Get to the Tree Line
If I'm planning on scouting an area that I've never hunted and it's a general over the counter tag, I will look at a topographic map and find a glassing position that will give me a 360-degree view of the areas around me and is between 11,500 and 12,000 feet in elevation (tree line or above). Doing this will allow me to get full use of my binoculars and spotting scope as well as keep me out of the elks' living quarters. Bring high-quality optics because after hours of glassing, low-quality optics can give you headaches that will drive you off the mountain. Once I pick my glassing position, I find the quickest route to get there without disturbing the elk on the way.