How to Bring Up the Altimeter on a Garmin GPS

How to Bring Up the Altimeter on a Garmin GPSGarmin is a leading name in outdoor GPS systems. Series like eTrex and Oregon are standards in outdoor GPS navigation. Though it may seem less useful than GPS navigation, a built-in barometric altimeter allows you to monitor your ascent and descent and find your specific location on a topographic map. Since there are numerous outdoor GPS units that include barometric altimeter and each has their own interface, you should look at a couple of specific models.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Verify that your Garmin GPS unit includes a barometric altimeter. Not all of Garmin outdoor GPS units include this feature, so before you spend time searching for it, make sure yours does. According to Garmin at the time of publishing, the Oregon Series (except for the 200), Colorado Series, eTrex Vista HCx, eTrex Vista H, eTrex Summit HC and the GPSMAP 60CSx were the current outdoor/ trail handhelds that contain barometric altimeters.
Step 2
Familiarize yourself with the altimeter page. Pulling the altimeter page up varies by model, but you should be able to recognize it when you see it. The altimeter page contains two data fields on the top, such as "Max Elev" and the current elevation or pressure on the bottom.
Step 3
For the eTrex Vista HCx, Vista H and eTrex Summit HC, toggle through your pages. There are four main pages, one of which is the Altimeter page. Toggle between pages using the QUIT/PAGE button which is the round button on the upper right side marked "X."
Step 4
For the GPSMAP 60CSx, toggle through the pages using the "Page" key. This key is the second button down from the screen on the right side.
Step 5
On any of the aforementioned models, press the "Menu" key when in the altimeter page to pull up options such as altimeter calibration and data field options.
Step 6
For Colorado Series GPS units, use the shortcuts key to pull up a list of applications. Press the right soft key on the top of the unit when it's labeled "shortcuts" to pull up your options. Navigate to the appropriate option with the Rocker 'n Roller and hit "Enter" (middle of the roller) to select. For instance, to set up the altimeter, go to Shortcuts / Setup / Altimeter.
Step 7
For Oregon Series units, select the altimeter function using the main menu touch screen. You can set up the altimeter by selecting Setup / Altimeter from the main menu.

Tips & Warnings

For other problems, follow the link below to Garmin's website where you'll find support, reference guides and manuals.


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  • Article Written By Joe Fletcher

    Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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