Looking down from the area of the upper Lakes
This hike, is the first hike of 2002 in which I took both my GIII+ and my Legend along to record my track simultaneously. I carried the Legend in it's normal place on top of my left shoulder, and I put the GIII+ on top of my pack with the antenna pointed up. Unfortunately, the GIII+ track isn't really representative of what I've come to expect when I do side by sides with both receivers carried in as optimal a position as possible. Normally the logs are fairly comparable, with the exception of the characteristics of the individual receivers. On this trip the GIII+ seemed to have more reception problems than the Legend for some reason. The tracking on the GIII+ was set to resolution 5 feet while the Legend was set to Auto/normal. Tree cover was non existent to moderate in areas. The day was filled with a series of brief thunderstorms, so I took cover and waited out short squalls on 3 or 4 occasions. Just about every time I looked at either receiver, it was whining about poor reception and wanting a clear view of the sky.
As you can see, both receivers had reception problems and track gaps as a result of terrain blocking satellite view. The GIII+ seemed to really loose it between the upper and lower lakes. They also both seem to have thrown a few waypoints way off, and to have drifted off course for periods of time. For whatever reason, I've found reception problems seem to happen more often in valleys where the southern exposure is blocked than in other canyons. On this trip all 4 horizons were pretty high most of the time, with the West, East, and South being blocked the most. The trail ends at the upper part of the first lake so I had to climb up over some big loose rocks which resulted in slow stop and go travel. This causes the Legend to record more trackpoints, which is characteristic of the auto function in modern Garmin receivers. Recording like this produces data that is better for figuring out what you did on a hike in my opinion, but it doesn't necessarily make the tracklog any more accurate position wise.
The trail data from the USGS maps appears to be fairly accurate, although I did notice that there are several trails, or trail branches on the map that are no longer in existence. This area gets a lot of use, and periodic trail maintenance, so changes of this sort are to be expected.
Legend Tracklog overlaid on TOPO map Size 483kb
GIII+ Tracklog overlaid on TOPO map Size: 480kb