Find more projects

Mountain Watch: Visibility Reporting

Main Project Information
Where Maine to Virginia United States

By participating in Mountain Watch's Visibility Reporting, you become an important part of understanding how haze pollution affects mountain views and the recreational experience. Volunteers provide their opinion of whether visibility on a hike through the Appalachian Mountains, from Maine to Virginia, was "acceptable" or "unacceptable." These observations provide resource managers with information on the value of clear views to the hiking public.

Poor air quality in the eastern United States directly affects hikers and others who recreate outdoors. Haze pollution diminishes scenic views and can negatively affect respiratory and cardiovascular health.

Here is how you can help: Simply hike to your favorite vista along a trail in the Appalachian Mountains, take a photo from your viewpoint, and record your opinion of the view. Email your photo, and send in the data sheet.

It's that easy to contribute to real science that will help us understand how haze pollution affects mountain views.

How to Join

To get started, download a data sheet from the website or request one from the project coordinators via email at

You can also participate using View Guides provided at four of the Appalachian Mountain Club's Backcountry huts: Madison, Lakes, Greenleaf, and Galehead. View Guides are located at

Required Gear

A writing instrument, camera, a computer with Internet access, and appropriate hiking gear.

Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families
Spend the Time outdoors
Project Updated 04/21/2017