Right of Way on the Trail?

Whether you’re a hiker, a biker or on horseback, out on the trail there are many things you need to know and keep in mind. Here are some simple to follow etiquette rules for the trail to make it more enjoyable for everyone:

  • If you’re passing another hiker and you're behind them,  simply speak up so you don't spook them. "Hello" or "On your left" are common.
  • Anybody going uphill has the right of way but they might let the hiker going downhill go ahead while they take a breather. Allow it to be their choice.
  • If you are hiking in a group always hike in a single file line and don't take up more of the trail than needed.
  • Mountain bikes are considered more maneuverable than hikers so bikers are expected to yield to hikers; however, mountain bikes are faster and it's usually easier for hikers to yield. If you’re on a bike don’t assume the hiker will yield!
  • People on horseback get the right of way from hikers and bikers.
  • If you are sharing the trail with an equestrian stay calm, and  try to talk calmly to the rider. Don't make any sudden movements because you might scare the horse.
  • If you are on a narrow trail and a horse is passing through always go on the downhill side.

Happy Hiking!


 * NOTE: These guidelines apply to most backcountry trails but be sure to check the signs at the trailheads. Some trails are designated for special purposes and so different rules may apply.

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