My Beginner Trail Lessons: Part 8

For a short background on this series, see my first post.  

July 2019 – Aero Lakes – Beartooth Mountains, MT

Lower Aero Lake

After three rough trips in a row, I was really in need of a good trip. Thankfully this trip came through, although it almost went sideways the first day. You can read my trip report here.

So first lesson: being familiar with your hike can save you a lot of time and frustration. Do some research into the hike ahead of time. See what information you can learn on the internet. If you know other people who have done the hike, talk to them about it. Then, when you’re on the trail, be following along with where you are on the map and be thinking ahead in regards to what should be coming ahead on the trail. If I hadn’t known we should be going against the flow of water, I have no idea how far down that trail we would have ended up before we realized we went the wrong way. Although it wasn’t marked on the map, the trail we had started down was mentioned in a guidebook I had read, so once we got on the right trail I connected the dots and realized what that other trail was.

Second lesson: the largest, most worn trail isn’t necessarily the correct one. Once I put all the puzzle pieces together, taking the smaller trail made sense. But without any signs and no trail intersection on the map, my logical choice was to take the larger trail. I learned pretty quick that isn’t always the right choice. Haha.

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