In the summer of 2015, I was on an early morning hike near Lake Louise when I noticed something peculiar: everyone was carrying (and consulting) a physical guidebook. How was it that that in today’s Internet age – when we are able to find out something as obscure as otters sleep holding hands or the world’s smallest penguin is just 0.4m tall – there was no online source that could replace the age-old guidebook?
Over the coming weeks I did some research and realized that there are actually lots of websites that have hike descriptions. But a total of zero focused on the best hiking routes in the best regions on earth and most had general, incorrect or insufficient information – definitely not enough to replace a guidebook. Of the select few that I found to be useful, they were focused only on a limited geographical area, and a user could spend hours trying to find the information they were looking for.
With the realization that what people needed wasn’t being met came the birth of 10Hikes.com and 10Adventures.com. Instinctively, I knew this was an idea to be pursued. I quit my job and called in the help of friends and colleagues to spend the summer of 2016 designing the website and travelling around North America to find the best hikes the continent had to offer. We explored ten incredible mountain regions: Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier National Parks in the USA and Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Whistler, Canmore and the Icefields in Canada.
Our goal is to make it easy to get outdoors and be active, exploring the world and getting up close and personal with nature.
We do this by finding the most invigorating outdoor activities in some of the world’s most exciting regions, bringing you guidebook-quality information about each hike. We limit contributors to those who are experts in their regions and great writers who can focus on giving quality route descriptions.
We launched in late August and saw astonishing results – convincing me that there was a need for what we are doing and providing the motivation for getting 10Adventures.com started. This will serve as the parent company to a range of outdoor activity related websites, such as 10Hikes, 10SkiTours, 10RoadRides, 10Climbs, 10CityWalks and 10MountainRides.
Our goal is to make the websites as simple as possible. Each region has a map that shows you each hike – where it begins, the route itself, options for extending and where it ends. On the right-hand side you’ll find a list of all the hikes, ranked based on what we feel are the best. But ranking is not an exact science, so we urge people to give all the hikes a try.
You will also notice we rank the hikes on a scale of 1-5 for difficulty. Ideally, we want to share hikes of every difficulty level in each region, however some regions are better suited to different levels. For example, Yellowstone and Jasper National Parks are predominantly family-friendly and intermediate hikes, whereas other places tend to have a more varied mix of all different difficulty levels.
If you want to learn more about how we assess difficulty, check out our hike difficulty assessment page that explains everything.
This is a question that we get asked a lot. The simple answer is: We don’t.
We believe that focusing on making money too early can squash the potential to build something great. Right now, all of our attention is placed on developing 10Adventures and all the other associated sites into something that people love to use. We want to create a tool that contributes positively to physical and mental health by offering guides for spectacular outdoor adventures.
This decision also means that we don’t have advertising, we don’t charge readers for what we have and we definitely don’t make our users partake in an annoying sign-up process to get access to our content.
How do we pay for 10Adventures, then? We were lucky enough to secure funding from Angel Investors who believe in what we’re doing, share our passion for the outdoors and our desire to pass that on to others.
The summer of 2017 is going to be a full of adventure, with two teams already signed up to explore the world with us. One team will venture into more regions in Canada and the USA, with a focus on Colorado, Utah, Washington State and California (if the snow ever melts!). The other team will be exploring the UK, France, Italy, Switzerland and Austria.
We are also looking for a few contributors to help us develop content for other 10Adventures websites.
The best way to help us is to simply share the wealth – our wealth of knowledge that is! Telling your friends and family about our websites helps us to create a more extensive network and connect to people who believe in our mission. This could be word of mouth, but we also greatly appreciate the potential of social media and encourage you to connect with us and share our posts and content.
If you’re a committed outdoor enthusiast – a great hiker, mountain biker, road bike rider, climber or just love exploring cities – contributing to our site may be a great opportunity for both of us. We’re always on the lookout for more contributors, especially for our other websites. Send us a message on Facebook or drop us an email at [email protected]. We have great benefits for contributors – not only do you get paid but also free branded gear and the ability to join group trips each autumn.