1) Write down twice as many hikes as you want to do.
Always list more hikes than you think you can do in a day. One guidebook's strenuous is another book's moderate. I never want to it to be mid-day and I'm still ready to hike but have no clue where to go. Each day of my vacation schedule lists one to two 'must-do' trails and then one to two optional trails depending on the day's condition and my condition.
|Goats don't close trails thank god!|
This is also helpful if one of your trails is closed due to weather or animal activity.
2) Plan hiking days in pairs
For every day of strenuous hiking, match it with a day of easy hiking. I recognize that I struggle to hike 18 miles with 4,000 ft elevation two days in a row. So if day one is hiking Half Dome, day two is going to the Tuolumne Meadows (true story). This gives me time to recover and take on another mountain on day three.
|Up in the clouds day 1...|
|...down in the meadows day 2. Our legs thanked us.|
3) Don't plan a day
My favorite vacation day is catch-up day. This day is left blank at the end of the trip for us to pick up any trail we choose. Sometimes it's a trail suggestion from a ranger or a fellow hiker on the trail. If we got rained out on an earlier day, then we use catch-up day to get in that hike. Mother nature never cooperates 100% of the time. As a result, I never plan 100% of the time so we can still get it all in. Remember all those extra trails you wrote down in step 1? Here's your chance to visit some of the favorites that got left behind.
|Eagle View trail may not be popular,but it sure is beautiful.|