Learn all about how the elevation profile scales are calculated and graphed for the different types of hikes listed in this hiking guide. You'll also learn how to interpret the graphs in your guide.

In this book I have included elevation profile graphs for most hikes. The purpose is to give a visual idea of what to expect on the hike. When I began creating these graphs I thought it would give me a very nice representation of each hike but it was soon clear that they could make hikes look very difficult when they are not or the opposite. It all depended on how I set the scale. If I set the scale differently for each hike to best represent what to expect, the hikes wouldn't be easily comparable to one another visually. I also saw that if I set the same scale throughout the book that it would distort the hikes far too much. See the examples below.

In the end I realized that there was a compromise possible. I found a scale that worked well for each difficulty level. This made the hikes in each section comparable to the others in that section. For example, I showed the easy hikes using an interval of 50'. This made the easy hikes easy to compare with each other. For moderate hikes I used 200' and for strenuous hikes I used an interval of 500'.

See these samples below of two strenuous hikes each using a 500' interval.

I left out the elevation profile graphs for the very short or flat hikes but may include them in the next edition.