Monthly Archives: December 2018

Trail Etiquette – Or Please Quit Pissing Me Off

I’ve got another hike planned for the Grand Canyon this March (2019) and am on a FB site, Grand Canyon Hikers, when I came upon some discussions posted by ‘trail runners’, which reminded me of some harrowing experiences around here on the AT, as well as on the JMT, and as well in Utah, where trail runners will literally push right through any group that gets in their way.  So here’s a little post I worked up about trail etiquette.  Enjoy.

“Hey guys, a quick note on trail etiquette, courtesy and plan old politeness. On this site, as well as others such as this (the several JMT sites), there are many people hitting the corridor trails as their first or one of their first hiking/backpacking trips. Several discussions that mentioned trail runners reminded me of this.

It is an old unwritten rule that UPHILL hikers have “right of way”, this should make sense to everyone. Meaning that those heading downhill should, out of politeness, move over a bit to allow those going uphill, to “have the trail”.

A trend I have noticed for a few years on the corridor trails, is that “trail runners”, possibly not aware of the etiquette, will run downhill in a manner, forcing those going uphill to move over, and I do mean forcing.

It is true that many going uphill will cede the trail, to get a short rest, to those going downhill, but PLEASE keep in mind that politeness dictates that those going down at least offer to get over.

Anecdotally, I have seen many seasoned backpackers starting to ‘stand their ground’ to those downhill runners that literally force their way though uphill groups, including horse trains!, leading to a lot of frustration.

So please be polite. The fact that you are running doesn’t give a license to be rude.

thank you and have a nice day.”

So now I’m going to advise my group of the option of ‘standing their ground’, politely of course, but be prepared to get bumped by an ass hole running downhill.  And I do mean ass hole.