Jump to content

Washingtonian Newbies Looking for some good local trail suggestions.


nedyken
Followers 2

Recommended Posts

My girlfriend and I live in Bellevue, WA. We're totally newbies to the world of Geocaching. Three weeks ago, I hadn't even heard of it. I instantly knew my girlfriend would love it, though... she was immediately hooked... she had built a "geocaching" kit within 2 days of hearing about it... and luckily I'm a pretty quick learner on the technology side.

 

We've only found 49 geocaches so far. We started off just using our iPhones to find some urban caches around Seattle/Bellevue. Those are great, but we pretty quickly realized that we enjoy exploring around in the woods/parks more than we enjoy trying not to look creepy while loitering around town centers and buildings.

 

This is how rookie we are... Last week were just driving around Issaquah, WA on our day off. I checked my iPhone geocaching app to see where the closest cluster of geocaches were hidden. Somehow we ended up around Tiger Mountain... it looked like there was a string of maybe 7 or 8 geocaches in a row. We had to assume that was a trail... so we just started blindly walking up one of the trails hoping we picked the correct one. Eventually we figured out which trail we needed to walk and we spent a couple hours having a blast finding some of the geocaches along Nook Trail and Talus Rocks. That was a ton of fun. I think we became interested in hiking by accident.

 

I quickly realized my iPhone GPS doesn't work too well in the woods... so I bought a Garmin Oregon 450 off craigslist for $120, got it loaded with City navigator, a free Washington State TOPO map off http://gpsfiledepot.com/ ... and "Northwest Trails" http://www.switchbacks.com/nwtrails/ . I actually found Northwest Trails by accident, but man oh man I can already tell it's pretty awesome and is going to be a major help.

 

So at this point, we feel like we have the basic gist of geocaching down... now we just need to be pointed in the right direction. Haha. I have to admit that neither of us have really done much hiking at all. Just to point out how much of a rookie I am, I'm rather embarrassed to admit that my entire concept of what "hiking" entailed was totally warped... I always envisioned "hiking" to mean bushwhacking through the woods, climbing rocks and wading through rushing rivers. I know... I'm ridiculous. It never occurred to me that there was an intermediate level that included fun cleared trails through the forest. So bottom line... It's safe to say that we have walked/hiked NONE of the popular trails in this state. I just know that we had a lot of fun walking up Nook trail to Talus Rocks and finding geocaches along the way. Any suggests for similarly fun intro-level hiking (with geocaches along the way) would be greatly appreciated. :)

 

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Edited by nedyken
Link to comment

One of my favorite places to cache is Cougar Mountain in Issaquah.

It's a great place for new hikers as well as cachers.

There's a lot of history there as well as great trails and caches. There are over 50 caches there.

Just keep in mind the caches are all accessible by the trails. The park oversees the caches and makes sure they are placed so people don't trample the woods looking for them.

Have fun!

Link to comment

If you look at my profile, I own whats called the Puget Sound Parks Challenge. This shows many parks from Olympia up to Bellingham where they are great parks and had at least 7 caches in each.

 

As far as other trails, I like the hike up to Mt Pilchuck and the cache called Purgatory. North Bend has the Little and main Si trails if you want to be challenged a little in elevation without the worry of getting lost in the mountains.

 

Wow, you discovered Northwest Trails a lot earlier than me in the process. Kudos on that.

Edited by lamoracke
Link to comment

One of my favorite places to cache is Cougar Mountain in Issaquah.

It's a great place for new hikers as well as cachers.

There's a lot of history there as well as great trails and caches. There are over 50 caches there.

Just keep in mind the caches are all accessible by the trails. The park oversees the caches and makes sure they are placed so people don't trample the woods looking for them.

Have fun!

It is most important to NOT leave the trails at Cougar Mountain. There are old mine shafts there that are not marked. Some are not known to park staff. Should you run across one while bushwhacking, it would take at least 24 hours for a mine rescue crew to even get to the mountain.

 

One of my favorite areas is the trails around this cache. Do watch out for Road Apples as there are many horses on these trails.

