Day Hikers in Yosemite Wilderness: Understanding Travel Patterns and Trail Choice Decision Making Thesis uri icon



  • Thesis (M.S., Natural Resources)--University of Idaho, June 2014 | Current gaps in the wilderness day use literature are addressed. Two wilderness trip variables were quantified using GPS tracks collected from day hikers in Yosemite Wilderness: distance traveled and time spent hiking. The impact of group size and age of group members on dependent variables was explored; data show that group characteristics examined did not consistently influence distance traveled or time spent in wilderness. Spatial distributions of wilderness users at attraction sites were examined at three use levels, and a new method for documenting the occurrence of micro-level site displacement at attraction sites using GPS and infrared trail counter data is presented. Second, day hiker trail choice decision making was explored using bounded rationality and information search theory. Seven wilderness day hiker types emerged from 80 semi-structured interviews conducted with wilderness day hikers on high and moderate use trails. Theoretical implications are discussed, and recommendations for hiking information provision at Yosemite are made.

publication date

  • June 1, 2014