Hiking Etiquette 101: Tips for Hitting the Trails in Metro Phoenix

Hit the trails — but mind your manners.EXPAND
Hit the trails — but mind your manners.

While hiking is a pleasant pastime for soaking up nature and the world around you, being immersed in the outdoors doesn't mean you can act like a caveman.

There is a bit of etiquette that's crucial to keep in mind when taking on a high-traffic trail like Camelback Mountain's Cholla or Piestewa Peak, where the path serves more as an outdoor gym for many. Trails like these are like highways at peak times — and often, visitors are not aware of the polite way to navigate traffic. So, hikers, here are eight basic tips for responsible hiking that will ensure you and your fellow trail lovers can enjoy the mountain.

There is an unstated rule that a trail is much like a road, in that each person should stay to the right unless passing, which is most efficiently done on the left. As when driving, a slower person shouldn't hang in the middle of the path, blocking others from being able to pass. A hiker's rhythm can be ruined by an ignorant trail mate that doesn't take a moment to let the speedier go onward, both up and down the trail. Please note: Uphill always gets the right of way in those tighter spots along the trail.

Being one with nature doesn't mean you have the mountain to yourself.
Being one with nature doesn't mean you have the mountain to yourself.

Though this may be some hikers' outdoor gym, a trail is still an escape into nature. And nature doesn't include you cranking up the Skrillex. Now, we understand the benefits of hiking while listening to some sweet beats, but that's what headphones are for. Keep it to yourself.

Leave No Trace
Littering is something we don't understand to begin with, but on the trail? Make sure you leave the mountain with everything you had when you came. Scattered plastic bottles and Clif bar wrappers aren't heavy, and should be discarded properly.

Read on for advice on group hikes, hydration, and where to take breaks. 

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