Trail Etiquette & Leave No Trace

Here are some good guidelines to follow while out on the trails.

Trail Etiquette

How to keep other hikers safe and happy!

  • Take care of those travelling below. Do not throw rocks down the mountain side – this puts other hikers or climbers at risk! If you’re on a scree slope or an area with loose rocks, space out so that there is minimal risk of kicking a rock down onto someone below.
  • Make space at trailheads – Some trailheads are tight without much room to park. Try to leave as much space for other vehicles as possible and consider parking a little ways down the road if necessary. Do not box anyone in.
  • Keep campgrounds quiet – there is no need to bring music or party in backcountry campgrounds. Keep noise to a minimum and respect your neighbours.

Leave No Trace

How to keep the wilderness safe and happy!

  • Leave what your find– don’t pick wildflowers, collect rocks, or take home historic artifacts.
  • Pack it in, pack it out – remove all trash you bring, including fruit cores and toilet paper. Compost takes a long time to break down in the alpine and your orange peels aren’t part of the West Kootenay ecosystem.
  • Don’t approach or feed wildlife – give critters their space and keep them wild! There are some trails that lead to very friendly mountain goats or extremely sneaky marmots. Keep your food secure at all times.
  • Keep dogs leashed and respect closures – some areas like Kokanee Glacier and Valhalla Provincial Park do not allow dogs at all. Off-leash dogs can disturb wildlife and damage sensitive areas. Pick up after your dog and pack it out.
  • Stay on the trail and walk with care – keep to marked trails whenever possible. If you’re hiking an off-trail trip, try to walk on rocks and green, leafy plants. The woody heathers of alpine meadows are very fragile – avoid stepping on these if possible!
  • Do not build fires – often there are fire bans in the summer anyways, but avoid building a fire unless there is an absolute emergency.
  • When nature calls – if there is no outhouse, then walk at least 70 steps away from the nearest trail/campsite/water source to dig a cathole and bury your waste. Don’t leave toilet paper behind.
Oh hai there, Mr. Mountain Goat

Learn More

Check out Leave No Trace Canada for more tips!