4 Hiking Guides That Are Honest About Why People Go Hiking

In a desperate effort to stay afloat in a dying industry, trail guidebooks have attacked niche markets, aiming for people who only want to hike with babies, or trek through haunted forests, or who, inexplicably, want to watch birds be birds in miserable states. But in their race to capture small pockets of travelers, they have completely ignored the primary groups that buy their hiking guides in the first place. If they were just willing to take an honest look at their audience, they could easily rake in tens of dollars more each year, which, in the book industry, is a small fortune.

As soon as you save enough for some office furniture, you'll be living the dream.

Below, I've created four honest sample trail guides for the people who actually need them the most. Like a heroic mountain rescue volunteer, I'm not doing it for the money. I'm doing it because I see people in need of help on both sides of each guidebook. However, if the explorers who pen those guides, and whose careers I've surely saved, wanted to name a snow-capped mountain after me, I certainly couldn't stop them. Particularly one that's unclimbable and has killed anyone bold enough to try. I think that would be a nice gesture.

#4. Horseshoe Indian Loop: A Guide to Sex in the Wilderness

Distance: 4.3 miles round trip.

Time: It's different for everyone. Don't get down on yourself if it seems quick.

Starting Elevation: 4,801 feet.

Highest Point: 5,003 feet.

Difficulty Rating: Moderate to extremely challenging during summer holiday weekends.


Trail Description and Directions

Though ponds and lakes keep the soil soft and damp throughout the summer, this valley wasn't carved by runoff from the surrounding mountains. Instead, the valley owes its existence to thick, solid glaciers that, while at first seemed too large to fit, slowly drove their way into the Earth over millions of years, creating a deep and satisfying gorge. Today, the swelling mountains on either side and the soft grasses of the shadowy meadows all work in unison to create a setting that metaphorically cries out to be humped in. Specifically by you, and one or three of your closest friends.

In the first 0.6 miles of the trail, you may notice a natural pool to your left surrounded by thick vegetation. Despite first impressions, this is a terrible place to do each other. Horseback riders often stop to let their horses drink and rest by this pool and, while occasionally they will shout words of encouragement, more often than not, they are unwilling to embrace body slapping as a fundamental part of nature. The area is also surrounded by poison oak, which is proven to be terrible for genitals.

"I want to hurt you!"

Instead, head a mile and a half down the trail until you see a tributary stream climbing the side of the valley. Follow the water until it reaches a short, vertical climb up a slab of limestone. At the top you will find a clearing. The climb is steep enough that you won't have to worry about curious dogs or exploring children. Here you can enjoy some interruption-free intercourse out in the open air like wild beasts surrounded by untamed wilderness. Like an eagle or a cow or something.

Incidentally, in the spring months, cows graze in the same clearing. They will watch you. It's just what they do. Try to ignore them.

#3. Mount Hollywood Trail, Griffith Park: A Guide for Rituals of the Occult

Distance: 3.7 miles.

Trail Type: Dirt, then off-trail hiking for last mile.

Difficulty Rating: Easy (unless you are leading animals for sacrifice).

Maps: No. Anyone caught making a map will be punished.

Trail Description and Directions

The trail is well maintained and easy to follow, even at night without a headlamp. The dirt is soft enough that a party of up to 13 people can hike it silently. Goats and pigs will need to be carried through the steep sections.

Griffith Park is technically closed after sunset, but those are arbitrary rules created by the true deceivers of humanity and the masters of lies in order to incite fear to maintain some semblance of control. They have no authority over you, as they are willfully blind to the one true lord of men and arbiter of darkness. Though please do adhere to the signs at the trail head suggesting you bring extra bottles of water; there are some steep sections and it's easy to get dehydrated.

After a mile and a half, turn left off the trail and traverse west. Robes are likely to collect burs from the local vegetation, so we recommend hiking in shorts and carrying any ceremonial clothing in a day pack, as well as additional socks.

"I don't know about you, but I could really go for a cool bath in blood right about now."

Now, you will likely encounter several other creatures of the night exulting in the honor you bestow on the cloven-hoofed creator. So if you are particularly sensitive to insects, maybe carry some bug spray, as well as some hydrocortisone topical cream for bites. There's a good chance that no one else in your legion of death walkers will think to bring them and they will thank you for it.

When you reach the site of the sacrifice, fulfill your sacred duty, slaking the thirst of your sublime ruler, but don't forget to also take in the city lights! The views of Capitol Records and the Hollywood Hotel from this perspective are not to be missed.

Following your rite, coyotes will likely be drawn to the smell of freshly killed animals. While they are your allies in the army of the dark forces, they are also kind of creepy in packs, so it's really in your best interest to get down the hill as quickly as possible.

Recommended For Your Pleasure

Soren Bowie

  • Rss

More by Soren Bowie:

See More
To turn on reply notifications, click here


The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!