Link to comment

Along with Tigar Mtn (which you discovered) and the recommended Cougar Mtn, there's Squak Mtn (inbetween those two) which has some interesting and/or hard caches (a few puzzle/mystery caches and multi-caches), plus one of the oldest caches in the state (Tie Mill).

 

You might want to check out NW Topos - a topographic mapset with NW Trails included (from the same source as NW Trails). Not only it this great on the GPSr, but makes looking at the trails on the computer easier, as the mapset has all the roads also. If you load the caches into MapSource and view them in NW Topos, you can see what caches are on which trail.

Link to comment

Check out the Lime Kiln trail near Granite Falls, and for that matter, there are a ton of great caches up along the Mountain Loop highway corridor.. the two most popular being the Big Four Ice Caves trail, and Monte Cristo.. dozens of awesome caches along those two trails.

Link to comment

Thanks for the awesome suggestions everyone. I'll definitely try to get around to visiting all of these locations. Cougar Mountain sounds like it will be an excellent place to start. I noticed that the Red Town Trailhead is only a 15 minute drive from where we live in Downtown Bellevue. I'm assuming that's a good location to park when there.

 

I actually just had a "oh cool!... I'm such a noob" random discovery while playing around with BaseCamp... I was confused what the purpose was of BaseCamp when compared to MapSource, but I suddenly realized that I plugged in my Garmin while looking at Basecamp, I could view all of my data such as the saved geocaches that I have loaded on there. Suddenly it was showing me parking lot logos on the trailheads. That's pretty helpful. Those parking lots don't seem to be tied to any of the maps I have loaded... are they just glorified waypoints created by the folks who created the nearby geocaches along the trails? Hah... like I said, I'm totally a rookie... I just keep accidentally learning new things.

 

Also to "The Jester", thanks a bunch for pointing me towards NW Topos. I was loving NW Trails already, but I can see that NW Topos is a lot cleaner than the method of overlaying NW Trails over that Washington State Topo map I had downloaded. I'm still new to the world of handheld GPS, but I'm digging this Garmin already. I wasn't sure what the recommended maps were. I was curious how much better (if at all) the Garmin 24k NW Topo map was when compared to the free alternatives. Side note: Is there a preferred alternative to Garmin's City Navigator for general driving? I had briefly read something about a free OpenStreets map, but haven't bothered downloading it.

 

Thanks again for all the quick help. I can already tell this community is fantastic. I felt like I was a chicken running around with his head cut off, but just these last 5 responses alone were super enlightening. I now realize I can look at a map of geocaches and find something like Rattlesnake Mountain... and pretty quickly see that the trailhead is "Snoqualmie Point" and the trail I'd need to hike is "Rattlesnake Mountain Trail". That kind of basic stuff had been going over my head. :)

Edited by nedyken
Link to comment

Thanks for the awesome suggestions everyone. I'll definitely try to get around to visiting all of these locations. Cougar Mountain sounds like it will be an excellent place to start. I noticed that the Red Town Trailhead is only a 15 minute drive from where we live in Downtown Bellevue. I'm assuming that's a good location to park when there.

Yes, Cougar Mountain is certainly one of my favorite spots. :P Huge wildland park easily accessed from nearby urban areas, with over 32 miles of hiking trails, and plenty of mining, railroad, and logging history thrown in. Short trails, longer trails, something for everyone.

 

Check out the Cougar Mountain bookmark list for help locating the caches and choosing your hikes. There's also a park map online (PDF version) or at the Red Town and Sky Country trailheads.

 

I prefer geo-hiking myself, and would be happy to introduce you to Cougar caching (with historical narrative :lol: ) or any other nearby hiking areas. I live in Newcastle.

 

Welcome to our addiction!

 

Edit to add: I see you're a Basic Member, so you won't see many of the caches in Cougar (including some of the best ones, imho) as they are PMO (Premium Members Only) due to some recent issues with vandalism. Just FYI. If you think you'll continue to cache, it's way worth it to pony up for a Premium Membership here - $30/year is a great deal for all the benefits in addition to seeing PMO caches. Just sayin'.

