Gem Trek Maps

Gem Trek Publishing specializes in producing detailed maps of the Canadian Rockies. Based in Banff, Alberta, we currently publish 21 maps, most of which focus on hiking trails.

Renowned for their accuracy and detail, Gem Trek maps are printed on waterproof and tear-resistant paper. Each regularly updated map features distinctive relief shading and clearly marked hiking trails, points of interest, and mountain ranges. Our driving maps are printed on paper and cover the Canadian Rockies and regions as far away as southwest British Columbia and Northern Washington.

History of the Company

Gem Trek Publishing was founded by Donna and Roger Nelson in 1991. The Nelsons had opened Map Town, a retail map and travel bookstore, in downtown Calgary, Alberta, in 1989. Here, they 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 1991, they began selling two manually-drafted 1:50,000-scale topographic maps—a Spray Lakes Map and a Kananaskis Lakes Map. In addition to the topographical information found on the NTS series of government maps, these early maps provided accurate coverage of cultural features, recreational facilities and—most importantly—hiking and biking trails. The first editions of these are now both collectors’ items.

Current Ownership

In 2018, the Nelsons, looking to keep Gem Trek independent and locally owned, sold the company to Andrew Hempstead and Dianne Melton. This husband-and-wife team also own and operate Summerthought Publishing, which produces over 30 regional books, including the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide. Having each lived in Banff for over 25 years, they are deeply involved in the community, both through raising their two children and volunteering for many local organizations. Andrew is current president of the Banff Springs Golf Club, current board member of the Banff Heritage Corporation, and volunteers behind the bench for the local minor hockey association. Dianne has volunteered for many years as manager of multiple Banff Bears minor hockey teams, coordinates the lunch program at the Banff Elementary School, and has previously been a Banff Day Care Society board member.

Gem Trek’s first map
Gem Trek’s first map was Kananaskis Lakes and Region, published in 1991.