A recreation experience is not static, it varies over the course of an engagement. Yet, most recreation research operationalizes recreation benefits and outcomes as essentially static in nature (i.e., satisfaction). "Experience patterns" capture the dynamic nature of a recreation experience and thus might prove useful as units of analysis in the management and study of recreation resources. The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine properties of experience patterns to determine whether they are worthy of future theoretical and empirical study. Toward this end, the experience patterns of 90 hikers were assessed during a short but strenuous dayhike. Seven qualities of hikers' experiences (four mood measures, two satisfaction measures, and landscape scenic beauty) were assessed at twelve moments during the hike. Results are encouraging and suggest that hikers differ from one another in their on-site experience but cluster into distinct, homogeneous groups. Some hikers' had experience patterns that varied predictably over the course of the hike and thus seem dependent upon site characteristics and subject to site management. Other hikers' experience patterns were constant and seemed independent of site characteristics.
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