Edited by hydnsek
Link to comment

I was curious how much better (if at all) the Garmin 24k NW Topo map was when compared to the free alternatives.

Depends. The Garmin NW product (on DVD) covers all of Washington, Oregon, Nevada and California. The NW Topo covers quite a bit less, but does include the Idaho panhande and parts of western Montana. It seems to me that the Garmin product has more POI info, like peaks and such. For the area that the NW Topo covers it certainly is a very fine product and I would recommend it, guess I better since it is on my GPS. I like it much better than some of the offering in GPSfiledepot I looked at a couple years ago, and what I found in GPSfiledepot a couple years ago is why I bought the Garmin product. There are other Garmin products to cover other states if you range far from home that NW does not cover, but then NW Topo is not intended to compete or replace the whole of the Garmin line.

Edited by jholly
Link to comment

Thanks for the awesome suggestions everyone. I'll definitely try to get around to visiting all of these locations. Cougar Mountain sounds like it will be an excellent place to start. I noticed that the Red Town Trailhead is only a 15 minute drive from where we live in Downtown Bellevue. I'm assuming that's a good location to park when there.

Yes, Cougar Mountain is certainly one of my favorite spots. :P Huge wildland park easily accessed from nearby urban areas, with over 32 miles of hiking trails, and plenty of mining, railroad, and logging history thrown in. Short trails, longer trails, something for everyone.

 

Check out the Cougar Mountain bookmark list for help locating the caches and choosing your hikes. There's also a park map online (PDF version) or at the Red Town and Sky Country trailheads.

 

I prefer geo-hiking myself, and would be happy to introduce you to Cougar caching (with historical narrative :lol: ) or any other nearby hiking areas. I live in Newcastle.

 

Welcome to our addiction!

 

Edit to add: I see you're a Basic Member, so you won't see many of the caches in Cougar (including some of the best ones, imho) as they are PMO (Premium Members Only) due to some recent issues with vandalism. Just FYI. If you think you'll continue to cache, it's way worth it to pony up for a Premium Membership here - $30/year is a great deal for all the benefits in addition to seeing PMO caches. Just sayin'.

I actually am a Premium member already. I had to get premium membership so I could do pocket queries... plus it just seemed like the right thing to do. It should show it if you check my actual profile. Maybe this forum just doesn't show that by my name for some reason?

 

Thanks for the helpful links. I'll certainly check those out.

 

My girlfriend unfortunately doesn't have a normal Mon-Fri schedule. She's runs the cake decorating department at a bakery and has Tuesdays and Wednesdays off. I'm a video editor and currently all my work is freelance... which means I get to match my schedule to hers, but unfortunately it severely limits when we can go on group hikes. I've told a few friends about geocaching and most of them are intrigued by the concept and interested to go on hikes, but sadly they could only go during weekends (when my girlfriend is working). Another awesome member actually sent me a private message this morning inviting us for a hike planned this weekend. Sadly we'll probably have to do most of our geocaching/hiking by ourselves for now. I guess on the bright side, we seem to be avoiding too many muggles on our adventures so far... most folks are busy working when we are out there. :)

Link to comment

I actually am a Premium member already. I had to get premium membership so I could do pocket queries... plus it just seemed like the right thing to do. It should show it if you check my actual profile. Maybe this forum just doesn't show that by my name for some reason?

You need to log out of the forum and then log back in for it to show.

Link to comment

I actually am a Premium member already. I had to get premium membership so I could do pocket queries... plus it just seemed like the right thing to do. It should show it if you check my actual profile. Maybe this forum just doesn't show that by my name for some reason?

You need to log out of the forum and then log back in for it to show.

You nailed it.

