Trail Etiquette

Trail Etiquette

  • Stay to the right on the trail.
  • Hikers, runners and bikers should always yield to horses.
  • Bicyclists should yield to hikers and runners
  • Snowmobiles and ORVs should slow down and give the right of way to any skiers, hikers, persons on snowshoes or dogsleds.
  • Downhill traffic should yield to uphill traffic.
  • When hiking with your dog, ensure they are  on a leash 6-feet or shorter.
  • When approaching others from behind,  let others know you are approaching. For example, runners and cyclists commonly say “on your left” when passing.
  • For more trail etiquette, visit

More Trail Etiquette Conversations

Excerpts from REI: Trail Etiquette: Who has the right of way?

  • Hikers vs Bikers-Because mountain bikers move faster, hikers should also be aware of their surroundings on shared trails. Conscientious mountain bikers will call out as they come down steep slopes or blind switchbacks, and should also let you know if there are other bikers following them.
  • Hikers & Bikers vs Horses-As the largest, slowest-to-maneuver and (usually) least-predictable creatures on the trail, horses get the right of way from both hikers and mountain bikers. If you’re sharing the trail with equestrians, give them as wide a berth as possible and make sure not to make abrupt movements as they pass and talk calmly when approaching to avoid startling the animal.
  • Hikers vs Hikers-If you’re about to pass another hiker from behind, a simple “hello” is often the best way to announce your presence. Remember, many of us can zone out on those long, steep inclines! When passing, always stay on the trail to reduce erosion.
  • Hiking in a Group-Trail etiquette is even more important when you’re hiking in a group. Always hike single-file, never taking up more than half the trail space, and stay on the trail itself. Over time, those off-trail boot prints can badly erode switchbacks and destroy drainage diversions. When a group meets a single hiker, it’s generally preferable for the single hiker to yield and step safely to the side.
  • Final Notes-Remember, when in doubt, just treat other hikers, bikers and equestrians the same way you’d treat the trail itself—with respect. Then get back to enjoying that solitude.


Trail Etiquette for hikers, bikers, and horse riders on the National Forest by the USDA Forest Service