The purpose of this study is to examine characteristics of the Red Relief Image Maps (RRIM) comparing to contour maps and to search for suitable topographic expression for geological tours (geotours) in geoparks. An experiment of map reading tasks involving inclination comparison, ridge / valley judgement, and geological reasoning was conducted. The participants were 40 university students and 81 high school students. They were given the above tasks both with the RRIM as well as with normal contour maps except for the geological reasoning task. Results of the inclination comparison and ridge / valley judgement with RRIM and contour maps were compared among the participants and those of the geological reasoning was compared between each participant. The results indicate that the inclination comparison is better with contour maps than with RRIM while the geological reasoning is better with RRIM among university students. As to ridge/ valley judgement results, fifteen percent of the participants mistook all ridges as valleys and vice versa with RRIM. These results imply that the contour maps are better for grasping local characteristics of landforms while RRIM are better for comprehending large scale landform features so as to lead appropriate geological reasoning from maps. Utility and limitation of RRIM for geotours were also discussed.