How to Use Coordinates to Find Your Destination

If you’ve found your way to this page, you’re likely looking for information about how to use the coordinates listed throughout the site.

While I make every effort to provide actual addresses whenever possible, there are occasions when this isn’t practical. You’ll frequently find coordinates on articles related to outdoor activities. This is simply because hiking trails, waterfalls, and covered bridges rarely have an official address. However, on rare occasions, you’ll find museums or other similar sites that either don’t have official addresses or where GPSs give you incorrect directions.

If you’re looking at this page, I’m going to assume that you don’t have a handheld hiking GPS [affiliate link] (If you do, check your owner’s manual on how to use them).

So, how do you use these coordinates to help you find your way to the site? Keep reading to find out!

Option #1: Use Your Phone’s GPS

Your best option for using coordinates is the GPS app in your smart phone. I have used both Apple Maps and Google Maps and never had an issue with the coordinates.

To use them, either copy/paste them into the search box, or manually type them in. From there, the GPS should route you to the coordinates. Keep in mind, of course, to make sure you are using the coordinates to the parking area, and not any coordinates that might be listed for the final destination down a hiking trail.

Should you not have a phone with GPS, you may be able to use a car GPS, but only some have the capability to enter coordinates. Consult your owner’s manual to see if that is an option for you.

Option #2: Get Printable Directions Before You Leave Home

Should you not have the option of using a GPS to get to destinations with coordinates, you can also print directions ahead of time.

Simply copy/paste the listed coordinates into your favorite online mapping site, like Google Maps or Mapquest, and enter your starting address. Once it comes up with directions, you can print the directions to use on the road.

Option #3: Get a Nearby Address

This option is listed last because it’s not ideal, but does work for some listed sites. If you can’t use a GPS to guide you to the coordinates, and you don’t want to print off directions, you can sometimes find a nearby address to use in your GPS.

To do this, copy/paste the coordinates into an online mapping site like Google Maps. Once it shows you the address, find a nearby building or home with a physical address and use that in your GPS.

If you opt for this method, make sure you remember how to get from the address you selected to your final destination.

Keep in mind, this is the least exact option and you should always use the listed coordinates whenever possible.

Hopefully, though, using one of these three methods, you can easily use the listed coordinates to find your way to your final destination. Happy travels!

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