Picking The Right Tour Difficulty For You

How to select the right hiking and cycling difficulty for your trip

So you’re ready to join a tour, but what difficulty rating is best for you? Providing thoughtful itineraries for the experienced outdoorsman is a cornerstone here at Timberline. Making sure you’re set up for success on your adventure is an absolute must for us. Whether you’re looking to hike or bike with Timberline, our trips will all fall under three main ratings: moderate, energetic, and challenging. Each determination is based on distance, elevation gain, and difficulty of terrain. Let’s break each down to help you determine which is best fit for you. 

Moderate Rating

Hiking: the average day will vary between 5-7 miles, with an elevation gain of less than 1,500

Biking: the average day will vary between 40-55 miles

Top Trips: Rocky Mountain Snowshoe, Florida Keys Cycling

Energetic Rating

Hiking: the average day will vary between 7-9 miles, with one day’s elevation gain between 2,000-3,000 feet

Biking: the average day will vary between 50-65 miles, expect some hilly rides

Top Trips: Texas Hill Country Cycling, Big Bend National Park Hiking

Challenging Rating

Hiking: the average day will be 8 or more miles, stretching up to 16 in one day, elevation gain could exceed 3,500 feet

Biking: the average day  is 60-70 miles, and could go up to 100 miles, elevation gain may go up to 5,000 feet

Top Trips: Rocky Mountain Tundra Hiking, Selkirk-Kootenay Mountains Cycling Tour

Prepped and Ready – Additional Tips For Hiking Tours

While the above provides a good baseline of each rating, keep in mind that you will be most successful if you’re in the regular practice of exercising. Our average hiking tour runs 5-6 days, which can be a lot even for a seasoned hiker. If you generally only hike once a week, consider these training guidelines leading up to your tour departure. The more in practice your body, the better you will feel and more enjoyable your experience will be! If you are comfortable hiking these weekly distances, you will be ready for our tours:

Moderate hiking – 3 days a week of at least 4 miles on hilly terrain, with your hiking shoes and the pack you will wear

Energetic hiking – minimum 4 days a week of 5-7 miles, at least one 10 mile hike

Challenging hiking – minimum 4 days a week of 6-8 miles with at least one 12 mile hike, strength training will help as well (i.e. squats, planks, push ups, sit ups)

Book your next adventure hiking or cycling vacation with Timberline Adventures!