Mobile Apps for Utah Butterfly Collecting and Observing

I investigated several apps for both Utah hiking and general butterfly research. This list of hand picked recommendations could easily be adapted to other regions with hiking & trail apps specific to the area of interest. This was originally created for the ULS April 2014 Meeting. Remember to bring appropriate gear and collect legally and responsibly.

First Aid

The American Red Cross App is a top pick for the category, the app features common emergency situations, clear steps and easy to follow instructions. The app also includes a hospital finder. Available for Kindle Fire, iPhone, Android Phone.

Web MD Mobile Apps provide comprehensive information for many conditions and issues.  There is a symptom checker, following a tree of ailments to specific body parts before offering advice. It may be too cumbersome in an emergency where finding a solution is critical. Available for iPhone, Kindle, Android and iPad.

GPS tracking

GPS Log provides a way to track your trails and document your hike with notes. The app features hashtags (#) for searching, pictures of the location of the GPS spikes. This app can be utilized to take photos and notes of butterfly spots and plants for future reference. The app is quick and easy to use. Photos can also be added later for in-depth collectors who would like to have a cross-reference for their pinned collection. The spikes can be uploaded to for reference, sharing and research. GPS Log comes in a free GPS Lite version with a limited number of spikes, the full version is  $7.99.


Audubon has several Mobile Field Apps such as; Ultimate Nature Series for the DesertSouthwest region featuring butterflies, plants and other wildlife North American North American Butterflies and Birds. Cross referencing is advised, the identification on species has been criticized for accuracy. $4.99-$14, availability for different systems depends on the guide.

Hiking & Trails

Chimani is a very professional well put together app with information catering to National Parks. The Utah National Parks available are Zions Park and Bryce Canyon. The app provides comprehensive information on hiking camping and provides ‘push notifications to advise of emergency situations and other occurrences such as trail closures. Apps are availabe for Iphone, Ipad, Amazon Kindle, Android

San Rafael County app provides information on parks for trails and driving to the areas in Emery County such as BLM managed areas and the Buckhorn Wash. The app is designed for tourism and also includes events, dining and lodging information. Available for Android, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. I found the app can be tricky to find by searching in the Apple App Store, the best way to install is directly through the San Rafael Country web site.

The Wasatch valley and mountains area features many local apps provided by municipalities. This includes iDraper, iOgden, Sevier County and Salt Lake County.

Pocket Ranger is the Official Guide to Utah State Parks. The website sends you an email with a link to the app, I would recommend directly downloading directly from the app store to your device. The app features a reasonable amount of information on GPS terrain, trails and general park info, the interface is clunky. For Android, Kindle and iOS.

EveryTrail comes with low recommendations. The input is user driven and there are several instances of redundant information, Donut Falls and Doughnut Falls each has a listing for the same trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon. I have used this app for when I was already in the general area and needed to find the parks in the surrounding area. Since it is intended to be a comprehensive app it includes state, county, regional parks and other publicly accessible lands.

When the day out just doesn’t go the way you expected try Butterfly Fingers for iPhone. The app is provided by the appropriately named The app will enable your camera and you can swipe to see all the exotic butterfly species float across your screen to your heart’s content. Version with ads free, $.99 without ads for iPhone.


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