Link to comment

My girlfriend unfortunately doesn't have a normal Mon-Fri schedule. She's runs the cake decorating department at a bakery and has Tuesdays and Wednesdays off. I'm a video editor and currently all my work is freelance... which means I get to match my schedule to hers, but unfortunately it severely limits when we can go on group hikes. I've told a few friends about geocaching and most of them are intrigued by the concept and interested to go on hikes, but sadly they could only go during weekends (when my girlfriend is working). Another awesome member actually sent me a private message this morning inviting us for a hike planned this weekend. Sadly we'll probably have to do most of our geocaching/hiking by ourselves for now. I guess on the bright side, we seem to be avoiding too many muggles on our adventures so far... most folks are busy working when we are out there. :)

I'm self-employed also and do most of my hiking/caching during the week, but am able to join some of the weekend trips. If you're interested in any of the trails in south King County or Pierce County let me know, I'm the guy that mapped most of them for NW Trails and know them pretty well.

Link to comment

Thanks for the awesome suggestions everyone. I'll definitely try to get around to visiting all of these locations. Cougar Mountain sounds like it will be an excellent place to start. I noticed that the Red Town Trailhead is only a 15 minute drive from where we live in Downtown Bellevue. I'm assuming that's a good location to park when there.

Yes, Cougar Mountain is certainly one of my favorite spots. :P Huge wildland park easily accessed from nearby urban areas, with over 32 miles of hiking trails, and plenty of mining, railroad, and logging history thrown in. Short trails, longer trails, something for everyone.

 

Check out the Cougar Mountain bookmark list for help locating the caches and choosing your hikes. There's also a park map online (PDF version) or at the Red Town and Sky Country trailheads.

 

I prefer geo-hiking myself, and would be happy to introduce you to Cougar caching (with historical narrative :lol: ) or any other nearby hiking areas. I live in Newcastle.

 

Welcome to our addiction!

 

Edit to add: I see you're a Basic Member, so you won't see many of the caches in Cougar (including some of the best ones, imho) as they are PMO (Premium Members Only) due to some recent issues with vandalism. Just FYI. If you think you'll continue to cache, it's way worth it to pony up for a Premium Membership here - $30/year is a great deal for all the benefits in addition to seeing PMO caches. Just sayin'.

I actually am a Premium member already. I had to get premium membership so I could do pocket queries... plus it just seemed like the right thing to do. It should show it if you check my actual profile. Maybe this forum just doesn't show that by my name for some reason?

 

Thanks for the helpful links. I'll certainly check those out.

 

My girlfriend unfortunately doesn't have a normal Mon-Fri schedule. She's runs the cake decorating department at a bakery and has Tuesdays and Wednesdays off. I'm a video editor and currently all my work is freelance... which means I get to match my schedule to hers, but unfortunately it severely limits when we can go on group hikes. I've told a few friends about geocaching and most of them are intrigued by the concept and interested to go on hikes, but sadly they could only go during weekends (when my girlfriend is working). Another awesome member actually sent me a private message this morning inviting us for a hike planned this weekend. Sadly we'll probably have to do most of our geocaching/hiking by ourselves for now. I guess on the bright side, we seem to be avoiding too many muggles on our adventures so far... most folks are busy working when we are out there. :)

Yep, I can see you're Premium grade now. :lol:

 

I'm self-employed also, and do a lot of my hiking weekdays (like today, for instance). So that's not a problem, at least for me. Feel free to ping me anytime.

Link to comment

My girlfriend unfortunately doesn't have a normal Mon-Fri schedule. She's runs the cake decorating department at a bakery and has Tuesdays and Wednesdays off. I'm a video editor and currently all my work is freelance... which means I get to match my schedule to hers, but unfortunately it severely limits when we can go on group hikes. I've told a few friends about geocaching and most of them are intrigued by the concept and interested to go on hikes, but sadly they could only go during weekends (when my girlfriend is working). Another awesome member actually sent me a private message this morning inviting us for a hike planned this weekend. Sadly we'll probably have to do most of our geocaching/hiking by ourselves for now. I guess on the bright side, we seem to be avoiding too many muggles on our adventures so far... most folks are busy working when we are out there. :)

I'm self-employed also and do most of my hiking/caching during the week, but am able to join some of the weekend trips. If you're interested in any of the trails in south King County or Pierce County let me know, I'm the guy that mapped most of them for NW Trails and know them pretty well.

 

I'm also free during the week.

Jester recently posted a trip and the day most people could go was a weekday. Go figure. He had six people signed up at one point.

