Pacific Coast Trail

by Robert Reaves

Robert teaches math at the Academic Skills Center at SDSU. He hopes someday to begin a lucrative career teaching high school math and science.

Instructional Objective Learners will be able to recognize concerns of planning and taking a trip on hiking trails in the western region of the National Forest system.


Learners/Context Elementary and junior high school students are the targeted population of this travel board game. The mode of travel in the game, hiking, introduces them to the situations and problems that are usually encountered while traveling from one location to another. The game also familiarizes the players with the opportunities to visit different national ecological gifts, canyons, parks and mountains along their travel route.


Equipment 1 - six sided die

12 - player pieces

4 sets of red regional cards (20 cards each)

4 sets of green regional cards (20 cards each)

100 - thin sheet Inventory Cards (can be copied to fill future use)


Rules 2-6 Players, Ages 5 to adult. Time required is 20 minutes to 2 hours(at the challenging level).

How to Win Be the first player to reach the other Staging Area.

Quick Rules of Play Players are concerned with two items:

(1) Moving from one Staging Area to the other Staging Area.

(2) Each time a player rolls a 1, 2, 3, or 4 they move forward that number of places. If the player rolls a 5 or 6 on the single die they will pick up a red area card and do what is asked. Players will ignore the positions with a black dot or rest area inside. The sequence of player turns is determined by the roll of the die, lowest roll goes first, the next lowest roll goes second, etc. A player may start the game (hike) from either Staging Area. All cards are shuffled for each game and placed on the appropriate rectangle on the board for each level of play.

Challenging Rules Players are concerned with five items:

(1) Moving from one Staging Area to the other Staging Area.

(2) Each time a player rolls a 1, 2, or 3 they move forward that number of steps. If a player rolls a 4, then the player stays at the same position, a 5 moves back 1 step, a 6 moves back 2 steps. If the back moves take the player back to the Staging Area, then they wait there until the next turn.

(3) If a player lands on a position containing a black dot, then they will pick up a green area card and do what is asked.

(4) Each player is given an Inventory Card. These are the items to be carried on the hike as players move from one staging area to the other. Players will start the hike with all items listed. The green area cards will tell which items are used up on the hike; filling the box of the used up item with a pencil shows a used up item. If a player uses up all of their Inventory Card items before they reach the other Staging Area, then they can not finish the hike and are Out of the game.

(5) If the player lands on a position with a rest area inside, then the player can get a fresh supply of items on the Inventory Card. That player may erase all the used up item boxes and continue the game with all items. The sequence of player turns is also determined by rolling the die, lowest roll of the die goes first, the next lowest goes second, etc. A player may start the game (hike) from either Staging Area. All cards are shuffled for each game and placed on the appropriate rectangle on the board for each level of play.