Idea for Trailhead Parking App

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
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Re: Idea for Trailhead Parking App

Post by arlohike » April 2nd, 2018, 9:56 pm

mjirving wrote:If it's more utilitarian around your vision of parking, and things that change quickly, like that seems better and more compelling to me where you'd be more likely to have lot's of people with quick little checkins (vs a more involved mini-trip report).
I agree, part of the attraction would be the simplicity and focus. I think I could make a pretty simple/quick form that covers trail conditions, like squidvicious described, but then that would introduce the complication of how to indicate where those conditions are. For example, there might be no snow at the trailhead, but snow three miles up the trail. So then it's not just tracking conditions at a few specific locations (trailheads) but at potentially any location on any trail. I'll give that more thought, and yes, this is an area that could be added in a later version.

Thanks to everyone so far for the encouraging and helpful feedback! I'm thinking I'd be able to slot this into my schedule this summer.

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Re: Idea for Trailhead Parking App

Post by justpeachy » April 3rd, 2018, 8:50 am

Good app idea!
mjirving wrote:To add to the brainstorm it might be nice for anyone to report the capacity of the parking in addition to an individual check in. (e.g., 15 of 20 spaces taken, or something like that.
Many trailheads don't have a defined number of parking spaces. Top Spur comes to mind where cars can park along the road for a quarter mile. Maybe it could be more general like "Available parking remaining" with options like 25%, 50%, etc.

As for the signal problem, maybe the app could be designed in such a way as to allow someone to input the data at the TH before hitting the road and have it automatically upload when there is a signal again.

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Re: Idea for Trailhead Parking App

Post by Webfoot » April 3rd, 2018, 9:35 am

Certainly! Also possibly during the hike, as I often find I get a signal when I reach the top of a hill, etc. If the app only tries to send a small data packet this will probably work even with spotty coverage.

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Re: Idea for Trailhead Parking App

Post by Andesite » April 3rd, 2018, 1:10 pm

I can barely remember to turn on (then turn off) my Gaia trip tracker. Pretty sure that I would not do any better with a trailhead parking app. But that's just me.

If the parking lot is full when I arrive, either I slept too late, or I'm in the wrong place.

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Re: Idea for Trailhead Parking App

Post by arlohike » January 24th, 2019, 9:50 am

This is available now!

You can read through the Instructions page to see how it works. I've only made an iPhone version so far; Android will come sooner or later depending on how much use it gets.

If you download the app today, it won't do much because it relies on user data. But the more people start submitting data to it, the faster it will become useful. On each hike, you could submit a parking update when you arrive and when you leave to capture two data points. For weather, you could submit an update when you arrive and when you leave, and for key points during the hike like a windy summit. For trail conditions, you can submit updates for different sections of the trail or different elevations. So a small number of hikers could help get it up to speed relatively quickly.

I'm offering this as a free app until it proves its worth, then I plan to start charging a subscription fee. (I had originally planned to offer it for free with donations, but I released another app with that approach last summer, and it has been downloaded over 2000 times with 0 donations.) That said, I will probably extend the free period further for early adopters or active submitters. I'd also like to make it free for government agencies or nonprofits like TKO that do trail maintenance.

Give it a try and use the help link on the website (my email) if you have any problems!

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Re: Idea for Trailhead Parking App

Post by mjirving » January 24th, 2019, 10:07 am

Awesome. Congrats! I’ll downlod it and give it a go.

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Re: Idea for Trailhead Parking App

Post by BigBear » January 24th, 2019, 12:42 pm

It's an interesting idea. It might be a bit slow getting off the ground, but over time, more users would make it a better site.

One way to get more users it to think in terms of the the most busy trailheads and put the whole thing on one site (attached to so we don't have to go try to remember where updates are located).

The trailheads I can think of are:
Angels Rest
Wahkeena Falls
Multnomah Falls
Horsetail Falls
Tanner Creek
Eagle Creek
Herman Creek
Hamilton Mountain
Dog Mountain
Coyote Wall
Tom-Dick Mountain
Top Spur
Tamanawas Falls
Saddle Mountain

These hava all become "if its Saturay and its sunny, don't expect to find a parking place" kind of THs

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Re: Idea for Trailhead Parking App

Post by Chazz » January 25th, 2019, 8:20 am

Looking forward to the Android version!

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