10 Great Things About Being a Hiking Guide Writer!

Gold HIll, Carson National Forest, New Mexico
10 Great Things about being a Hiking Guide Writer

I’ve been chronicling my hikes (all 400+ of them) on this blog (annestravels.net) for over 10 years now.  I’ve also published 5 travel books.  People say to me all the time, “It must be a dream job!”  It is a dream job, but just like any other job, it has its upsides and downsides.  So I thought I’d (humorously) present 10 Great Things about Being a Hiking Guide Writer and 10 Not-so-great Things about Being a Hiking Guide Writer.

10 Great Things about Being a Hiking Guide Writer

1. You have to visit all kinds of strange, beautiful, and amazing places… and then you get payoff in form of information for your blog and books

Hikers on the Highline Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana
Hikers on the Highline Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana

2. You learn to spell things like “Chiricahua”, “Snoqalmie”, “Kasha-Katuwe”, and “Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah”… from memory

The Big Balanced Rock in Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona
The Big Balanced Rock in Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona

3. You actually have a good reason to take 100 photos of the Grand Canyon (other than for your Insta stories)

The Grand Canyon from Horseshoe Mesa, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The Grand Canyon from Horseshoe Mesa, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

4. You’ve seen more sunsets and sunrises than any of your friends or your friends’ friends.  In fact, you’ve probably seen more sunsets and sunrises than all of your friends and friends’ friends combined.

Sunset at the Great Salt Lake, Utah
Sunset at the Great Salt Lake, Utah

5. You get to live every hike and viewpoint twice – once when you’re there and again when you write about it

Mt. Rainier from the Eagle Cliff Viewpoint, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Mt. Rainier from the Eagle Cliff Viewpoint, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

6. Your job requires physical fitness, so you can feel good about staying in shape when perhaps you should be working

Climbing the Scotts Bluff Headland in Olympic National Park, Washington
Climbing the Scotts Bluff Headland in Olympic National Park, Washington

7. You might just know off the top of your head the length of that trail your friend is talking about

Visitors at the Grand Prismatic Spring as seen from the Fairy Falls Trail, Yellowstone National park, Wyoming

8. Your online community is mostly hiking enthusiasts who share drool-worthy photos and blog posts

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah
Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah

9. Your grasp of history is better than that of the park ranger giving the guided tour (better not talk too much!)

Windows in Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Culture National Hisotrical Park, New Mexico

10. Many of your travel costs can be counted as work expenses and are tax-deductible.

10 Not-so-Great Things about Being a Travel Writer

1. You always need new content, so you can’t go back and revisit your favorite places as much as you might like

I still visit the Upper Geyser Basin every time I'm in the area!  Morning Glory Pool, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
I still visit the Upper Geyser Basin every time I’m in the area! Morning Glory Pool, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

2. You talk about walks in terms of elevation gain and distance mileages and your friends have no clue what you’re talking about

Waterfall in Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah
Waterfall in Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah

3. “Vacations” are when you work 24/7 instead of just 9-to-5

A summer evening at Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park, California
A summer evening at Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park, California

4. You end up in sketchy situations like being the tallest thing on a mountaintop during lightning storms, camping across the parking area from drug busts, and creeping along snowbanks with a 100ft. drop below you.

Far too close to the edge of the Coleman Glacier, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington
Far too close to the edge of the Coleman Glacier, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington

5. The financial payoff of your writing might not even pay for Spotify Premium

Yosemite Valley from Artist Point, Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite Valley from Artist Point, Yosemite National Park, California

6. Social media is a must-do-multiple-times-a-day requirement rather than a “when I feel like it” pastime.  Plus, you have to be on all the social media sites where hikers gather, not just on the ones that are your favorite.

Peaks reflected in String Lake, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

7. Your hiking companions have seen the view, eaten a snack, and taken all the photos they need by the time you finish taking GPS coordinates, setting up a dozen perfect photos, and are finally sitting down to eat a granola bar while enjoying the view

Enjoying the sunshine in Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
Enjoying the sunshine in Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

8. Peoples’ eyes glaze over when you start telling them the names of the mountain peaks you so diligently memorized while writing your latest blogging series on North Cascades National Park

The Triad, Cascade Peak, and Johannesburg Mountain over Cascade Pass, North Cascades National Park, Washington

9. Other hikers are disappointed when you haven’t done their favorite hike… even if that hike is 30 miles longer than your longest-ever trek.  “How can you call yourself a hiking blogger and not have hiked…???”

North Falls in Silver Falls State Park, Oregon
North Falls in Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

10. If you’re not careful, you can get bogged down in the details and what-happens-if instead of enjoying the hike for what it is: A beautiful trail in a beautiful place that you’re privileged to be experiencing for yourself!

This Week’s Featured Product!

A mini-ebook or physical paperback, “Scenic Hikes of the National Parks” covers 14 of my favorite day hikes in 14 states across the west.