Destination Directory

Trail Etiquette in Our National Parks

The summer season is the perfect time to enjoy one of nation's greatest treasures: our national parks. Share these tips with clients, and use them in your own planning.

Dress for Success
This is more about savvy than etiquette, but be 30 percent more prepared than you think you need to be—always bring proper shoes, water, layers, a hat, water, sunscreen, water, snacks and sunscreen. Don't be the one hiking in flip-flops.

Stay on the Trail
Footfalls have an obvious cumulative effect, and trails minimize the damage to vegetable and mineral alike. Stay in the middle of the trail and hike single-file if you're in a group. Moss, grass and other inconsequential-looking vegetation? Its presences helps prevent erosion. Don't squish it.

Be a Responsible Pet Owner
National park rules for dogs, et al. are pretty restrictive. In general, pets are only allowed in parking lots, in your car (a bad idea in the desert heat), in most campgrounds and within 50 feet of the road—on a six-foot leash at all times. Don't plan on hiking with them. Call ahead for specific rules at each park, or find a kennel to board your pup while you take yourself for a walk.

Leave What You Find
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints" has long been a hiker mantra. (In fact, even the "leaving footprints" part is frowned upon, these days.) Collecting flowers, stones, interesting plants or artifacts is frowned upon as disruptive to the natural ecosystem and enjoyment of others.

Parking
Finding a parking spot at the most popular trails can be tough, especially in the high season, but don't park where you're not supposed to. If it's full, come back later. Do yourself (and the world) a favor: Carpool or use shuttles when they are offered, or consider biking into the park.

Right-of-Way
When hiking, in general, down-hillers yield to up-hillers, hikers yield to horses and bikers.

Leave Your Inner-Decorator at Home
Cairns—those little stacks of rocks you sometimes see marking an otherwise vague section of a trail—are a nice, unobtrusive way to keep hikers on track. But if they start showing up every ten steps, they suddenly become ... What? Non-unobtrusive? Resist your decorator impulse and let the rangers handle the wayfinding. And of course, graffiti of any sort is verboten.

Adapted from Utah.com.

Photo courtesy of Christopher Elston.

 

 


Tags

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Recent Blogs

What's on the Horizon? Generation Z Travel Trends

Millennials better make some room in that plane, train or automobile: Generation Z is beginning to enter the travel scene. Consisting of people born in the late 1990s to 2010s, they have grown up in a connected and instantaneous environment. They're adaptive and technologically savvy global citizens with aspirations to change the world.

And they want to see the world, too.

Natural Disasters and Tourism

The recent hurricanes in the United States and the Caribbean, the earthquake in Mexico, and floods occurring in parts of Europe ought to serve once again to remind us that much of the tourism industry is dependent on Mother Nature. Although we tend to focus tourism security more on human actions such as terrorism or crime, these acts of nature are as or often even more deadly than acts perpetrated by humans.

It’s Getting Hot in Here: Brand Activism in Diverse Political Climates

West Michigan was unseasonably warm last month.

I was beginning to think sweating was my new way of life.

The weather certainly seems to be symbolic of where we are as a country right now—chaotic, confused and heated.