The first letter shows the general difficulty of the trip.

  • E - Easy
          Anyone in reasonable condition can do this trip.


  • M - Moderate
         You must be in good shape, but previous hiking experience is not essential.


  • H - Hard
         You should have comfortably done several moderate trips before tackling this. Look carefully at the mileage and elevation gain.


  • S - Strenuous
         Talk about this trip with the leader. A fast pace may be required, besides other challenges.


  • V -Very Strenuous
         This is for very experienced hikers. You may encounter difficult terrain. Don't try it until you are ready.


The number after the first character is the distance in miles (on multiple day trips it is for the longest day). For instance, M9B is a moderate 9-mile hike.

The last letter shows the elevation gain. For multi-day trips, the grade is the day with the most elevation gain. For example H12D is a hard 12-mile hike with a 2,000-3,000 feet gain:


  1. A - under 500 feet gain

  2. B - 500 to 1000 feet gain

  3. C - 1000 to 2000 feet gain

  4. D - 2000 to 3000 feet gain

  5. E - more than 3000 feet gain

Trip Grading System

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