Arizona Hiking Trip

One of my first serious uses of GE was to examine data from a recent backpacking trip. The backpacking trip was up Mount Wrightson, Arizona and I took my GPS along for the hike. I saved the track and waypoints from the GPS and imported them into GE. Then I superimposed a USGS topgraphical map of the area for further reference. I also added some photos taken during the trip (which I georeferenced using the GPS track and time stamps from the camera).

The result is a GE KMZ file which you can view which really illustrates the backpacking trip. Especially if you use the tilt function (I recommend using your middle mouse button if you have one) to see the rugged terrain of this 4000 foot ascent. You also get an idea just how fabulous the view is from this peak.
By the way, if you turn on “Borders” in GE you can see that the border of Arizona and Mexico is easily viewed from the peak.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Hey Frank – that was a great hike and looking at the track makes me remember the many slow and painfull steps along the trail. You can almost count 32 switchbacks too. Panning around gives a great view of the profile of the mountains similar to what I saw a month or so ago when the Florida fire was burning down there (see my new photoblog – – for some pictures of lightning in the Santa Ritas).

  2. “All work and no play make John a dull boy”. Make sense isn’t it? Yeah, even though machines deserve to have a break. Especially us people, we often get tired and fed up with the everyday work. Try something new. Hiking will be of great help when it comes to therapeutic getaway.

  3. Wow, cool.. I had one hiking trip too but this thing rocks.. hiking is my one favorite past time.. I hope I could join up people like you who are experts of the mountain.. heheh “mountain people” ahoo ahoo… You rock!! Keep posting please.. thnx

  4. We are just beginning to get into hiking, now that our kids are older. We should have started years ago when they were younger. But school, work and kids activities leave little time for other things. We’ve hiked South Mountain and the Superstition Mountain and a little in Flagstaff.

  5. Excellent mapping done using Google Earth and GPS data. I’ve started teaching my son the mapping you’ve done and he enjoys it tremendously. He likes to get historical data included in his maps.

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