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It's the perfect time of the year to enjoy the mountains, but if hikers and bikers want to maintain social distance, they need to know the rules of the trails.
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Safe In 60: Yes, There Are Rules For Trails

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – As things slowly start to change into our new normal, many residents are transitioning outside and enjoying the beauty that Utah has to offer. This is a perfect time of the year to enjoy the beauty of our mountains.

Whether you explore the trails on horseback, bike, or foot, do you know who has the right of way?

Many people may not know, but there is an expected etiquette on our trails. It helps keep us safe and our trails adequately maintained.

First, check the rules of the trail. Does it allow pets, bikes, or horses? There is a general hierarchy on the trail.

Horses have priority, then hikers, then bikers.

  • Horses – both hikers and bikers are asked to yield to horses on the trail. Give them as much room as possible to get by, try not to startle them.
  • Hikers – yield to horses.
  • Bikers – yield to hikers and horses.

Yield to uphill traffic

Whether you are on a bike or foot, always yield to uphill traffic. It keeps traffic on the trails safe and flowing smoothly. It is easier for those coming down the path to pay attention to traffic coming up. Those going up tend to focus more on the trail and get into a zone. Be courteous as you come down the path and let those going uphill have the right of way.

Although trail etiquette says bikes yield to hikers, everyone should yield to uphill traffic, whether it’s bicycles or hikers. For bikes, it is especially hard for them to get started again after stopping to let someone around.

Pass on the left

  • If you are going to pass someone, give a quick “on your left” or “hello” so you don’t startle or confuse them.

Leave no trace

Stay on the trail

  • Walk single file if possible. Cutting across switchbacks and walking off the trail can cause unnecessary erosion, destroy drainage diversions, and create other maintenance issues.


  • Many of us go hiking to get away from the rat race and relax. Please, respect those around you and keep the music to your headphones, and turn down cellphones.

Mask guidelines

The CDC and Utah Department of Health suggest you wear masks when you are unable to practice social distancing, and this includes outside. You can bring a mask with you and keep it available to put on when you can’t maintain that proper distance from others, then just simply remove it again.

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