Link to comment

Thanks again for everyone's awesome suggestions. I figured I'd share the first results of your collective advice. My girlfriend got out of work early yesterday and we managed to check out Cougar Mountain. I think I'm finally getting a handle on the tech side of hiking/geocaching. A few newbie sudden realizations:

 

#1 - My iPhone was essentially useless over there. Almost zero reception. So glad I bought the Garmin. I'm not sure it would be at all possible to geocache/hike using the geocaching app. No internet/no signal/terrible gps reception with the phone. This threw me a bit, because even up until this hike I had continued to use my phone for posting logs. I soon realized that wasn't going to be possible... so I just used my Garmin to select "found" and just crossed my fingers that I'd have a way of uploading those as logs later on. Once I got home it only took me a couple minutes to figure out how to upload my field notes file and start posting my logs. I actually really like how easy that is. I think I'll do it for now on instead of fiddling with my phone all the time.

 

#2 - In the rare instances my iphone DID get reception, I suddenly noticed that the iPhone geocaching app does not seem to show "premium member only" caches. What's up with that? Mind you, I now have a premium membership... shouldn't they be popping up? I noticed that many of the caches I had loaded on the garmin were "premium only" and yet the iPhone app pretended like they didn't exist. Not a big deal, but a couple times I got stumped and wanted to see if any pictures had been posted on the cache (which the garmin doesn't have access to). Edit: Did some googling and figured out my premium member issue. I needed to delete the app and reinstall it

 

#3 - I ran a pocket query for the area about 5 days ago so I already had all the caches loaded on my Garmin. We then spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to find a specific cache that had us rather frustrated. Eventually we gave up. When I got home, I noticed that the owner of the cache had deactivated it 3 days ago as "missing". Obviously this log wasn't showing up in my Garmin, because my data was 5 days old. Rookie mistake! At least I learned my lesson... make sure to run an updated pocket query before I head on a journey.

 

I used the GPS loaded with Northwest trails to take us on a bit of a loop from Red Town Trailhead. I later realized I could see all the "path" data via Base Camp (pretty darn cool, really)... We started at 2:00pm and got back to the car around 9:00pm before it got dark. Spent a little under 7 hours over there and had a great time. Found about 18 geocaches. Apparently we walked around 10.2 miles... which actually seems low considering we were out there for 7 hours, but we spent at least 2 hours "stopped" while looking for caches (we spent nearly an hour at "A Big Grate Hole" alone. We knew it was there somewhere and we were determined to find it. Luckily, we eventually did). I have a incredibly dumb question, but have to ask it. I noticed that the Trailhead showed the elevation as roughly 684 ft... and I think the highest point we reached was around the "Jerry's Duck Pond" cache at roughly 1488 ft. When people refer to "elevation gain" are they simply referring to the difference? So in other words, would I say the "elevation gain" of our hike was around 800 feet? Yes... very stupid question... I know... I know.

 

So here it is... our first serious attempt at actually hiking: http://i.imgur.com/NJ8df.jpg

 

NJ8df.jpg

 

Once again, thanks for all your help. You guys are awesome.

Edited by nedyken
Link to comment

That's a pretty impressive hike for newbies! Grat job.

 

As the expression "elevation gain", there are a couple of uses. Some people use that instead of "hill": "There's some elevation gain getting to the cache" = "Go up the hill to get the cache". It depends on how a person defines a "hill", I remember on one bike ride across the state (a fairly hill ride - 15,800' of total gain), a 'hill' was defined as 200+ feet of elevation or a raise of more than a mile long, anything else wasn't detailed in the route description.

 

Another use is total amount of elevation for the hike, this will be more (generally) than the difference between lowest and highest points. If you hike up 500 feet, then drop 300 feet, and then climb another 400 feet, the total elevation gain is 900 feet, althogh the difference is only 600 feet.

Link to comment

I have a incredibly dumb question, but have to ask it. I noticed that the Trailhead showed the elevation as roughly 684 ft... and I think the highest point we reached was around the "Jerry's Duck Pond" cache at roughly 1488 ft. When people refer to "elevation gain" are they simply referring to the difference? So in other words, would I say the "elevation gain" of our hike was around 800 feet? Yes... very stupid question... I know... I know.

