Last Friday Al was leading a guided hike so I headed to Lewis Lake to see how far up the trail I could get with a 3-year-old and a 2-year-old.
My goal was Medicine Bow Peak but the initial ascent from the lake wore my kids out and they needed to be carried for the final 1.5 miles. We had to turn back within spitting distance of the summit when the scramble over the final talus slope proved too challenging with 58 pounds of sleepy kid strapped to me.
Near the gap we ran into a couple who were trying to navigate off of one of our competitors maps–you know those big sites where the content is crowd-sourced and not always accurate? The route that they were trying to follow on their map was a route that doesn’t even exist. They were looking at the map, looking at the trail, looking at the terrain and trying to figure out why the map didn’t match the trail.
We stopped and chatted with them about the trail and the route to the peak and I made a mental note to toss a few of our demo trail guides in my pack just for situations like that.
Then yesterday I was at Curt Gowdy State Park with a few friends. We were chasing our children down the Crow Creek trail when we ran into 2 separate groups of lost hikers looking for Hidden Falls. In this situation neither group had a trail map, they were simply relying on maps at trail intersections and following the “Waterfall” signs.
I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve taken bad maps on big hikes and spent the entire time being confused. I’ve also taken off without even looking at a map. But, since we’re in the map-building, navigation-teachin’ business I really think that it’s important to hike with good maps!
Here’s why we stand by our maps.
We don’t put a map on our website until we’ve hiked it ourselves. We’re local, and small, we aren’t crowd-sourced. We’re Al & Rebecca sourced and if we haven’t hiked a trail it stays in our database until we have.
I’m not telling you to stop visiting Trails.com or AllTrails.com, I think they are good references for some material. Our business models are different, we aren’t subscription based, you can access all of our trail information and even print trail maps for free. We stand by that because no one shoud have to hike with bad trail information.
We’ve written a lot about Medicine Bow Peak, it’s by far our most popular trail. these links might help if you’re planning a trip that direction.
- Medicine Bow Peak trail
- Fire lookout on Medicine Bow Peak
- Airplane crash on Medicine Bow Peak
- Descending Medicine Bow Peak
- Historic sites near Medicine Bow Peak
- Waterfall hikes near Medicine Bow Peak
You can also find a ton of trail information for Curt Gowdy State Park right here. Since Hidden Falls seems to be the most popular attraction at the park here is a step-by-step guide to get you from the Aspen Grove trailhead to the falls.