+ miles of USFS roads and trails and mileage markers for every point. 

Users can also avail the sports related maps for Hiking, offroad, camping, backpacking, and backcountry skiing. So if you are going for example backpacking somewhere you can find the best routes for that particular activity. It helps you to better understand the route and will let you know if it is suitable for you.


Location/ area maps contribute towards locating your destination in different countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Europe, and Asia. You can explore different options and choose the best for you when you are still at home. While you are exploring you may find new routes in your chosen area you didn’t even notice where there.


GAIA enhances the horizons for searching the specific routes in order to find the secure tracks, roads, trails, and waypoints. Users can manually enter the coordinates to locate their final destination. Apple Carplay turn-by-turn navigation system also aids in route planning and multi-tasking at the same time. By using navigation you will not get lost as easily if you were whitouth it. Also it helps to find your destination much faster.

Offline Mode 

Another  feature offered by Gaia GPS is the ability to download maps for offline use in the event that cell service is not available. It’s very common to lose signal when you are hiking in the woods. Offline mode will get handy in this situation and you won’t need to stress about getting lost if there is no service.

The feature of adding routes simultaneously and accessibility to around 2 million overlaying trails is also a contributing factor in reliability. But not only that – we also found that GAIA is very safe when it comes to planning roads and trails.  

GAIA map


GAIA GPS vs Similar Apps

There are more than 10 GAIA GPS substitutes. The ideal substitute is OsmAnd, which is open source and free. The applications Organic Maps, Transportr, All Trails, and Komoot are also excellent alternatives to GAIA GPS.

AllTrails, Gaia GPS, and Avenza are excellent hiking applications for the majority of hikers. But the finest hiking app is GAIA GPS for people who prefer to explore or venture off the main route. 

This isn’t intended to be a thorough GAIA Review or comparison of the many hiking applications, since each has advantages and disadvantages. However, we feel Gaia GPS is best suited for hikers who like exploring new trails and experiencing new adventures.

Our GAIA review suggests that Gaia GPS has an advantage for individuals who enjoy exploring since it frequently contains places that other maps might not show because it uses crowd-sourced maps for its layering system. 

Additionally using the Open Street Map as a foundation layer, All Trails also offers users “curated” or, as All Trails refers to them, “certified” routes. 

Curated maps offered by all trails provide more details than GAIA crowdsourced maps. But this significant feature provided by all trails sometimes is of no use as some land managers do not allow the hikers to  congregate in some areas for safety purposes to ease the effect of hiking on the ecological system. Hence we personally suggest the hikers to use GAIA GPS as the app is user friendly and made by those who actually are passionate about what they do.  

GAIA App Payments

Most of the features offered by Gaia GPS are accessible for users without purchasing a subscription. The app itself is free but having said that, you will also pass up a lot of fantastic services and resources. 

There are two tiers offered by GAIA, paid and a free trial level. 

Paid Level

You can utilize the whole app and all but a few map sources if you have a Paid subscription. When you join the Premium mode, it has the most recent trails, distances, and other official park data. 

Premium Membership cost: $40

Free Level

Free Level is available as a demo. Importantly, you can’t download maps for offline usage, making it useless for use in the backcountry. And neither USGS Topo nor Open Hiking Map HD maps are included.

If you opt for a 7 day trial which is subscription free, make sure to cancel it before the 7 days are up in case you don’t like the app. Otherwise the app will charge a subscription fee automatically. 

Final GAIA Review and Opinion

The GAIA GPS has an incredibly easy and user-friendly interface. We unarguably found the app quicker and simpler to use. The whole series of National Geographic Trails Maps is significantly the best feature of Next Gen GAIA GPS. GAIA is considered as the most trustworthy and well-reviewed app for top outdoor attractions.


  • Pictorial Trails National Geographic maps are readily available
  • GAIA App provides up-to-date route lengths and other official park information
  • The new vector-based maps are clear and appealing at all zoom levels
  •  At a glance, GAIA helps to see your distance, speed, altitude, and other information.


  • The way that maps, tracks, and waypoints are managed in folders is not something we particularly prefer 
  • If you have a huge inventory of maps and switch phones, the GAIA GPS will attempt to download them all automatically. This may be acceptable to many users. Some users may like to have more flexibility over downloading only a portion of the maps from their previous phone
  • Some features from GAIA do not operate in the background. 


At the end of our GAIA review we think that this app is undoubtedly one of the best GPS apps. It Features the best ways in establishing routes, areas, and waypoints, as well as organizing, backing up, and sharing your data. It enables the users to look around in 3D mode. The feature regarding lane guide and speed limit works exceptionally well. 

We really hope that this GAIA review will improve your understanding of the GAIA GPS App. It is available through the following links:

Link to Android Store

Link to Apple store