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Difficulty Levels

Difficulty Levels

Our trip ratings are Easy, Moderate, and Strenuous. While there is no simple and direct way to determine what level would be appropriate for any given person, the following table should help you make a decision on what is appropriate for your skill level.

While this table can offer guidance, it may not consider all factors for your situation. We suggest going through the table and seeing what best fits your experience, keeping in mind your own physical ability, medical conditions, and how much challenge you would like to accept. Most people who follow a regular exercise program can do our Moderate or Strenuous trips.

We recommend that you evaluate each category independently from other categories, and then average your choices.

Easy Moderate Difficult
Without a weighted backpack, what is your hiking experience like? I rarely hike. I hike a few times a month. I hike regularly.
What distances do you hike, on average? <4 miles 4-6 miles 6+ miles
What kind of elevation changes do you do on your hikes? <1,000’/300 meters 1,000′-2,000’/ 300 m-600 m >2,000′
What elevation are you coming from? Sea Level, or thereabouts <4,000′ >4,000′
Do you exercise in high heart rate zones regularly (50-80% of maximum)? Not regularly <30 minutes/day, 3-5 days/week >30 minutes/day, 3-5 days/week
Do you have pre-existing medical conditions that affect your ability to exercise? Yes; Speak with your doctor about what is appropriate Yes; Speak with your doctor about what is appropriate No; but you should still speak with your doctor about what is appropriate
For backpacking trips only: Are you comfortable carrying a backpack weighing at least 20-25% of your body weight? If you are not comfortable with this, check out our Day Hikes or Lodging/Hiking packages. I haven’t tried Yes, but for short (>5 mi) distances Yes, and for distances longer than 5 miles
What fitness level would you consider yourself? I like to take it easy Moderately Active Active

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