Feb 1, 2012 at 2:57 pm #1285034
[…]Feb 1, 2012 at 4:22 pm #1833001
@cameronLocale: The WOODS
I have a few spots I like that are off the beaten path but nothing so secret that some research and map reading couldn't dig it up. Share if you want but I don't think its "selfish." If you've done the work to find a really nice remote spot than you're under no obligation to share it with anyone else.Feb 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm #1833002
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
I have many of these places and I do not share them, and I do not feel guilty about it at all!
I worked hard to find them. Anyone can do the same. If they don't know how, or are too lazy, then so be it. The land is better off anyway.
I hate it when people post about little used places and then they get invaded. Worse is a trail guide. Absolutely worse is a Backpacker Magazine article. And this is one of the main reasons I quit my subscription years ago.
You mentioned some pretty popular places. I hike some of them, but off the main freeway of people. And it will be 40 years this summer since I last left a boot print on the JMT or Mt Whitney, although I have hiked many places near there.
And now you know how I feel about people who are always asking, "where should I go?"
There is a little known place I haven't been to in over 20 years. I just spent 30 minutes trying to find information about it on the Internet. Good Luck! Only ONE item is posted, other than it was turned into wilderness area in 1992, and the old jeep trails are now off limits. Hallelujah!. I am going there as soon as I get my new McHale pack, for a test run.
Is this a rant? Yep. Now I feel much better.
Roger, Thank you for posting.
And NO, I am not telling anyone where this secret place, except my wife — in case I don't check in on time.Feb 1, 2012 at 4:37 pm #1833007
@bzhayesLocale: So. California
You don't need to feel guilty about not sharing favorite spots… definitely if they are your favorite because they are not very crowded. One thing you can do would be to share the info privately with the condition that the person also not share the location publicly. That way you can feel like you are contributing to the sport without causing the places to become overrun. If someone asks for a suggestion, send a PM… nothing wrong with that.Feb 1, 2012 at 4:37 pm #1833009
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
>"my only work-around is leave the house at 3AM, hit the trail head at 4AM"
This works well for me. I went up Half Dome last year and saw no one the whole way up, had the top to myself for 15 minutes and left after 6 others showed up. I left the tralhead at 2 am. (I did see a LOT of people as I was going down).
I was in the first group to go into Carlsbad Caverns' natural entrance one morning. I said "excuse me" a few times, passed a few people, and then stretched out my legs. I had huge cave passage all to myself for an hour before I got near the elevator.
My PR on a well-constructed trail is 25 miles without seeing anyone else because I got an early start.
About the only place it's not totally successful is Grand Canyon. Sometimes I can get to the River without seeing anyone, but before I get back up, a few others have started out. That's fine.Feb 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm #1833019
Every time I pass my local 24 Hour Fitness and see all the bodies bouncing and moving behind the glass I thank the Gods of Technology, Commerce, and Convenience for stair machines, treadmills, and gym memberships. If all these people got their kicks in the wilderness instead, I don't know what I'd do.
Thankfully, the vast majority of all people that do go into the wilderness are somehow conditioned to never stray more than 100 yards off of an established trail. And the typical day hiker seems to rarely stray more than 5-10 miles from a car or road.
So isolated, "secret" spots are not too hard to find, even in well-traveled areas. Get up earlier, move faster, go further, and be more creative than everyone else.Feb 1, 2012 at 7:44 pm #1833103
I like chatting with other hikers.
I also like time to myself. It's really easy in the Sierra to avoid people. Just step off the maintained trails.
Don't feel selfish for keeping your favorites private. Other people can discover them on their own too.Feb 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm #1833111
"I find myself at a conflict…….I share my secret trails with others and post about them, because I want others to enjoy them, but I get mad at myself when my secret spots get busy…"
If guilt threatens to overwhelm you, you could always just mention that a certain area has some very good hikes without getting specific, and let it go at that. Just tell them that half the fun is figuring out the routes with map work and some research, and that you don't want to deprive them of the complete experience. My 2 cents.Feb 1, 2012 at 9:09 pm #1833147
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
Weekends on the coast(s) are packed regardless of the venue. If I ever moved to California full-time, I'd have to work a few weekends to get into the backcountry on the less-crowded weekdays. That said, some trailheads near Santa Fe or Durango get packed on summer weekends, so driving up after midnight and sleeping in my SUV has worked (I have a rectangular bag and REI sleeping pad all laid out to keep my pack packed).
