A helpful reminder as to who has the right of way when hiking

A good hike can be good for so many things. You get in a good workout. You get to see nature. You can ignore phone calls because “you must’ve been out of range.” But, while most people get it when it comes to the rules of the trails, some – like that jerk who blasts his music rather than wearing headphones – need a little reminder from time to time, which is why I’ve gone ahead and pulled out this rule over who gets the right of way on a slope.

The general rule of thumb (and one that just makes sense) is that the hiker head uphill has the right of way.  Why?  Well, for starters heading up is way harder than headed down and an uphill hiker shouldn’t have to lose momentum.  Also, hikers headed uphill usually have less field of vision than those heading down, who can more easily spot and step aside.

Now sure, sometimes seeing a hiker coming down gives you an excuse to take a breather and not have to confess to your hiking partner that you are completely out of shape.  That’s fine.  But, that’s up to the upward bound hiker.

There are some other right of way rules when it comes to hiking.  Trail Etiquette notes that hikers should yield the right of way to people riding horses.  When it comes to mountain bikes, the bikes usually are given the right of way, but it’s not automatic.

Finally, when it comes to passing someone, a simple “hello” should do and not a “get the hell out of the way” which would just seem to be unnecessary.

Anyway, it really isn’t complicated and, so long as everyone is thoughtful and considerate, the trails can be a pretty enjoyable place.