It may be a silly problem, but if you’re anything like us you know it’s a real problem indeed.
We’re talking about the crippling information overload that often keeps us from living out all the epic hiking trips we internally commit to each and every summer.
Should I prep for a short day hike, or should I pack up all my camping gear and stay overnight? Stick close to home and visit a familiar haunt, or hit the highway and venture into a wild unknown? Is that trail even passable?
Thankfully, Montana Wilderness Association has developed a user-friendly platform that can help answer all these questions and more. With a map of the state’s best hiking trails, searchable by feature, season – even surface – their online hiking guide pretty does everything but lace up your shoes. All you do is set your parameters and the guide will show you a hike that works for you, and then it’ll break down everything you need to know: Directions, distance and elevation, terrain and what else you can expect.
Seriously, go spend some time playing with the website and we guarantee you’ll be impressed. Perhaps you’re looking for a nearby romantic lakeside destination for you and your loved one, but you’re not quite adventurous enough to forge your own campsite? Click “established campsite” and “lake”, zoom in a bit to the Missoula area and you’ll find an easy four-miler to Lakes Elsina and Dinah near Seeley as well as an epic haul up Bass Creek in the Bitterroots.
Perhaps you’re headed towards Bozeman and looking for something to keep the kids occupied for the afternoon? We clicked in the Madison-Gallatin area and checked the “Paved” box under “Trail Surface” and found a trail described as an “easy first hike for toddlers” with boulders perfect for elementary-aged play.
The user-submitted details are clutch – you’ll get a glimpse of what you can actually expect to find, good spots for fishing or picnicking and how you might extend – or shorten – the trail to meet your individual needs. The photos, too, are a plus.
So this summer, let go of the excuses – you’ve not only got great reasons to go explore this great state, you’ve got a resource that makes it pretty darn easy. Big thanks to Montana Wilderness Assocation for developing this sweet website!
Check out hikewildmontana.org for more information, and, as always, remember to keep it safe out on the roads and the trails!