a hiker walks on a trail in california

Remember These Hiking Etiquette Tips While On The Trails This Summer

Summer hiking is in full swing across the country, and I’m sure you’ve seen some questionable hiking etiquette so far. Over the weekend, I was in the Washington Cascades and encountered a group that was blaring music and yelling nonstop. They weren’t even angry yelling—they were just yelling as they talked because their music was so loud.

It was NOT ideal for the situation.

So, I figured, let’s do a brief refresher on hiking etiquette. I’d love if you could forward this to a friend or ​share my Instagram post​ highlighting the same thing.

Hiking Etiquette Tips For Summer Hiking

No Speakers on the Trails:

alaska bear watching lake clark
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Listening to music is great but no one came to the mountains or forests to listen to YOUR music. Pop in your headphones and jam away. But let everyone enjoy the sounds of nature if they want. **Caveat: If you’re hiking in grizzly bear country and are not on a popular trail, feel free to play music or a podcast.**

Uphill Hikers Have Right of Way:

It’s pretty straightforward. Let uphill hikers keep moving so they don’t lose their cadence and momentum. It’s also kind to let those who are working harder have the right of way.

Don’t Let Your Group Take Up The Entire Trail:

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

If you’re hiking with some friends, don’t hike in a way that blocks the trail. Make sure to stay in some kind of a line that allows others to pass with ease.

Be Kind:

Smile, say hi, and be nice on the trail. Everyone’s out here having a great time, and it is great to add some positivity to the vibes.

Pack Out What You Pack In:

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Don’t leave any trash in the outdoors. Whatever you bring with you on your hike should come out with you. If we all follow this, our outdoors will be cleaner, and wildlife will be healthier.

Don’t Leave Dog Poop Bags on the Trail:

There’s no poop fairy to come pick up after your dog. 1) Pick up the poop, but 2) Carry your bag out. I know some people leave it to grab on the way back, but so many forget about it, and then the trail is full of nasty bags.

Keep Your Dogs Leashed:

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch – Alaska 2024

If you’re on a trail that requires dogs to stay leashed, please follow the rules. You never know if little kids or those who are afraid of dogs are also hiking nearby.

Follow Leave No Trace to Make the World Better

As we venture into the great outdoors, it’s essential to remember that our actions significantly impact the environment and those around us. By following proper hiking etiquette, we can ensure that trails remain pristine and enjoyable for everyone.

From respecting wildlife and fellow hikers to practicing Leave No Trace principles, every small effort contributes to a larger goal of preserving nature for future generations. So, as you lace up your hiking boots and head out on your next adventure, remember these guidelines.

Happy hiking, and let’s all do our part to keep the trails beautiful and welcoming!

Until next time, adventurers, stay safe.

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Author: Alec Sills-Trausch

Title: Founder of Explore with Alec

Expertise: Hiking, Backpacking, Photography, and Road Trips

Alec Sills-Trausch is a hiker, backpacker, landscape photographer, and syndicated travel writer. He enjoys showing off the beauty of the world through his photos, videos, and written work on ExploreWithAlec.com. Alec is also a 2x cancer survivor and bone marrow transplant recipient, showing the world that there is a future from this terrible disease.

He lives in Washington, where he gets to enjoy the stunning PNW mountains in addition to all the other places he attempts to visit each year! You can see more work on IG at @AlecOutside