Need help planning a trip to either the Canadian Rockies or the Trail of the Ancients in the Southwest? National Geographic Maps can help you out.
The mapping arm of the National Geographic Society has produced a special "Destination Map" to the Canadian Rockies, and another to the Four Corners Region of the United States (MSRP: $11.95/$12.95 Canadian). These are not small-scale topographic maps that you might use on a backpacking trip, but rather large-scale maps for planning and executing road trips.
Unfold the Canadian Rockies map and you'll easily be able to see the locations of Kootenay, Yoho, Jasper, Banff, Mount Revelstoke, Waterton Lakes national parks, as well as the Canadian Glacier National Park.
The map also calls out the locations of areas of interest, such as the Spiral Tunnels that enable trains to climb the steep grade of Kicking Horse Pass in British Columbia, the Natural Bridge created by the Kicking Horse River in Yoho National Park, the Cave and Basin National Historic Site that is considered the birthplace of the Canadian parks system.
The historic site is in the town of Banff. It was there in 1885 that Banff Hot Springs Reserve was set aside and evolved into Banff National Park. "The cave itself is part of a larger system of nine hot springs, all located within Banff's Sulphr Mountains," notes the caption on the map.
The back of the map contains information ranging from wildlife that can be found in this part of the Canadian Rockies; handy contact numbers for passenger railroads, airports, bus and shuttle services; brief overviews of the national parks found here, and; some outdoor recreation information.
The Four Corners map is organized much the same way. Among the areas of interest noted is the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness in New Mexico, a landscape once walked by dinosaurs; Canyon de Chelly National Monument; the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site; the historic Taos Inn; Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, and; the Valley ofthe Gods Recreation Area.
The flipside of the map offers travel tips, such as that "many of our Native American ceremonies are sacred rituals generously opened to the public. Silence is mandatory during dances and ceremonies." There's also a section devoted to water and geology in the region, such as Comb Ridge in Utah and nearby Natural Bridges National Monument. And there's even a section that touches on the region's art, music and culture by pointing out cultural centers, museums, and music and folk festivals.