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A little guidance before starting

Original Post
George Lamson · · Norden, CA · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 266

I would like to contribute to this site, but before I do I would like to get a little guidance. I am a very experienced hiker in the Donner Summit region of California which has many great hiking opportunities. I manage a site that has has descriptions of many of the hikes in the area.

I have the following preliminary questions before I start adding information:

  • It's not clear to me what the difference between a trail and a hike is. A case in point. There is a trail defined on your map named the Mariah Pt trail. The trail is plotted as starting from a point that is actually quite a ways out from any trailhead or access point. In order to get to the start of the trail one has to hike out a mile or so from an access point that can be driven to. So my question is should the "trail" really be plotted from the access point rather than the arbitrary point out in the field or would that be better defined as a "hike". I guess what I'm really asking is how does one define a trail.
  • Related to my first question, it seems that a hike to a particular location might use more than one defined trail. This is true for the Donner Summit area where there are many cross county ski trails already esablished. It is not clear to me then how to map a hike vs a trail. 

I did look around a little for some kind of a mapping guide but I didn't find one and may have missed it. If you do have such a guide could you point me to it?

Thanks for any help you can provide.


George Lamson · · Norden, CA · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 266

Ah-ha. I did stumble onto a page that gave a definition of a trail and hike. My understanding from the definitions is that a trail is one that is labelled on a map. In my area there are many labelled ski trails on maps that are used for hiking in the summer. Would the best way to enter the data be to define each of those trails? There are about 50 of them that form a network of trails throughout the area. The Mariah Pt trail is just one of those trails.

Mikhaila Redovian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 5,863

Hi George, 

Thanks for reaching out with some great questions! I think that you have things right, were a trail on our site should appear exactly as a trail would appear on a land manager's map. A hike is more like the recommended route that you would suggest to a friend. For example, you might want to recommend a hike to a friend that leads to a mountain summit. In order to get to the summit however, you might have to take two trails, one that leads around the base of the mountain, and one that climbs to the summit. On our site, we would map out each trail, and then the Featured Hike would highlight the most direct route leading to the summit. Doest that make sense? 

To answer your second question, we would love to get each of those 50 individual trails mapped out. From there, we can add Featured Hikes to highlight some of the most popular loops, or out and backs that lead to special places. 

Let me know if I was able to answer your questions, and please don't hesitate to reach out if you still have more! 


Kris Mitchell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Also under beginner guidance.... I am new the app and noticed many local trails are not listed. How can I add them? The FAQs refer me to the Mapping Guidelines; however, I cannot find them. Thanks!

Tom Robson · · Boulder, CO · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 11,706

@Kris, here's a link to our mapping page. If you need anything, please let us know!


Lee Watts · · San Bruno, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 1,993

I clicked on the adopt a trail button, but when I got in deeper, I realized that I did not know enough about the entire trail.  How do I cancel my adoption of the trail?  There is a "Delete Trail" button.  If that is what I should use, it seems like a bad label.  I certainly don't want to delete the trail, I only want to cancel my adoption of the trail.  

Lee Watts · · San Bruno, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 1,993

My favorite hikes are off-trail.  Is there a way to create off-trail routes?  

Mikhaila Redovian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 5,863

Hey Lee, 

Thank you so much for letting me know about the trail that you adopted but would like to put back up for adoption. You're right, deleting the trail isn't quite right, as that would remove it completely! I can get the route put back up for adoption. In the future, you can also submit the trail and leave a note to the admin explaining the situation, and it will be remedied as soon as possible. 

As for off-trail routes, you bring up an excellent question. We don't currently have a good way to display off trail routes. Do you prefer to meander through the open wilds, or are the off trail routes that you were considering adding composed of known of or marked in any way? For example, sometimes a route to the summit of a mountain may not have a "trail" per se, but will use cairns to mark the best way to the summit. Let me know, and we can go from there! 

Best regards, 


Lee Watts · · San Bruno, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 1,993

Hi Mikhaila,

Generally these roots are not marked, but there is a definite easiest/safest route for hiking. They are sometimes steep and you may want to use your hands, but this is hiking, not rock climbing. This is little exposure. 

I can mark the routes on the map, and I know them well enough to adopt them. These are spectacular locatio. 



Mikhaila Redovian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 5,863

Hi Lee, 

Gotcha, thank you for clarifying. If the routes are easy to replicate, or if you'd recommend them to a friend who might be visiting from out of town, I sounds like a worthwhile addition. My recommendation is to submit one of the routes, and then we can better visualize what the routes entail. 

Hopefully that helps, but please let me know if you have any other questions. 


Namekian Piccolo · · United Kingdom · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

There are many great apps available and handy for a beginner. 

Lee Watts · · San Bruno, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 1,993

Not sure what to do with this comment or question.  I added several trails starting from Lover's Camp in the Marble Mountain Wilderness, CA.  The closest location choice is Happy Camp, which is listed as 19 miles away.  I'm not sure how far it is by air, but it is 54 miles and 1 hr and 25 min by road in a direction that no one is likely to go when coming to Lover's Camp.  Ft. Jones, CA would be a much better choice for any trail on east and south sides of Marble Mountain, but it is not listed. I don't know where to send email to about this. 

Tom Robson · · Boulder, CO · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 11,706

Thanks, Lee. I'll get Ft. Jones, CA added right now. In the future, you can send these requests to content@adventureprojects.net.



Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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