Recently, some friends and I have been talking about planning out some “through-hikes” this summer, rather than the typical “destination-and-back” hikes that we have been doing all along.
A “through-hike” simply means that we have a distinct start point, and then a finish point at another area of the map. where we plan to finish our hike. This eliminates having to turn around and head back to the original trailhead when our main destination is reached.
This method does require at least 2 vehicles……the first one will be left at the finish point, and the second one will transport all the hikers to the trailhead of the start point.
While this method does require a bit more resources and planning, there are some very nice benefits to planning a hike this way…..
- You can plan the hike and make it a bit more comfortable (i.e. downhill vs. uphill) This can allow for more ground to be covered in the time allotted, but also keep in mind that your route can be reversed if you are wanting to challenge yourself with some incline.
- By covering new ground for the entire hike, you can visit more points of interest, for example, two lakes or waterfalls instead of just one.
- You can leave the crowds behind you, since your group will simply keep venturing on the trail, while the rest of the crowds will turn around to head back to the original trailhead.
Caution: Using this through-hike method does require good basic navigation skills, and the ability to read a map. I also recommend you use map software, such as CalTopo, to create a map to bring along with you. You have been advised!
In advance, it’s important to know the mileage and elevation change during the planning stages of your hike, so you can ensure everyone in your group can manage this. You also want to be sure you can finish your hike in the allotted time.
Please refer to my previous post about hike planning by clicking the button below, if you would like more information about this.
Thanks for reading, and have an amazing time out there!