• The closer together the lines are, the steeper the slope.
  • Every topo map has a legend that tells you how many feet in elevation is between the thin or the thick lines. So the lines that are closer together are steeper. The lines that are very far apart are very level and less slope.
  • First of all, look at a topographic (topo) map (such as the one here Note the squiggly brown lines. These are called contour lines. Each of these line represents a specific elevation above sea level. The closer the lines are together, the shorter the horizontal distance you have to travel in order to accomplish the vertical change in elevation represented by the lines. Therefore, the steeper the slope of the ground is. Conversely, the further apart the contour lines are, the further you have to travel horizontally to accomplish the elevation change represented by the lines. So, widely spaced contour line mean a gentle slope.

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