I get a lot of emails from people asking for help on planning their trips. I’m always happy to make a few suggestions, but the ironic thing is, I spend zero time actually planning my own trips. I just follow the scenic routes and stop when I see something interesting. When exploring a new location my idea of recognisance is to buy a good hiking map of the area and ask a local or two for trail tips.
Spending a week up on Kebler Pass, near Crested Butte, Colorado, I covered a lot of ground just by sitting down with my Latitude 40 map and picking out a few trails: the Kebler Wagon Trail, Irwin Cemetery, the Dyke Trail, the Dark Canyon/ Irwin Trail loop and Scarp Ridge. All the hikes were fantastic, but the 6-mile loop up to Scarp Ridge, overlooking the Oh-Be-Joyful Valley, was one of the scenic highlights of my summer. The funny thing is, I knew it would be, just based on the topolines on the map. I know a sweet overlook when I see one depicted in wavy, parallel lines!