Here is a short list of handy smartphone apps. Check out the blog on these apps that Bruce wrote in 2012.

Utah Avalanche Center

This app consolidates the avalanche, weather, road, and slope information you need for critical decision-making, including: 

  • Daily avalanche advisories for 7 regions around the state from the Utah Avalanche Center
  • Daily field observations from a small army of volunteer observers as well as the UAC staff.
  • Road conditions including avalanche closures, road travel restrictions, and canyon road webcams
  • Mountain weather information including current conditions, forecasts, satellite loops, radar, and mountain weather cams
  • Emergency contacts and your GPS location for a fast rescue response
  • A slope evaluation tool using your camera, containing your GPS location, steepness, aspect, elevation, time, and date
  • Ability to photograph a slope watermarked with GPS location, steepness, aspect, elevation, time, and date and share that photo
  • An email form to share your observations with the Utah Avalanche Center
  • A list of contacts for more information

From the time you roll out of bed until the time you hit the driveway, this app makes it easier to figure out where the best snow is, what avalanche, weather, and road conditions to expect, and which slopes will have the best and safest conditions.  

Free, iOS only

Brought to you by the Utah Avalanche Center,, and Garafa.

Wasatch Backcountry Ski Map

The Wasatch Backcountry Skiing Map is the mobile version of the popular paper map and website ( As with the other platforms, the mobile map includes an index to more than 1,000 backcountry locations in Utah’s Central Wasatch mountain range.  With its familiar interface, the Wasatch Backcountry Skiing Map accesses your mobile device’s GPS to display your current location on a high-resolution topo map. And with only a few taps, the “destination arrow” on the integrated compass will point to your desired backcountry ski location.

This is the standard reference map used by the Utah Avalanche Center and by local Search & Rescue teams, so when you reference a run on this map, everyone knows exactly where you are referring to.  

$12.99, iOS and Droid

Topo Maps+

Go deeper into the backcountry with Topo Maps+.  Maps and GPS work offline.  Topo Maps+ works with USGS topographic maps, US Forest Service maps, Satellite maps, and many other outdoor maps.   With Topo Maps+ you can plan your next outdoor adventure. 

Free and Subscription options, iOS

Gaia GPS

Tap into the Wild. The best iOS/Android/web app for the outdoors.  Adventurers and professionals worldwide use Gaia GPS to plan, navigate, and stay safer in the woods. Download maps; View you location; Works offline; Set waypoints; Over 500,000 trails; Uses USGS and Worldwide Topo Maps; and much more.

Free and Subscription options, iOS and Droid

Avalanche Lab

For field observations including snowpits, avalanches, photos, etc. You can share your ob with the local avalanche center via email or sync to SnowPilot database.  Also has an inclinometer, compass and crystal card.  You can output two versions of snow profiles, one complex and another a simple version.

Free and Pro ($14.99) versions, iOS only

Ullr's Mobile Avalanche Safety Tools 

$9.99 - Professional level app for field observations including snowpits, avalanches, weather, snowpack, etc.  Share your ob with the local avalanche center through email and sync to their own database.  

$9.99, iOS and Droid

Avalanche Forecasts

Displays avalanche advisories for regions around the country including Utah Avalanche Center and it caches the advisories so you can view them even if you don't have cell coverage.  Really useful if you are on a road trip.

Free, iOS and Droid

Mammut Avalanche Safety

This app from Switzerland that allows you to rate the avalanche risk in your area, send an SOS with your gps coordinates to an SMS and phone number, display avalanche bulletins throughout the world, inclinometer, altimeter, 

Free, iOS only

Avalanche Inclinometer

Avy savvy backcountry skiers and riders know that three things count when it comes to the terrain’s influence on avalanches: the slope, the elevation, and the (compass) aspect. And Steve's Avalanche Inclinometer delivers all three. Sure, you can find plenty of inclinometers (also known as clinometers) that are designed for carpenters, but the Avalanche Inclinometer is meant for people who spend time in avalanche terrain.

This app shows the slope, elevation, and aspect in BIG FONTS which are perfect for tired eyes in stormy (or too-bright-and-sunny) weather. And it doesn’t display a gaggle of tiny buttons and widgets to decipher when you should be skiing.

$3.99, iOS and Droid


On one screen using the camera to line up with the slope, it shows you steepness, aspect, gps location and altitude.  You can do a screen capture to your phone. 

$3.99, iOS, Droid

CAC Avalanche Bulletins 

From the Canadian Avalanche Centre - shows avalanche bulletins from Canada.  Great information, especially for planning a trip to Canada

Free, iOS only


The BCA app from Backcountry Access is designed to help backcountry skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers plan tours, assess the avalanche danger, and improve group communication. It provides the following tools: * Tour Planner: Locate your touring destination on a map, then plot each leg by double-clicking on each waypoint. The Tour Planner allows the users to enter the aspect, elevation, and slope angle for each waypoint, the mileage and vertical feet (or meters) is automatically calculated for each leg, and a total time estimate for the complete tour. You can move, add waypoints and update the data with actual measurements once in the field. These tours can be saved for future reference. * 3-in-1 Measuring Tool: Measure aspect, elevation, and slope angle, then store and directly compare them to the avalanche forecast in your chosen region. * Avalanche Forecasts: Updates and stores the avalanche forecast each time the app is turned on, so they can be viewed even in areas with no cell reception. Pre-select forecasts from a menu of avalanche centers worldwide. * AIARE Tools: A menu of communication tools including the AIARE Communication Checklist, AIARE Decision Making Framework, and AIARE Observation Reference. Developed with the American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE). * Rescue Guides: Bulleted summaries of how to perform an avalanche rescue, including videos of proper beacon searching and shoveling technique. A section on “Calling for Help” provides a list of information to gather at the scene of an accident. It auto-populates the GPS coordinates, then allows the user to store all the recorded information fortransmission to emergency personnel. * Float Pack Refill Locations: Locates BCA retailers and refill centers for BCA's Float avalanche airbags.

Free, iOS only


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