Trail Etiquette – 6 Tips For Friendly Hikers

trail etiquette

Photo sunrisesoup Flickr.

Good trail etiquette is an important skill for new and old hikers to have.  I have been out hiking so many times with my kids and come across people who broke these unwritten rules.  Do you know what they are?

I want to enjoy myself and be safe whenever I am out hiking in the Rocky Mountains with my family.  In order to accomplish this I try to follow good trail etiquette.  This make sure that my family and I are safe and helps us have a nice time in the mountains.  Here is that trail etiquette that I hope everyone follows when hiking.

trail etiquette

Family hiking in Rocky Mountains.

Let Faster Hikers Pass You

It doesn’t matter how fast or strong you think you are.  If someone catches up to you on the trail you should let them pass you.  They will greatly appreciate your kind gesture.

If you don’t let faster hikers pass you then they will  be hiking on your heels.  Then neither of you will be happy and enjoying your day in the mountains.  So, please just do the kind thing and let faster hikers pass you.

Do Not Take A Break In Middle Of The Trail

If you are tired and want to get a snack or drink, do not stop or sit on the trail!  You need to find a spot off the trail where you and your group can do whatever you are going to do.  Think about other people.  You don’t want to come hiking along a beautiful trail and have to step over a group of people sitting on the trail eating their lunch.

Everyone In Your Group Should Step Off Trail On Same Side

If you are letting others pass you or taking a break, please make sure you all get off the trail on the same side.  It is just much easier for others to pass by your group if you do this.

trail etiquette, wind river

Pack it in, pack it out in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming.

Pack It In, Pack It Out

This is one of my oldest favorite sayings.  I always think of this when I go hiking, camping, or backpacking.  Basically, anything you take with your into the mountains you need to bring back out.  Do not leave trash or anything else out there on the trail.

Greet People You Meet

This is really just for safety and to help everyone you see to have a good time.  Just say hello or hi to people.  This way, in case something should happen to you or your group other hikers may remember seeing you.

Downhill Hikers Should Yield To Uphill Hikers

This is just common sense.  People going up are working much harder than those going downhill.  It is easier to stop and then get going down again than to try and start going uphill after taking a break.

The one exception to this would be if the uphill hikers just stop because they are tired and want a break.  If the downhill hiker sees them stop, then just keep going down quickly.