The new site is finally here!
After a robust crowdfunding campaign with more than 450 contributors, we are proud to unveil the newest version of the #1 hiking site on the West Coast. You might have noticed things have changed a little bit around here, so let’s take a minute to walk you through some of the best new features.
The biggest issue we were aiming to tackle with the new site was to making it easier to find a trail. We cover from the Rocky Mountains to the Hawaiian Islands and from Canada down to Mexico. On the old page, if something wasn’t at the front or you didn’t know exactly what you were looking for, it could be tough to even know that we had a Trail Guide for you … now, with the Hike Finder, we have a custom-made search engine that will scan all of our trails.
If you know what you’re looking for, just type the name of a Trail, Park, or Region and select it from the dropdown menu. If nothing shows up, we either don’t have enough trails for that part of the world yet or you may have a typo on your hands.
However, if you’re like us and sometimes you just want to stare at a map and poke around until you find something that catches your eye, you’ll want to scroll down to the Hike Finder’s map feature. Either allow the site to know your location or center the map on where you’d like to search and hit Refresh Search in Map. The site will automatically pull in and display the closest 100 hikes. Move the center of the map around and hit it again to see what else is nearby!
A green pin with a number on it means there’s a cluster of trails nearby. You can click on the pin itself or zoom in to see them spread out a bit. Clicking on individual pins will give you a photo and some basic trail beta, which you can also read by scrolling through the column on the left.
But let’s say you want to look for something really specific … well, you’re in luck, because you can also click on the Filters button to pull up a menu with additional search criteria:
With these drop-down menus, you can narrow down what you’re looking for in a hike — from things like distance and how long it’ll take you to hike to whether or not it’s dog friendly or has shade. We hope this is a way to help you find even more trails in our ever-growing database of Trail Guides!
New Trail Guides
We’re guessing that if you come here often, you’ve probably gotten to know our detailed Trail Guides. Well, you’ll be happy to know that not only have we made them easier to find on the site, we’ve also made them easier to read.
When you first check out a Trail Guide page, you’ll note a nice header image along with all the usual basic info at the top. This information now also includes geographical regions as well as land management agencies, and you’ll also see the weather conditions at the trail right now.
Keep scrolling down and you’ll see which features the trail has, the trail conditions, camping info, driving directions, downloads for GPX and KMZ files, and a map of the route. By default the trail guides are condensed so they’ll load faster, but just click on Read More and you’ll get those in-depth Trail Guides you’ve come to expect from Modern Hiker.
Just a quick bit about Regions, here — on that banner for Will Thrall Peak, you’ll notice it’s listed as California, the Pleasant View Ridge Wilderness, San Gabriel Mountains, and the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. Clicking on any one of those terms will take you to a Hike Finder Map for that term. So you could click from here to see what else is in the Wilderness zone, what else is in the National Monument boundaries, and what is in the San Gabriel Mountains at large.
From the top of each Trail Guide, you can click to comment, share on social media, or like the trail. If you’re logged in, liking the trail will also bookmark it to your Modern Hiker profile (more on that in a sec).
You may also notice Region Pages in your Hike Finder search results. These are slightly more curated pages for certain areas that will automatically be updated with new trails when they’re added to the site. They’re great to bookmark and share!
Some examples of Region Pages include:
- Griffith Park
- Santa Monica Mountains NRA
- San Gabriel Mountains
- Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Inyo National Forest
- Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park
- San Diego County
- Los Angeles County
- Big Sur
… and lots more!
Logins and Profiles
We’re dipping our toes into the world of user profiles, and now you can register for your own Modern Hiker account to build a basic profile of your own. You can add some of your favorite nature photography, list your favorite hikes and some details about yourself. Every Trail Guide you like will get added to your profile — so you can keep track of what trails you want to hike and always have an answer to the question “So where should we go hiking?”
We’ll be rolling out some new features to this in the future, but for now just stay tuned!
Don’t worry, the blog is still here – it’s just in a new location and much-better organized. We also gave our Gear Reviews their own home, gave our Shop a new on-site interface (look for new items soon, too!). Poke around on your own and learn more about the site and how you can get involved, too.
There’s a lot to play with, and we’re dedicated to making the site even better in the future. So if you see something that’s not working right or have suggestions or ideas, please do drop us a line.
Tags: site design