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How Read Trail

How To Read the Hike Brief

If you're new to hiking (or my website), here's how to understand the hike breakdown.

 Types of Trails

You might see me refer to different types of trails in the guide. Here's the terminology.

Trail Example
A trail is generally a planned path built by an agency such as the National Parks Service, U.S. Forest Service, a state park, or local park. They are often maintained, wide, marked with signs, and designed to ease the climbs with switchbacks.
Lost Horse Mine Trail Directions 16
A use-trail is a smaller, unofficial trail formed by people trying to get from point A to point B. They are not marked with signs and often go up or down steep slopes. Here you can see the use trail joining a larger official trail in the distance.
Route Example
An overland route is a way that doesn't follow a trail, but instead just goes straight over or through the local topography. Routes are sometimes marked by small piles of rocks called cairns.
Animal Run Example
An animal run is a trail formed by the passage of animals. They often look like use-trails but are not as worn since animals are much lighter than humans.