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About Us

Gem Trek Publishing is the only company that specializes in producing detailed maps of the Canadian Rockies.
Map-making and administration are now done out of our Kelowna, B.C., office. We moved the company to B.C. several years ago after spending 14 years working out of Cochrane, Alberta, in the foothills of the Rockies.

How We Got Started

How We Make Our Maps

Who's Who

How We Got Started

We got into map publishing almost by accident. In 1989, we opened Map Town, a retail map and travel book store, in downtown Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Soon we were deluged by requests for up-to-date hiking maps of Kananaskis Country, a popular recreational area for Calgarians on the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies. So, in 1992, we responded with two manually-drafted 1:50 000-scale topographic maps - the Spray Lakes and Kananaskis Lakes maps, both of which are now collectors' items.

From there, we expanded our coverage of trail maps of the Canadian Rockies to include Lake Louise, Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay and Waterton Lakes National Park.

A few years into making the maps, we started to add trail descriptions and photos to the backs of the maps. We wanted to guide hikers to what we thought were some of the best hikes on the maps, so that those unfamiliar with the area would feel comfortable as they started to explore the trails on each map sheet.

Concurrently with our recreational maps, we developed four touring (or driving) maps that roughly cover southern Alberta and B.C., and extend west to Vancouver Island, B.C., south to Northern Washington, USA, and north to Edmonton, Alberta.

To date, we have 21 maps on our product list.

How We Make Our Maps

After manually drafting the first two maps, the next ones were laboriously digitized in AutoCad (this was back when computers had a crank on the side - (just kidding, but only barely)). We supplement that with air photos, lots of on-the-ground research including GPSing of the trails, as well as extensive consultation with Parks people in the national parks and Kananaskis Country.

Who's Who

Donna Nelson

Donna heads up our operations in Kelowna.
She does all of the production work, up-dates the website (not as often as she should), and handles the rest of the day-to-day running of the office. She is very knowledgeable about the parks, not very knowledgeable about new technology, and likes to spend her weekends hiking and playing pickleball. Donna is co-owner of Gem Trek Publishing with her husband, Roger.

Donna Nelson

Roger Nelson

Roger founded Gem Trek Publishing.
As technical support consultant, Roger works out the kinks in the digital map-making, keeping Donna from getting too many grey hairs. He and Donna have hiked most of the trails on the maps, and he has also pursued many adrenalin or adventure sports over the years, including hanggliding, river kayaking, motorcycle racing and sailboat racing. More recently, you will often find him honing his skills on the pickleball court.

Roger Nelson
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Last update: June 10, 2016

Maps for the Canadian Rockies
© Copyright 2000 Gem Trek Publishing 
Gem Trek Publishing
322 - 663 Denali Court
Kelowna, BC
Canada    V1V 2R3 
Phone (778) 402-4216
Phone orders:

Handled by Map Town
in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Phone (403) 266-2241 or
Toll-free 1 (877) 921-6277
Fax (403) 266-2356