Free Trip Planning Service

How We Can Help Your Wilderness Trip

Wilderness Need offers several trip planning services to help you access and enjoy remote and underutilized wilderness areas throughout the U.S.

FOLLOW OUR TRACKS: Select one of 12 states and find a wilderness you want to visit. Our narrative, basic facts, and map may be all you need. if you have questions, are confused by the material or would like additional advice, contact us below for questions on trailhead, access, water sources, trail conditions, what to pack for a given area, or who to contact for more information.

CUSTOMIZED TRIPS: We can create a trip for you based on your information: time you want to visit, number of hikers, experience level, number of days, and preferred daily mileage. For example, an experienced backpacker on good trails can hike 10 to 15+ miles per day but this drops to 5 to 10 miles on rough trails; beginning backpacker probably will want good trails for 5 to 10 miles per day.

TRIP RESEARCH: We can also help you plan your backpack anywhere in the U.S. regardless of our local experience. Most of our visits have required extensive planning—even places we had hiked years earlier had drastic changes in trail conditions. So, we’ve figured out many clunky federal government websites that offer useful information, used much Google Earth imagery for initial route planning (particularly in areas with recent fires), and can formulate specific questions to disparate federal agency personnel who generally have good local information—which is highly advised even with the best planning. TRIP PLANNING AIDS we use are highlighted in the other section and can also walk you through these rather complex free planning tools.

OUR DISTINCTIVE: many websites offer hike planning services particularly for short trips to popular places or even customized trips at a hefty price tag. Our niche is helping hikers seeking a longer wilderness experience (up to a week or more) in a remote area.

OUR MOTIVE: People NEED wilderness! The Wilderness Act of 1964 states that Congress’ intent in establishing the wilderness system was to “create an enduring resource wilderness for public use and enjoyment.” We think people need to visit wilderness, and we want to help people enjoy underused wilderness areas. This will reduce pressure on overused areas, provide a good wilderness experience, and build a core of people who support wilderness.

WHY FREE: Many people volunteer time to fix up trails to “give something back” for many years of enjoying public lands. We do our wilderness reporting work to “give back” and are adding the trip planning venture in the same spirit. After many years as taxpayer-supported USDA Forest Service employees, we have self-funded our wilderness explorations and reports from our federal retirement. We think government should provide better wilderness information but probably won’t or can’t for a variety of reasons, so we’d like to help bridge this gap in a small way.

For now, we are gauging interest in visiting wilderness and in our trip planning services. If we are overwhelmed by requests, we might charge fees in the future to expand service to meet demand.

Contact Cindy for help: