Written by Cody Simons
If you are into the outdoors and you like to get off the beaten path, OnX maps is an application that is a must have. OnX maps is a web mapping application that is designed for the hunter, fisherman, backpacker, and general outdoor enthusiast. OnX is a subscription-based application. They sell their subscriptions by the state, and they last for one year. You can download the application on your phone for 30 dollars a year, and you also get access to their online application. OnX offers a 7-day free trial, which I would suggest activating just before you head out on a trip. Get familiar with the app, download maps for the areas you will be in, and test out its features in the field.
OnX is essential for someone who likes to get off the trail while hiking, hunting, fishing, mushroom picking, mountain biking, or performing just about any outdoor activity. OnX offers 27 different layers that are useful for all outdoor activities, but they are most known for their Public and Private land layers. Simply turning on the Private Lands layer and clicking on an area where you want to access gives you necessary information to be able to contact the land owner and get permission to access their property. This is very useful for someone who is into hunting and fishing, but it can be used for any outdoor activity. You can also create waypoints, routes, and polygons. They have a tracker that tracks distance, time moving, speed and various other data about your trip.
Below is an overview of the Deschutes River just down stream of Warm Springs. This is a popular area for Rafting, Fishing, Upland Bird Hunting, Hiking and Biking. This is a very important spot to know exactly where you are. A permit is required to access the tribal land, and private land owners aren’t too friendly to trespassers. OnX lets you know exactly where you are and gives you information to be able to contact the land owner if you need to access their land.
When you tap on the private land polygon, you will get land ownership data including Owner, Secondary Owner, Tax Address and the Area of their property. Here is the Landowner info for the land that borders the Deschutes River.
You can usually figure contact info for the owner by searching the tax address online. It has proven to be useful as I have used this several times for getting permission to cross private land to get to a stream while fly fishing.
While the Private/ Public land layer is their most popular layer, there are several other layers that are very useful for outdoor activities. One of my personal favorites is the “Roadless Areas” layer. I am into backpacking and back country hunting, so getting away from the roads and other people is key. This layer creates a heat map that highlights the areas that have no roads. You can see that there isn’t a whole lot of roadless areas in Oregon, so knowing where to find those small areas is useful.
If you are an outdoor enthusiast I suggest giving OnX maps a try. They have layers that are useful for just about any outdoor activity. They also have tutorials on their website that can teach you the ins and outs of OnX in just a few minutes. Download it and try it for free for a week and see what all it has to offer! I guarantee that if you like the outdoors, you will find it useful!