Trail Etiquette

courtesy1. Rules of common courtesy apply.  Just because you’re in the back country doesn’t mean you should act like a mountain man.

2. Try to remember that a lot of people who may be sharing the wilderness with you are there to enjoy the quiet and solitude.  Please allow them to do so.  By the same token, don’t be afraid to remind others who may not be as courteous as yourself that you’d appreciate their cooperation in allowing you to enjoy a reasonable level of freedom from distractions.

3. Hikers should yield to equestrians. Bikers should yield to hikers, but they don’t always do that.  Downhill hikers yield to uphill hikers. And don’t be afraid to utter a friendly “hello” as other pass.

4. Each hiker has a pace that is naturally comfortable.  If someone with a faster pace catches up to you, step aside to let them pass. If you wish to pass a slower hiker in front of you, announce your intention so they can move aside.

5. DON’T LITTER.  In fact, if you see litter, pick it up and carry it out.

6. Practice minimum impact in other ways as well.  Don’t trample plants, harass the wildlife, pick the flowers, disturb artifacts, or otherwise disrupt the environment.  Be aware that Sedona has a lot of cryptobiotic soil (we’ll learn more about that while out on the trail).  Staying on the trail will ensure that you do not disturb this.  As they say, “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”  I would add, leave your footprints on the trail, i.e. don’t shortcut switchbacks.

7. Don’t destroy trail markers such as cairns, and don’t create your own.

8. Communicate with fellow hikers.  Stick to prearranged plans, and don’t wander off or return to the trailhead without letting someone know what you’re doing.  (Walkie talkies may come in handy!)

9. When nature calls, move at least 200 feet from the trail (that’s 40 paces).

10.  Each hiker should carry their own water and gear.  Don’t expect others to haul stuff that you’ll need on the hike.


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