Who Has the Right of Way on Trail?

When using the trail with others it is best to know the rules of the trail. Find out who has the right away before you head out on your trek!

Hikers vs. Hikers

Hikers going uphill have the right of way over hikers going downhill. This is because hikers going uphill would have to break their pace to yield to downhill hiker. In many cases a hiker going uphill will yield to a downhill hiker but remember it is the uphill hiker’s call.

If you are passing another hiker from behind it is important to let the hiker in front of you know you are passing. You can let the hiker know you exist by saying hello.

Hikers vs. Horses

Horses are slow to maneuver and are not predictable on the trail. Horses and pack animals get the right of way from both hikers and mountain bikers.

If you see equestrians on the trail stand clear of the trail to give them ample room to pass without disturbing the animals. If the trail is narrow get off the trail on the downhill side. If you are going to talk do so in a calm voice to avoid startling the animal.

Hikers vs. Bikers

Mountain bikes are more maneuverable than hikers and should yield to hikers on the trail. Because mountain bikes are often moving considerably faster than a hiker, it is usually easier for hikers to yield the right of way. However a biker should never expect a hiker to yield.