Trail Etiquette

Trail users have responsibilities. Knowing how to interact with others on the trail can be very beneficial to your experience. Trail etiquette helps all kinds of users share and enjoy the trail together while promoting everyone’s safety.

Trail Courtesy

Trail courtesy sign showing how horses, cyclists, and pedestrians yield

Be Safe

Being prepared and making smart choices can make all the difference on your adventure.

  • Always let someone know where you plan to go and when you expect to return. Make sure they know what to do in case of an emergency. It could save you an arm.
  • Carry lots of water and stay hydrated. It can be more difficult to stay hydrated in high altitudes.
  • Carry a warm, waterproof jacket with you. Weather can change quickly.
  • Don’t feed or harass any wildlife you may encounter.
  • Everyone is to keep to the right of the trail except to pass. If you must stop, step off the trail. Do not block the trail.
  • Share the trail and be aware of other users.

Horseback Riders

  • Hikers and bikers should yield to a horse. Step off the trail and stop for the rider until it is safe to continue. Here’s a flyer from the Roaring Fork Horse Council and Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association about what you should do.
  • Cyclists

  • Bikers should yield to pedestrians and horses.
  • Ride at a safe speed and ride single file.
  • Slow down and announce yourself before passing. Inform the pedestrian or other cyclists you are about to pass by ringing a bell or saying “On your left.”
  • Bikers going uphill have the right of way.
  • Hikers & Pedestrians

  • Hikers should yield to bikers and horses.
  • Stay on the trail. Do not cut switchbacks or take shortcuts.
  • If the trail is muddy, walk through the mud, not around it. If a trail is so muddy that you need to walk on the vegetation beside it, turn back, and seek an alternative area to hike.
  • Be alert. Listen so you can hear others announce themselves.
  • Be prepared to be passed by staying to the right on wider trails.
  • Hikers going uphill have the right of way.
  • Dog Walkers

  • Leash your pet and maintain control.
  • Carry a waste bag and put poop in a proper receptacle.
  • Wilderness

    Hiking, running and backpacking in wilderness areas requires extra mindfulness and preparation to have a quality experience. For more information, visit www.leavenotrace.org – The Leave No Trace Seven Principles.

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