Thermos full of coffee and a pastry, and I'm on the trail since many early-birders still do not sleep at the trailhead, rather in the towns below. Wait until 7 or 8 though, and here they come.Feb 1, 2012 at 10:00 pm #1833163
The best comment here, go early and even crowded trails are fun. Nobody else is out but the wildlife.
I am still looking for good places near i90 in Washington, so I can understand the desire to keep quiet. Anybody want to share some spots? :-)Feb 2, 2012 at 11:55 am #1833384
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
Thinking about it… if you know a great place and you keep silent completely, that's really not so bad. What's insufferable are people gloating about their favorite spots — and not saying where. On my bad-o-meter, gloating is far worse than keeping secrets.Feb 2, 2012 at 12:25 pm #1833396
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
+1 to what Ben said. But then again it seems like every other thread these days ends up being " a game in which participants compete to see who can urinate the highest, the farthest, or the most accurately.".Feb 2, 2012 at 12:29 pm #1833400
>But then again it seems like every other thread these days ends up being " a game in which participants compete to see who can urinate the highest, the farthest, or the most accurately.".
Several brewskies and the wind at your back really helps with that! ;)Feb 2, 2012 at 12:32 pm #1833403
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
>"a game in which participants compete to see who can urinate the highest, the farthest, or the most accurately" -KatFeb 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm #1833515
"I am still looking for good places near i90 in Washington, so I can understand the desire to keep quiet."
The SW Ridge of Teneriffe. I am not referring to the logging road here. It is a trail that starts at the bus turnaround about a mile north of the Mt Si main trail turnoff. There is a white gate blocking a service road. Go around it and hike a short mile then take the road that bears to the right. It quickly turns into a trial. Follow it until you come to a stream and look for a trail going right(upstream). This trail switchbacks steeply up the side of the ridge, past the spectacular Kamikaze Falls(best in May during spring melt). Once you gain the ridge, its's up to you. There is a boot track when the ground is bare, but during winter you do your own route finding(not hard, as you are on a ridge). It is a steep, relentless quad burner that will put you on top in ~2 miles, with excellent views up the Middle Fork Valley and to the north and south on clear days. This one gains nearly 4,000' in ~2.5 miles and is every bit as strenous as the more popular Mailbox Peak across the valley, but much less crowded. It is in the process of being discovered now but I don't think it will ever be crowded. REI carries a cheapo guide book called "Secrets of Si" that will give you some basic info on it.Feb 3, 2012 at 7:25 am #1833769
@benwoodLocale: flatlands of MO
man, gotta move to NM,
i do most of my backpacking and hiking there and i rarely see another person. In the past I have just looked at maps and picked a route. the more you research, the more you'll hear about the trails that everyone is on.Feb 3, 2012 at 9:14 am #1833840
Thanks Tom, Sounds like a good one. AND, as a quad burner – it won't get as much use as the easier trails.
I will have to try that one in the next few weeks.
I think Tom touches on a good point, not only are some places secret and excellent, but some places are known but too difficult or daunting for there to ever be huge crowds.Feb 3, 2012 at 9:37 am #1833856
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
"I think Tom touches on a good point, not only are some places secret and excellent, but some places are known but too difficult or daunting for there to ever be huge crowds."
But a while back Tom pointed out that his difficult or daunting places are now being desecrated with trash, areas he has frequented for decades, which was my point in the first place. The Sierra High Route is probably next of the list of desecration, given the more frequent Internet postings. [Sigh!]Feb 3, 2012 at 10:00 am #1833868
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Since you mentioned Southern California places
I used to go up to Mt. Waterman. Many places where you can park the car on Angeles Crest generally North of Waterman and just hike up to the ridge. Maybe ski area runs. Not too many people.
Or, if it's in the winter when not too hot, go up to the North side, like the top of Lake and go up a fire break road or Mt. Wilson Road.Feb 3, 2012 at 10:06 am #1833873
@mikefaedundeeLocale: Under a bush in Scotland
A couple of years ago, someone on another forum was asking advice. They were looking for a nice camping spot in an area i know well. I didn't want to advertise it on a public forum, so i PM'd them the co-ordinates of a nice spot.