 

Hi nedyken and welcome to geocaching and the NW! Also to two of my favorite pastimes, hiking the NW and geocaching.

 

You actually hit on a pretty interesting discussion topic among ele junkies, one that is at times confusing since elevation gain can mean one, the other, or both, depending on who you are talking to or the circumstances. Also, the language adds a twist; while 'cumulative elevation gain' is unmistakably clear, the use of 'elevation gain' is ambiguous and there is no elegant way to say 'not cumulative elevation gain but just the top-bottom.'

 

  • If you're peak bagging aka the main intent of your hike is to start at a low point (trailhead) and head up to a summit, and there is not much other major ups and downs in between, then it's usually the top-bottom
  • If the same peak bagging but with some ups and downs in between, it could be either top-bottom or cumulative
  • If you're wondering around with ups and downs, like you did, then it could be either; in that case I would personally figure out the cumulative and go with that but others don't like putting in the effort and would just consider it top-bottom perhaps adding in a fudge factor for the extra ups

 

Personally I feel that any heading up is part of the elevation gain for the day so I will almost always mean cumulative I'm speaking about elevation gain, though there are times where the little extra isn't worth figuring out, even for me. I consider anything over 20-100' to be large enough to include.

 

Not to further complicate things but to point you to more information, consider 'qualifying elevation' in my elevation challenge which would also be a good resource to find excellent geocaching related hikes.

 

A relatively easy way to figure fairly accurate cumulative elevation using Google Earth (GE)

  1. upload your tracks from the GPSr to Garmin's Basecamp or Mapsource
  2. go to View>View in Google Earth...
  3. in GE, right click the track in the side bar and select Show Elevation Profile
    See screenshot below

 

GE%2520Profile.png

Edited by _Shaddow_
Link to comment

"_Shaddow_" and "The Jester" ... that's actually exactly why I asked the question about elevation gain. I thought it might have been a stupid question, but I'm glad I asked it. I noticed that in BaseCamp if I double clicked on my track it would give me a ton of data:

 

V8K7j.jpg

2ioUm.jpg

 

I noticed in the first tab (top pic) it shows the Ascent at 1682 ft and Descent at 1543 ft. I realized there was a lot of up and down on that trail... so would that 1682 ft be what you are referring to as cumulative gain? ... My other method was to just look at the area I started (684 ft at the trailhead) and the highest point I reached (1488 ft mid-way through the trip) and figure my elevation gain was 800 feet.

 

_Shaddow_, I actually don't have Google Earth installed. Is this data any different than what I'm getting just by double clicking on the track within BaseCamp?

 

Reason I'm asking is because I've seen a few hiking blogs and my girlfriend recently brought home an issue of "Washington Trails" that keeps referencing "elevation gain". I wasn't sure what that referred to. Obviously 1682 ft is greater than 800 ft. Hah. For instance, in "Washington Trails" Magazine it shows a 12 mil round trip "Coldwater Peak" hike with an elevation gain of 2000 ft. I didn't if I should be comparing that to 1682 or 800.

Edited by nedyken
Link to comment

_Shaddow_, I actually don't have Google Earth installed. Is this data any different than what I'm getting just by double clicking on the track within BaseCamp?

 

Yes, can be VERY different. You CAN NOT trust your tracks or your GPSr to give you accurate information on your distance or elevation gain. GPS is a very valuable tool and can be extremely helpful in locating your position down to about 30 feet but below that is impossible with handheld consumer level units. But they try, and try to give the cumulative distance and elevation but due to the scatter under 30, and the unit counting it all, it will be off, even with the algorithms they have to attempt to cut out some of the extraneous info. Even with barometric barometers. With identical units I've seen differences in elevation of up to and greater than a 1000' one on hike, and miles off in distance on long hikes.

