Hiking Safety and Etiquette Tips

Hiking Etiquette

Leaving civilization behind doesn’t mean living civility behind, too.

  • Hike quietly. Turn off your cellphone.
  • Hikers going downhill should yield to those hiking uphill.
  • Stay on the trail. Do not cut switchbacks or take shortcuts.
  • Stay to the right on wider paths.
  • Pass on the left. When overtaking someone, let them know you are approaching and will be passing on their left.
  • When hiking in a group, hike single file or take upno more than half of a wide trail.
  • Stay on trails: taking shortcuts causes trail erosion and might be illegal.

Hiking Safety

Common sense will almost always keep you happy and safe on trail.

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Watch for storm clouds, potential hazards on the trail and wild animals.
  • Wading and/or swimming upstream from waterfalls is extremely dangerous. Each year, unsuspecting visitors drown or are swept over to their deaths.
  • Carry (and drink) plenty of water: a leading cause of injuries on the trail is dehydration.
  • Be prepared for sudden changes in weather and conditions.
  • Bears and other wildlife can be present on trails at any time of the day or night. Feeding and approaching wildlife is dangerous and illegal! Be sure to properly store your food.
  • Rocks in and around waterways are often slippery. Use caution when crossing streams.
  • Horses and mules have the right of way on trails.
  • Pack out what you pack in.
  • Trails are often rocky and steep. Travel carefully and at your own risk.

Posted on June 16, 2016