Maybe it wasn't anything to do with the person i PM'd, but i went back to that spot a year later, and it was trashed.
Never again.Feb 3, 2012 at 10:13 am #1833876
"But a while back Tom pointed out that his difficult or daunting places are now being desecrated with trash, areas he has frequented for decades, which was my point in the first place."
Yeah, Nick, but the sad thing is that it isn't because a lot of people are going there. Rather, it's because the people have changed." The place that has concerned me most is Kaweah Basin. I have been in there 7 times since 1987 and the first 4 times I saw no one or any trace of same, with the exception of one out of the way campsite. The last 3 times, since 2005, I have encountered a party of two on each occasion. The last 2 times, 2009 and 2011, I have had to haul out trash. There's a different ethic at work these days. It's always been that way where access, even to remote places, is not challenging, particularly areas frequented by horse packers, but in places as beautiful and difficult to access as Kaweah Basin it is a new and very discouraging pehnomenon. I don't think there will ever be very many people up there, but a fair percentage of the ones who do make it obviously don't share the values of previous generations.
"The Sierra High Route is probably next of the list of desecration, given the more frequent Internet postings."
I sure hope not. I am heading up there this September. :(Feb 3, 2012 at 11:06 am #1833912
I remember a thread a while back about garbage that strikes a chord on this. I remember actually cooking meals and not having much garbage because we packaged everything at home.
Now I see the ripped off tops, or pieces of freeze dried food bags even when we are 9-10 miles in from a trailhead. LNT at work in every other way, but lazy about that.
I won't desecrate the trail, and I appreciate your sharing it with me.
I don't understand why people act the way they do, but I end up with a bag of other peoples garbage every time I go out.
Perhaps that is a good reason to keep your secrets, and on point with Nick's response to me.Feb 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm #1833975
@nickbLocale: Los Padres National Forest
I spend a lot of my time in the backcountry searching out special places… places of past Native American use, great swimming holes, caves, waterfalls, epic views, etc.
I don't typically publically share them, or if I do, it might just be a photo with a cryptic or vague reference to a general area, like the National Forest or Wilderness area a particular photo was taken in. I like to interest folks in the areas I hike but I will not give out specific or even "rough" directions to any of these special places to anyone but close friends whom I know share similar feelings about these places. Basically, I'm fine saying, "it's out there…" and then leave it at that. If others want it bad enough, they'll put in the miles to find these places like my friends and I do.
The heavily used trails are littered with trash, graffiti, etc. Why would I want to bring that into these (as yet) non-desecrated places?
I suppose this sort of sentiment could be called selfish. I like to think of it as being responsible. Folks who find or seek out these special places on their own tend to respect them. The others? Not so much.Feb 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm #1833981
@hhopeLocale: East Bay
Nicholas, well said. One of the things about finding a secret place is that you have to learn to see the land and its contours to find it, ie, you're learning to read a great work, nature. So the process of finding it is also learning how to see what's around you. That's what you gain. Find one, and the next one will be easier to find, since you'll have an idea of how to look and what to look for. I just found one, took me a few weeks of hikes, and there it was, within a few hours walk of my house. Knowing that one, I will find more. Anyone who wants to learn how to see, how to read topo maps, can find their own, there's tons of them.
The original poster answered the question in his question, if it's a secret place, you don't talk about it unless you want it to be non secret, there's nothing selfish about it, anyone can find their own if they aren't lazy, and if they are, they didn't earn it, nothing selfish about that. People just ruin stuff anyway nowadays in general, and the internet is a public sign post so nothing put on it, or given to someone you don't know in person, should be considered as secret.
I really liked what someone here said about their stealth camping trips, don't ask, period.Feb 3, 2012 at 2:14 pm #1834018
@dallasLocale: North Texas
When my son and I hiked a portion of the Colorado Trail, we took our hammocks. One of the unexpected benefits was never having to camp in an established campsite. Not that the CT is that crowded, but the established campsites can get a lot of use. So we ended up having our own secret spots along a well used trail.
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