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When building a trail how is the length of the leg of a switchback decided?

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I have done lots of hiking on trails with switchbacks and one thing I have noticed is that the length of the legs (how long you walk in one direction before switching back to the other) can vary widely.

For instance the switchbacks in the Uintas were much longer than the switchbacks in the Ruby mountains.

How is the length of a switchback leg decided?

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