This question asks about backpacking trail in Northwest Washington state in early June.

The OP is concerned about finding a trail that is not impassable because of snow. He is not asking about a commercial trip, or buying equipment. Yet there are three VtCs because it is a

price shopping question that....tends to become obsolete quickly

This is totally baffling. Someone familiar with the area in question could answer this question based on her knowledge of the trails and this past winter's snowpack and how fast it is melting this spring. For example, I could easily answer this question if it were about Yosemite -- and I have. See Yosemite in March a Good Idea?.

The thrust of that question was what do in Yosemite in early March, and I based my answer on experience and information about the snowpack. **What is the difference between that question and this? **

The question was also linked to an earlier question that was closed as opinion based. No opinion is involved. Some trails are relatively clear; some have deep snow. If the OP had asked for the best trail in early June, that might be opinion based -- or it might not.

I can see asking the OP for more info on what he wants, but not VTCing.

  • Hi ab2! The question has now been edited fairly extensively, so the link in this question text doesn't fully represent the point of this important discussion. Linking to edited questions can be confusing, so I'm adding a link to the original version and review history so people can see what happened along the way! Jun 6, 2019 at 0:45
  • @Sue Thanks! The OP seems to have disappeared, but maybe he is just lying low.
    – ab2
    Jun 6, 2019 at 0:51
  • 1
    ab2, I'm afraid we might have unintentionally scared him off. I feel very bad that I didn't at least welcome him and try to explain what we were doing, and, as you said here, ask him for more info. We used a lot of "SE terminology" which even I don't always understand! According to his profile, he hasn't logged in since that day, but I hope he's still reading, likes the new version of the question, and has seen the answer! If not, it's helpful for future viewers because of the work of you and others! Jun 6, 2019 at 2:00
  • The guy just wanted an answer, not a conversation on how to write a question. Too bad.
    – ab2
    Jun 6, 2019 at 5:52

3 Answers 3


I think as the question currently stands, it does read a lot like a shopping question - it asks for "best" trails, or "good backpacking trips", which makes it opinion based.

I would try to edit it into something more appropriate but I can't think how. If you can edit it to seem less like a shopping recommendation / tour opinion then please do

  • 1
    Please see edited question.
    – ab2
    May 31, 2019 at 17:10

@ab2 I had replied to your comment in the question but I decided to transfer it here:

To be fair, the linked post was an explicit request for recommendation. It might have been closed with the wrong tag though. The real issue is defining if asking for destination recommendations should be held on the same pedestal as product recommendations.

I understand the arguments in favor of closing those questions. I'm balanced on the edge myself as these questions and answers can stay relevant over time, but it highly depends on how they are asked.

If the OP had asked something like:

There has been out of ordinary snowfall this winter, can someone recommend a trail that will be snow-free next week?

I would consider it fair to close.

In the current case I don't know. The problem with that kind of question is that even though the good answers might be helpful as a general rule, outlier years will make those answers wrong once in a while.

  • One problem with your last sentence is that outlier years are becoming the norm. Thus, an answer for every year has to take into account things like snowpack accumulation during the immediately previous winter and how warm the spring is. But this is what experts on TGO should be able to do.
    – ab2
    May 31, 2019 at 16:49
  • Destinations don't change nearly as rapidly as products. In future, they may because of extreme weather events. The exception would be resorts -- I can see asking about resorts as a shopping question. But asking about hiking trails should be spot on topic, even -- especially -- if you are asking about a change in conditions: e.g., does access to Trail X still involve a long detour because of last year's avalanche? This is an on-topic question even though the time period is limited.
    – ab2
    Jun 6, 2019 at 21:54

Yes, this answer depends on present snow conditions, which vary every year. However even if an answer completely ignores that, and just gives the correct information for the current year, I can then next year look up the conditions from the previous year, compare it to this year and then I have information if these trails will also be passable (similar or better conditions) or maybe not (worse conditions). I really don't see any reason to close this question. You could remove any occurrence of "best" and just replace it with "passable", but that seems like nitpicking to me, the question stays the same.

  • Yes, Exactly!!!
    – ab2
    May 31, 2019 at 16:54
  • That's sensible. I do agree with your point.
    – Gabriel
    May 31, 2019 at 17:28

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