Spring Hiking: Trail Etiquette

Posted on April 7, 2021 in



Spring Hiking: Trail Etiquette



Embrace the warmer temperatures and feel the sun on your face this spring!


Silver City Mountain Resort is in the center of the breathtaking California wilderness — Mother Nature’s heartbeat is here! Between Sequoia National Park, Mineral Springs, and everything in-between, there are trails upon trails that are ready for the inaugural spring hiking enthusiasts!


When you book a stay with Silver City Mountain Resort, you have remote access to the great outdoors. Plan your adventure today and learn more about spring trail etiquette in today’s post. 




Trail Etiquette For The Spring Season



While trail etiquette remains similar from season to season and not too many changes, there are a couple of spring-specific protocols to keep in mind before hitting the trails. 


Muddy Trails


The spring ushers in growth and renewal, which means runoff from high above, melting snow, and even a spring shower. The effects of this moisture result in muddy trails. 


Before you plan a hike, always check with a local trail guide resource for any trail closures — if it’s closed, reroute and plan a different hike. 


One of the most important trial protocols when it comes to a muddy trail is to go straight through it. This means ditching the thought of “it’s too muddy I’ll just go around.” 


It’s vital to preserve the trail and not widen it, which means getting a little dirty from time to time! Avoid the dry, stay on the trail to prevent trail erosion, and go right through the mud.  




Trails have switchbacks for a reason! As daunting and tiring they can be as you make your way up a trail, it is important to not cut switchbacks. 


Yes, cutting switchbacks will save you some time, but it destroys the trails and the vegetation that surrounds it. Please stay on the trails to protect the area and prevent erosion. 


Respect The Land


It’s integral that you’re respectful of the land you’re on, please pick up after yourself and practice the leave no trace protocols. 


It’s also important to leave the area untouched — please do not pick flowers, forage plants, take rocks, or pack any souvenir that you found on your hike. Leave the wild, wild and undisturbed! 


Not familiar with the leave no trace principles? Read more about it in our article, The Ultimate Guide To Respecting Mother Nature (And The Land Near Silver City).   




When the snow melts, features of the trail begin to emerge, and this is true for cairns as well. For many, cairns are a new thing — they look like rock sculptures, but they serve an important purpose. 


As much as you want to move a cairn or build a new one, please leave them undisturbed. A cairn marks a specific point or route on a trail, so building a random cairn can cause hikers to go in the wrong direction and get off course.


Carving Trees Or Rocks


Even if you spot a tree with other carvings in it, it’s important not to add to it. Please do not carve any trees or rocks. This practice can damage and kill trees, and at the end of the day, it’s extremely disruptive and disrespectful to the environment.  



Sharing The Trails



It’s wonderful that everyone has access to the trails in our area, so there is a good chance you’ll run into other people while enjoying trails around Silver City. Sharing the trails is just another aspect of trail etiquette.


Multi-Use Trails 


It’s important to know who to yield to on a multi-use trail. Always yield to horses, then to hikers, and then to bikers. Whether you’re a hiker or a mountain biker, it’s crucial to be aware of your surroundings and communicate with those around you. 


It’s great trail etiquette if you’re on a bike to let the other people know how many bikers are with you, a quick “biker on your left — there are two more bikers behind” is great communication to hikers. 


Other common trail protocols include:


  • Uphill hikers have the right of way

  • Pass on the left, hike on the right

  • See something, say something (weather conditions, wildlife, etc.)

  • Be nice!


Get Outside With Silver City Mountain Resorts!

Now that we’ve covered some important trail etiquette protocols for the spring season, it’s time to get outside. Make Silver City Mountain Resort your home away from home or your base camp for exploring the great outdoors! 


Book a luxury cabin with Silver City Mountain Resort today!