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Trail Tips and Etiquette

On most trails you will probably encounter other trail users. With courtesy, common sense, and respect, we can all share the trail. Below are some things to consider before hitting the trail. 

A commonly used trail courtesy sign is shown at the right.

The rules are: bikers yield to hikers and horses; hikers yield to horses.

  • Stay on the trail. Do not cut corners on switchbacks or take shortcuts. 


  • Stay to the right on wider trails, and pass on the left. 


  • When passing someone, let them know you are approaching them by saying “On your left!"


  • When stopping to enjoy a view, rest or yield, move off the trail so it is free for others to use. If you are stopping for a rest, choose a spot that has already been used or is durable, such as a rock. Don’t just trample over a field of flowers or grass. 


  • Uphill trail users have the right of way. 


  • Greet people you meet on the trail. A simple “hello” or “nice day” is fine. 


  • Stay alert! Ditch the headphones and enjoy the sounds of nature.


  • When hiking or riding in a group, always go single file or take up no more than half the trail width. 


  • When meeting a horse:


    • Get off the trail on the downhill side.
    • Greet the rider.
    • Stand still while the horses pass. 
  • Use the trail quietly. You may see more wildlife this way. 


  • Don’t leave any markers.


  • Read trailhead guidelines.


  • Pack it in – Pack it out.


  • Take a picture. A bunch of flowers or a pretty rock deserve to stay where they are. 


  • Report vandalism. 


  • Respect private property rights. Do not trespass. 


  • Avoid using trails when there is mud, like after a rainstorm.


  • Discourage your horse from browsing on vegetation while on the trail. This protects the native vegetation and also discourages the spread of invasive weeds. 


  • Hiking or riding alone is discouraged. If you are going to hit the trail solo, tell someone where you will be and when you will be out. Don’t forget to call upon your safe return.