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New website for hikers offers forecasts, trail info

Posted On
Jun 16, 2015
Category
Summer Recreation

Description

The time for lacing up your hiking boots is here. And just in time for the summer season — when hundreds of hikers will descend upon the area — TetonHikingTrails.com has launched.

The user-friendly website offers hikers interested in Grand Teton National Park a "source of trail information at their fingertips," Jeff Doran, the site’s founder, said.

Hiking the tetonsA resident of Louisville, Kentucky, who has traveled and hiked extensively throughout the Smoky Mountains and the West, Doran is also responsible for HikingInTheSmokys.com, RockyMountainHikingTrails.com and HikingInGlacier.com.

TetonHikingTrails presents detailed information on more than 40 hikes in the park such as trail descriptions and key features, elevation profiles and pictures of the trails as well as maps.

Each trail is listed alphabetically, and the site is set up to make it easier for hikers to compare and choose trails that best suit their hiking abilities and preferences.

"Before the launch of TetonHikingTrails.com, hikers had difficulty finding detailed Web-based trail information for Grand Teton National Park," Doran said. "Most existing sites list only a handful of the most popular trails and provide only limited information without regard to an individual hiker’s skill level or preferences."

The site presents Grand Teton trails grouped by general location within the park, such as trails near Jenny Lake, Jackson Lake or Teton Village. More precise locations are listed in the table on the home page, with trailhead directions on each individual trail page.

Links to AccuWeather.com, a hiking checklist, lodging in the park as well as Jackson Hole, Teton Valley and more locations in the immediate region and other outdoor activities are part of the information the website provides.

Doran also writes a blog on breaking news and other goings-on in and around the park.

An avid hiker since he was a teenager, Doran’s job before launching his hiking trail websites was as a marketing analyst at Papa John’s headquarters in Louisville.

"I had always wanted to start my own business and even took an entrepreneurial class my senior year in college, but I couldn’t find the right thing to do until 2008," Doran said. "I was getting burned out on the whole corporate world and finally figured out I could make some money doing hiking websites."

He said his inspiration for creating his first hiking website, HikingintheSmokys.com, was 14ers.com.

"They do information on all 53 14,000-foot peaks in the state in Colorado, so I modeled my website off of what it was doing," he said. "My wife and I go down to the Smoky Mountains at least twice a year, and we were having trouble finding solid information beyond the top six or seven trails so I saw this as an opportunity to start my own site."

Doran has hiked in the Tetons several times over the years; his first visit was in 1986.

"I was 22 in ’86, and two friends and I did a cross-country tour of many of the national parks," he said. "I have probably been to 25 national parks over the years, all the major ones in the Lower 48, and next to Glacier National Park, Grand Teton National Park is my favorite."

Although Doran doesn’t employ any boots on the ground in the Tetons or any of his other hiking trail locations for updating information, he will continue to visit to check things out in person.

"My wife and I are making plans to visit next summer and take a couple of hikes we need to re-do, such as Taggart Lake," he said. "We did Taggart last fall but I need better photos as there had been a rainstorm the day before so the lake was fogged over and so it was not good for photography."

Doran said his goal is to make TetonHikingTrails.com the most comprehensive source for free information on hiking trails in Grand Teton National Park.

Contact Julie Butler at 732-5909 or [email protected].



Originally posted by Julie Butler at http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/sports/features/new-website-for-hikers-offers-forecasts-trail-info/article_7b729ad0-27c4-5880-bdeb-9c713d7d5ff8.html on May 20, 2015.