Field trip difficulty ratings

 

Keep in mind that we are at elevations above 6,000’, where the sun is more intense, and the air is thinner—an “easy” walk at sea level may be “moderate” in the mountains. 

Very Easy: Low level of exertion, short walking distance (< 0.5 mi.) on flat compact surfaces without obstacles, mostly birding close to vehicles over multiple stops. No off trail walking. Places to rest are available. No elevation gain. 

Easy: Low level of exertion, short walking distance (< 1 mi.) on flat compact surfaces or mild trails without obstacles. No off trail walking. Places to rest are available. Little to no elevation gain. 

Moderate: Moderate level of exertion, walking distances 1-4 miles on potentially steep and/or uneven trails with possible off trail walking, which may require stepping over rocks, fallen debris, or navigating above or below obstacles such as fences or gates. Places to rest may be unlikely. Possible elevation gains up to 500 ft. 

Difficult: High level of exertion, walking distances of up to 4 miles on or off trails that may have steep, loose, unstable, and uneven sections. Ability to step over rocks, debris, vegetation, navigate over or under fences and gates may be required. Possible elevation gains of up to 1,000 ft. 

Very Difficult: High level of exertion, long hiking distance on rough, loose, unstable, and/or steep terrain, potentially off trail. Ability to step over rocks, debris, vegetation, navigate over or under fences and gates may be required. Possible elevation gains of up to 1,500 ft. 

Spontaneous: Trip locations may change at the leader's whim, and they may not be able to anticipate the difficulty level—assume this trip is moderate to difficult. 

Recent News
The 2024 program is now online

Chautauqua organizers are planning for the 21st Annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua for June 21-23, 2024 in Lee Vining and the full program is now available online. Registration opens on April 15, 2024 at 6:30am Pacific.

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