This Instructable is designed to show you how you can quickly sign up and share your own trips.
Step 1: Sign Up
When you go to signup, they ask for standard information, including an email address. They really only send you emails for notification purposes - no SPAM.
After you click "Create Account," they send you an email to verify that it is, in fact, you. Follow the instructions in the email to activate your account. Once you activate the account, BAM! you're in. You can go in and add information to your profile if you wish. It's helpful, since this is intended to be a social site. It also helps to give people an idea of your interests and experience level, since you are basically giving out free advice.
Step 2: Add a Trip
Add all your trip information on the "Details" tab. It is a lot of information, but if you go to the advanced search page, you'll see why they are trying to gather as much detail as possible.
Step 3: Add Companions to Your Trip
Step 4: Add a Map
Title your map. I usually just use the trail I was on as a title, but you can call it whatever you want. The title helps most if you decide to add more than one map to a trip.
If you use a GPS unit, you can actually just upload a GPX file and the map will be created automatically. If you don't, you can draw your map in the Map Editor. No artistic talent required.
Open the map editor. You can zoom by double clicking, and pan by dragging, but once you start drawing your trail, you will need to use Google Map's buttons on the left side of the map. You can choose different map views, including topographic. I always draw trails in the topo view, because many trails in both State and National Parks are shown in topo view.
Start by clicking "Draw Map," and begin placing points. You aren't actually drawing, you are just adding vertices that the map editor will draw straight lines in between. You can decide how detailed you want to get. The more accurate your drawing, the more accurately your distances will be measured. You can change the color of your trail route to best stand out from the map background.
You can add waypoints by placing them on the map, or by entering in the coordinates. Once you add a point, you can select a marker icon that best fits that point. You can also add a description of that point, and can even select a photo from your album. (As mentioned before, you need to first upload pictures of your trip before you can tie them to your markers.)
When you are done, just close the map editor. Everything has been saving automatically as you go, so no need to worry about the lack of a "Save" button.
Step 5: Add Photos
Step 6: Done!