 

To help you judge my opinions, I'm a civil engineer (structural) and trained in surveying. I'm also a tech geek and probably a little OCD and addictive personality (aren't all geocachers?!) and have an extensive spreadsheet for all my hikes, walks and runs over the last several years that I created in an attempt to develop my gut feel for GPSr use and accuracy (~2200 miles and 500,000 feet elevation). From that spreadsheet info I've concluded to figure at least 10-15% off on average for both. What I've learned is to ignore what the GPSr says and figure it out for myself using my tracks and Mapsource to view, edit and understand the track information directly.

 

In Google Earth however, what I understand is that it does not use the elevation information from your tracks but instead first plots your position information only then directly takes the elevation from its elevation layer. So basically it's calculating the elevation on its own and it's therefore more accurate. Not perfect but I've become confident that's it's most likely within 5% or less.

 

Vertical scatter in your track

Vertical%2520scatter.png

 

Horizontal scatter in my track from Sat

Horizontal%2520scatter.png

 

Reason I'm asking is because I've seen a few hiking blogs and my girlfriend recently brought home an issue of "Washington Trails" that keeps referencing "elevation gain". I wasn't sure what that referred to. Obviously 1682 ft is greater than 800 ft. Hah. For instance, in "Washington Trails" Magazine it shows a 12 mil round trip "Coldwater Peak" hike with an elevation gain of 2000 ft. I didn't if I should be comparing that to 1682 or 800.

 

I'm not sure what they are referring to, I've never looked much at the hiking sites for that type of info. I always plan my trip on my own and therefore have my own mileage and elevation estimates. Interesting that I just read one about Green Mt, I'm involved in the SAR mission going on up there, and though the whole write up, with video, was about summiting Green Mt, they misidentified the summit by three peaks... Personally, I take any information on the web, especially provided free or without a comment section, with a huge grain of salt. Doesn't answer your question directly but that's where I am at with it.

Edited by _Shaddow_
Link to comment

Thanks again, _Shaddow_... that's an excellent point about "scatter". I can see how sitting around trying to find a geocache for an hour while the GPS bounces around would log as movement. Excellent point. According to google earth the elevation gain was 1648 and loss was 1640... somewhat close to what BaseCamp was telling me. I'm going to send you a private e-mail with a specific question about Google Earth. Look out for it. :)

Link to comment

Thanks again, _Shaddow_... that's an excellent point about "scatter". I can see how sitting around trying to find a geocache for an hour while the GPS bounces around would log as movement. Excellent point. According to google earth the elevation gain was 1648 and loss was 1640... somewhat close to what BaseCamp was telling me. I'm going to send you a private e-mail with a specific question about Google Earth. Look out for it. :)

 

Yes lots of scatter when standing still and there is also some there while moving though it's reduced; I believe that the algorithms work better when there is clear movement of the GPSr in one direction and it is also harder to see when viewing the track later as it doesn't look as dramatic since you get the generally-in-one-direction feeling. But it's still there and adds mileage. Not sure if you've noticed but there is a 'lock to road' setting for street navigating, that feature setting is to avoid being shown off road. If you have that setting, try turning it off while you navigate and you'll see some VERY interesting places that you had no idea that you visited lol

 

Got your email and wow, yes there appears to be a significant bug in Google Earth that changes the cumulative distance and elevation stats based on the width of the profile window. I've only used it a few times for calculating elevation and those times I must have had the window sized close since it was pretty accurate for me those times. A quick check shows that it will max and min out, and based on those extremes the range in the one track I checked was about 8.7% for mileage and 12% for elevation. Not good enough for me but still better than the GPSr or uncleaned tracks in Mapsource. So, I wouldn't use GE right now and go back to what I said earlier, best to self verify for the highest accuracy. I often draw a track over mine in Mapsource for distance then calculate the elevation by hand calculating the high and lows spots as shown over the NW Topos map. Not perfect and time consuming, but it's what I've come to use...

Link to comment

Yeah, you do have to take map data with a grain of salt also. When making a map/elevation profile in NG Topo! for a bike ride across Stevens Pass a few years ago, there was one spike (about 10 long) that jumped over a thousand feet straight up - you'd think you'd notice that in the car or bike... :D

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 2
×
×
  • Create New...