Trail Tips from Central Washington Outdoor

Trail Tips from Central Washington Outdoor


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In Central Washington, experiencing the outdoors is in our nature. We are committed to inspiring your love and appreciation for the natural world, but we also aim to help you protect and care for it, as well as stay safe as you explore it. We're happy to help you discover your passion for the wilderness, learn how to navigate it safely, improve your on-trail experience, and lessen your impact on the places you love for adventurers of the present and future.






Trail Etiquette

Although many hikers enjoy their fair share of peace and solitude on the trail, odds are you will eventually end up sharing the trail with others. Whether you encounter mountain bikers, equestrians, or fellow hikers along the way, there are general guidelines for how to share trail space with others.



Hikers vs. Bikers

Mountain bikes are considered more maneuverable than hikers' legs, so bikers are generally expected to yield to hikers on the trail. However, because those mountain bikes are moving considerably faster than said legs, it's usually easier for hikers to yield the right of way-especially if a mountain biker is huffing and puffing up a tough incline. A biker should never expect a hiker to yield, though.

Hikers vs. Hikers

Start with a polite, "On your right (or left)!" if you are coming up behind them. If you're coming towards each other, make eye contact. Trail etiquette states that the person going uphill has the right of way. This is because, in general, hikers heading up an incline have a smaller field of vision and may also be hiking in a rhythm, not wanting to waste energy by breaking their pace. Not everyone knows these practices, so if there's confusion, communicate with each other.

Hikers vs. Horses

As the largest, slowest-to-maneuver, and 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 much space as possible, try not to make abrupt movements as they pass, and talk calmly when approaching to avoid startling the animal.

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